International Primate Protection League

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International Primate Protection League

Founded in 1974 by Shirley McGreal, International Primate Protection League (IPPL) is a global conservation organization that works to protect nonhuman primates, especially monkeys and apes (chimpanzees , orangutans, gibbons , and gorillas).

IPPL has 30,000 members, branches in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia , and field representatives in 31 countries. Its advisory board consists of scientists, conservationists, and experts on primates, including the world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall , whose famous studies and books are considered the authoritative texts on chimpanzees. Her studies have also heightened public interest and sympathy for chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates.

IPPL runs a sanctuary and rehabilitation center at its Summerville, South Carolina headquarters, which houses two dozen gibbons and other abandoned, injured, or traumatized primates who are refugees from medical laboratories or abusive pet owners. IPPL concentrates on investigating and fighting the multi-million dollar commercial trafficking in primates for medical laboratories, the pet trade , and zoos, much of which is illegal trade and smuggling of endangered species protected by international law. IPPL is considered the most active and effective group working to stem the cruel and often lethal trade in primates.

IPPL's work has helped to save the lives of literally tens of thousands of monkeys and apes, many of which are threatened or endangered species . For example, the group was instrumental in persuading the governments of India and Thailand to ban or restrict the export of monkeys, which were being shipped by the thousands to research laboratories and pet stores across the world.

The trade in primates is especially cruel and wasteful, since a common way of capturing them is by shooting the mother, which then enables poachers to capture the infant. Many captured monkeys and apes die enroute to their destinations, often being transported in sacks, crates, or hidden in other devices.

IPPL often undertakes actions and projects that are dangerous and require a good deal of skill. In 1992, its investigations have led to the conviction of a Miami, Florida, animal dealer for conspiring to help smuggle six baby orangutans captured in the jungles of Borneo. The endangered orangutan is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), as well as by the United States Endangered Species Act . In retaliation, the dealer unsuccessfully sued McGreal, as did a multi-national corporation she once criticized for its plan to capture chimpanzees and use them for hepatitis research in Sierra Leone.

A more recent victory for IPPL occurred in April 2002. In 1997, Chicago O'Hare airport received two shipments from Indonesia, each of which contained more than 250 illegally imported monkeys. Included in the shipments were dozens of unweaned baby monkeys. After several years of pursuing the issue, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Federal prosecutors charged the LABS Company (a breeder of monkeys for research based in the United States) and several of its employees, including its former president, on eight felonies and four misdemeanors.

IPPL publishes IPPL News several times a year and sends out periodic letters alerting members of events and issues that affect primates.

[Lewis G. Regenstein ]



International Primate Protection League, P.O. Box 766, Summerville, SC USA 29484 (843) 871-2280, Fax: (843) 871-7988, Email: [email protected], <>

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International Primate Protection League

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International Primate Protection League