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US research monkey importer facing cruelty charges

AP Special Correspondent

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A U.S. importer of research monkeys faces cruelty charges in Los Angeles after 15 animals died during a global flight.

Robert Matson Conyers is set to stand trial beginning Monday on 10 counts involving a 2008 plane trip from Guyana in South America.

Officials say Conyers was shipping the monkeys to a buyer in Thailand but the plane was refused transit in China and returned to Los Angeles.

Officials there found 14 of the 25 monkeys packed into crates were dead. A fifteenth had to be destroyed.

The advocacy group Stop Animal Cruelty Now says the monkeys were dehydrated and resorted to cannibalism during the ordeal.

Conyers could face up to six months in jail and a $20,000 fine if convicted.

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