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Do monkeys carry diseases?

Many monkeys who arrive at sanctuaries from research facilities were involved in biomedical and toxicology studies where they may have been exposed to certain diseases, drugs, and chemical compounds. During some of these studies, the effect of a specific drug or chemical is tested on a monkey’s whole-body system. But after testing has ceased, the drug or chemical leaves the body and the monkey is healthy again (unless the test harmed the animal beyond recovery or it was a planned terminal study). Additionally, there are “control” monkeys, laboratory “favorites,” breeders, and monkeys used in cognitive testing who are generally not exposed to disease or chemical substances.


Primates Incorporated requires all incoming monkeys to have a clean bill of health before arriving at the sanctuary. Laboratories employ on-site veterinarians who can perform full physicals and blood analyses to ensure monkeys are healthy before their departure.


Monkeys from the pet trade will need to undergo a full physical as well and need to be given a clean bill of health prior to signing over ownership to the sanctuary. Please let us know if you need help finding a veterinarian who can help.