26 Squirrel Monkeys That Were Used For FDA Nicotine Research Finally Find A New Home At Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary

On the morning of Wednesday, November 14th, Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary (JFPS) welcomed 26 squirrel monkeys to their 50 acre monkey sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida. These monkeys had formerly been used in a terminated nicotine research study conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were transported to JFPS for retirement, where they will live in as natural a habitat as possible for the remainder of their lives.

The $5.5 million study, which began in 2014, was named “Aspects of Nicotine Self-Administration in a Nonhuman Primate”. The research was to determine how different doses of nicotine affect addiction in adolescents.

Taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project first discovered the FDA’s nicotine addiction tests on monkeys in the Fall of 2016, and uncovered videos and other details about the experiments using the Freedom of Information Act and a related federal lawsuit.

In September 2017, Dr. Jane Goodall joined the campaign and sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb urging him to cancel the study. In late September 2017, the FDA halted the study. Gottlieb then appointed an independent review team to investigate. This team found that the study was not consistent with the agency’s high animal welfare standards. In January 2018, Gottlieb ended it permanently and announced plans to retire the primates to a sanctuary.

JFPS, the largest New World Primate Sanctuary in the United States, was chosen as the most appropriate sanctuary to retire the monkeys. JFPS, founded in 1997, provides permanent, high-quality sanctuary care for New World monkeys being retired from laboratory research, ex-pets, or monkeys who have been confiscated by the authorities.

JFPS is one of the few primate sanctuaries in the nation who has experience in squirrel monkey care. The 26 squirrel monkeys will enjoy their retirement in neo-tropical natural habitats, as close to their natural wild habitat as possible.

Thankfully these squirrel monkeys no longer have to suffer in a laboratory for human research and can finally live their life in peace.

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