Notorious Transporter Had Planned to Build Massive Monkey Import and Quarantine Facility
For Immediate Release:
January 5, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – The animal trucking company involved in a high-profile Pennsylvania crash last year has shut down after PETA submitted evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that the company appeared to be illegally transporting monkeys to laboratories.
The owner of Quebedeaux’s Transport, Jeff Quebedeaux, announced the closure on LinkedIn, and it was confirmed to PETA by the DOT. The move follows Quebedeaux’s failed attempt to turn a defunct Louisiana human prison into a quarantine facility that would house hundreds of monkeys imported into the U.S. for use in laboratories.
“PETA’s persistence has flushed Quebedeaux’s Transport—and its plan to build a massive monkey quarantine facility at a dilapidated human prison—down the drain where it belongs,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “We are now calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end the importation of monkeys destined for laboratories.”
After last January’s crash spilled dozens of crates holding monkeys—who had not yet been quarantined to rule out zoonotic disease infections—onto the highway, allowing several to escape, PETA uncovered evidence that the company appeared to have illegally transported hundreds of long-tailed macaques and was planning to expand to include the quarantine facility in Bunkie, Louisiana.
PETA sent complaints to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA and provided local and state officials with information about the potential hazards of warehousing monkeys in a decrepit prison. Quebedeaux was denied the licenses needed to warehouse monkeys, and the local and state agencies cracked down on his proposal for a quarantine facility.
PETA’s request to the DOT to investigate Quebedeaux also revealed that Inotiv’s Orient BioResource Center, a commercial monkey importer already under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice as a co-conspirator in an alleged monkey-laundering scheme, had falsely listed Quebedeaux as the transport company on multiple shipments to facilities in 2022.
For years, Quebedeaux’s trucks crisscrossed the U.S. carrying some of the tens of thousands of monkeys imported and used for experimentation. The vast majority of the monkeys transported were long-tailed macaques—one of two species of monkeys pushed to the brink of extinction by experimenters’ demands. These monkeys—who can harbor diseases transmissible to humans—land at U.S. airports and travel on U.S. highways, often for thousands of miles, before reaching quarantine facilities.
For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.