Charles Rivers recommends against PETA's proposal for transparency on lab monkeys

March 31 (Reuters) - The board of Charles River Laboratories (CRL.N) has unanimously recommended against a shareholder proposal requiring transparency on its import practices of lab monkeys, according to a regulatory filing by the U.S. contract research organization firm.

The proposal, brought forward by animal rights non-profit PETA, suggests Charles River annually disclose the species and the country of origin of the non-human primates (NHP) that it imports into the United States as a part of animal research services it offers to drug developers.

PETA's proposal also demands information on whether the monkeys are caught in the wild or bred in captivity.

Charles River shareholders will vote on PETA and other proposals from the board at the company's annual meeting on May 9.

The company is under investigation by the Department of Justice and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its shipment of monkeys from Cambodia, which it suspended in February.

The Charles River case will run parallel to an industry-wide investigation by the United States regulatory authorities into the supply of NHP from Cambodia, which some analysts believe make up over 60% of the total U.S. NHP imports.

The Department of Justice in November charged members of an international primate smuggling ring with multiple felonies for their role in bringing wild long-tailed macaques into the United States.

According to government estimates, 95% of the 92,430 monkeys brought into the U.S. between 2019 and 2021 were long-tailed macaques.

The macaques are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and require special permits to be imported into the United States.

While Charles River's board recommended against PETA's proposal, it said the company will include information on how its "imports are purpose-bred in accordance with applicable laws" in its 2024 annual report, the filing on Thursday showed.

Reporting by Bhanvi Satija and Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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