Animal welfare groups warn Cambodian monkeys imported for labs could be illegally wild-caught

Canada should follow the lead of the United States and refuse to approve the import of Cambodian monkeys for use in Canadian labs, animal-welfare groups say.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been denying permits for the import of Cambodian macaques after an investigation found evidence that thousands of monkeys caught in the wild have been smuggled to the U.S. from Cambodia.

Animal-welfare groups are asking Ottawa to deny approvals here, warning some monkeys being imported could have been illegally caught in the wild and passed off as captive-bred. They fear that Cambodian macaques are now being diverted for testing in Canada, which has seen a huge increase in imports this year.

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