Puerto Rico Halts Construction of Monkey Breeding Facility
The Puerto Rico Court of Appeals has ruled that the Bioculture primate supply company cannot move forward with plans to build a monkey breeding facility. For more than two years PCRM and other organizations have worked to stop construction of the facility.
PCRM and others argued that monkeys would be likely to escape from the facility in Guayama, Puerto Rico. Such escapes could result in ecological damage in Puerto Rico, adding to the serious problems already caused by patas monkeys and rhesus monkeys who escaped from a laboratory.
The facility would also emit air and water pollution into the well-preserved local natural environment. Primate facilities often use incinerators to dispose of waste and dead animals. These incinerators release ashes and soot from animal carcasses, along with chemicals that can cause cancer and damage human embryos.
In addition, the breeding of monkeys and selling of their offspring for painful, ineffective experiments is unethical. And the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal have criticized the usefulness of primate experiments, noting that they consistently fail to predict the safety and effectiveness of drugs in humans.
Members of the Puerto Rico government also stepped in to try to stop the building. In November 2009, a commission established by the Senate of Puerto Rico released a scathing report castigating a number of government agencies for poor oversight. The commission also found that Bioculture supplied misleading and contradictory information to obtain permits for the project.
The recent court ruling is a victory for the people of Puerto Rico and the monkeys who would have been used in cruel experiments on the U.S. mainland and elsewhere.
To learn more about PCRM’s campaigns to stop animal experiments, visit PCRM.org/Research.