101 East

The Transnational World of Primate Testing

101 East investigates the global demand for monkeys for medical testing and the efforts to stop smuggling cartels.

Across the world, primates are in high demand.

Monkeys are used in biomedical labs to develop potentially life-saving drugs for humans.

But when China banned exports of lab monkeys in 2020, a global black market emerged, with monkeys costing up to $40,000 each.

In Cambodia, whistleblowers allege government involvement in the trafficking of wild monkeys. Animal rights activists are calling for an end to “inhumane” trials.

Meanwhile, as some scientists work on alternatives to animal testing, others help give monkeys new lives beyond the laboratory.

101 East visits the United States, India, France and Cambodia to examine the global monkey business.