The USDA has officially terminated exotic pet dealer Jim Hammonds’ Animal Welfare Act license, according to PETA.
The animal rights group previously filed a complaint with the USDA against Florida-based Hammonds, also known as “The Monkey Whisperer,” which lists his convictions, including felony conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and three counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
Hammonds, best known for selling a capuchin monkey to Chris Brown, is blocked from legally selling primates to the pet trade for at least a year. “Exotic animals are not pets, toys or celebrity props, nor are they business transactions,” said PETA Foundation’s director of captive animal law enforcement, Michelle Sinnott, in a press release. “PETA celebrates the USDA’s decision to strip this criminal of his license before he could further exploit vulnerable animals.”
In March 2022, Hammonds pleaded guilty to wildlife trafficking charges, with court documents claiming the breeder illegally sold the singer the capuchin monkey back in 2017 for a total of $12,650. Prosecutors further alleged that the Hammonds conducted the sale in Nevada to make it appear that a resident of the state had purchased the primate, since it is illegal to own one as a pet in Brown’s home state of California. In June, the Hammonds were sentenced to five years of probation and more than $90,000 in fines for violating federal wildlife laws.
Brown was forced to turn the capuchin in 2017. Brown charged with misdemeanor but was not named in the federal case against Hammond.