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August 2004



Thanks to the hard work -- and over seven years of perseverance -- of the International Primate Protection League's Chairwoman, Dr. Shirley McGreal, the 'Air France Baby Monkeys' are receiving justice!

It was over seven years ago that Dr. Shirley McGreal received an eye-witness report from a person who had seen dozens of baby monkeys pathetically packed in crates at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

The monkeys had been consigned by the Indonesian animal dealer Agus Darmawan to the firm LABS of Virginia which breeds monkeys for research in Yemassee, South Carolina.

Shipment of infant animals violates U.S. law. IPPL obtained documents showing that not only baby monkeys were included in the April and May 1997 shipments, but that wild-caught adult monkeys had been shipped on fraudulent "captive-born" documents.

In the subsequent years, Dr. McGreal and IPPL members deluged prosecutors and wildlife agents with letters, postcards, and petitions demanding "Justice for the baby monkeys!"

On 3 April 2002, the company LABS of Virginia itself, along with three company officers were indicted. The individuals were David Taub, president of LABS at the time of the shipments; Charles Stern, Chairman of the Board of LABS, and LABS Board member Curtis Henley.

LABS and Taub were each charged with eight (8) FELONIES and four (4) misdemeanors (12 counts each) and faced steep fines and long prison terms with Henley and Curtis each facing one charge.

18 August 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported:

A South Carolina breeder and seller of monkeys for medical research pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court, Chicago, to misrepresenting a shipment of primates as having been bred in captivity when in fact many had been captured in the wild.

Labs of Virginia Inc. pleaded guilty to one felony count of submitting false records when it imported monkeys from Indonesia in 1997. The case was heard here because the animals were brought into the U.S. through O'Hare International Airport, officials said.

According to a plea agreement between the defendant and the U.S. attorney's office entered today before U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo, the company faces two years of probation, a fine of $500,000 and forfeiture totaling $64,675. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 16.

Also as part of the agreement, the government at sentencing is to dismiss charges against three former officers of Labs of Virginia. The company currently is under new management, authorities said.

The company admitted guilt in connection to a shipment of 220 monkeys, 80 of which had been caught in the wild. That shipment was the first of four totaling 846 primates, 327 of which were wild.

The animals are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, officials said.

[From: 'Firm admits trafficking in wild monkeys', By Matt O'Connor, Tribune staff reporter]

A heart-felt "Thank you!" to Dr. Shirley McGreal and IPPL for working so tirelessly for the 'Air France Baby Monkeys' as well as all primates.





LABS of Virginia was sentenced to two years' probation and fined $500,000.00

The press release appended below is from the U.S. Department of Justice. It took five years for there to be an indictment in this case and over seven years for the guilty plea.

More information is available on IPPL's web site at



CHICAGO - A South Carolina firm engaged in breeding and selling non-human primates for use in medical research, two current officers and a former officer were indicted for allegedly violating federal wildlife protection laws arising from four shipments of monkeys known by the scientific name "Cynomolgus macaques," which entered the United States through O'Hare International Airport from Indonesia in 1997. The firm, LABS of Virginia, Inc., allegedly imported the macaques in order to establish its own breeding colony in Yemassee, S. Carolina, where it is based, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced today.

A federal grand jury returned a 12-count indictment late yesterday, alleging that the shipments contained wild-caught macaques in violation of Indonesian law and that the shipping documents falsely represented that the shipments contained only macaques bred in captivity. The indictment also alleges that three of the shipments contained nursing mothers and unweaned young in violation of federal regulations.

In addition to charging the firm, the current officers named in the indictment are Charles J. Stern, chairman of the board, and William Curtis Henley III, a Labs board member. Also indicted was David M. Taub, who was LABS's president at the time of the shipments. Taub, 59, of Beaufort, S. Car., Stern, 44, of Newport News,Va., and Henley, 43, of Poquoson, Va., will be arraigned later in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

According to the indictment, in 1996 LABS entered into negotiations with an Indonesian firm, Indonesian Aquatics Export CV, known as Inquatex, to purchase the breeding colony consisting of approximately 1,312 macaques. The macaques in the Inquatex colony were classified under an international treaty as a species that might become threatened unless trade in the species was strictly limited. The United States and Indonesia were both parties to the treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as "CITES." The indictment alleges that, at the same time, Indonesia had a law banning the export of the type of macaques in the Inquatex colony if those macaques were wild-caught. The Inquatex colony that Labs ultimately purchased consisted of both wild-caught and captive-bred macaques. The four shipments of macaques sent from Inquatex to Labs arrived at O'Hare Airport between Feb. 20, 1997, and May 30, 1997, the indictment alleges, with permits and health certificates for each of the shipments reflecting that they contained captive-bred macaques, when the shipments actually contained a mix of wild-caught and captive-bred macaques. The last three shipments contained between 17 to 19 pairs of nursing mothers and unweaned young, according to the indictment.

LABS and Taub were charged in all 12 counts of the indictment. They were charged with four felony counts of submitting false records in connection with the four shipments, four felony counts of an importation violation, one misdemeanor count of trafficking in wildlife in violation of a foreign nation's (Indonesia) law, and three misdemeanor counts of shipping nursing mothers and unweaned young in violation of federal regulations. Stern and Henley were each charged in the one misdemeanor count alleging trafficking in violation of a foreign law.

"This office treats seriously the obligation of importers of wildlife to honor laws and regulations designed to protect certain species and to insure their safe and humane transport," Mr. Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald announced the charges with Mary Jane Lavin, Assistant Regional Director, Division of Law Enforcement for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The case was investigated by Fish and Wildlife Special Agent David Kirkby in Chicago. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane MacArthur.

The crimes charged in the indictment carry the following maximum sentences as to each count of conviction: (1) false records charges - five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; (2) trafficking charge - one year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine; (3) importation in violation of law charges- 5 years and a $250,000 fine; and (4) humane transport violations- one year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the United States has the burden of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt.


Click here to read more about IPPL's 'Baby Monkeys' Campaign


Perserverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.

Plutarch, Greek essayist


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