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Meet the Man Who Makes Monkey Torture Devices

April 17, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

His demeanor is professional, and voice is soft-spoken. You’d simply never know from this compelling disguise that Jeff Rowell makes monkey torture devices for a living.

Primate Products President Jeff Rowell (source: Amy Bennett Williams, News-Press)

Primate Products President Jeff Rowell (source: Andrew West, News-Press)

Among the cruelest devices are monkey restrainers and pole & collar systems. According to Primate Products, restrainers provide “trouble free accessibility,” and poles and collars, which are used to handle primates, help the monkeys to “quickly learn their role and become willing workers, reducing the need to physically handle the animal by force or use anesthetic restraint.”

monkey restrainer for lab experiments

According to Primate Products, the restrainer provides “trouble-free accessibility”

Following is footage that shows a lab worker using the pole and collar to transfer a monkey from her cage into the restraining device:

Primate Products is one of several companies at the center of the MonkeyGate scandal in Florida’s Hendry County, which, in spite of protests by local residents, is aiming to become the national hub for monkey breeding facilities that sell monkeys to labs for experiments.

Monkeys at Primate Products (source: News-Press)

Monkeys at Primate Products (source: Andrew West, News-Press)

In March, a reporter with Wink News informed the County Administrator, Charles Chapman, that Primate Products was conducting “experiments and tests” at its monkey breeding facility in spite of zoning laws which prohibited such activities. In response, Mr. Chapman sent a letter to Panther Tracks, Primate Products’ parent company, informing them of an investigation and asking for an explanation.

Hendry County officials to investigate Primate Products

Hendry County officials to investigate Primate Products

On April 15th, Jeff Rowell issued a response to the county claiming that Primate Products’ activities are, in fact, permitted under the agricultural zoning. The County has not yet publicly addressed Primate Products’ response.

In his letter, Mr. Rowell makes two other false statements; both are unrelated to the zoning violations. First, he claims that Primate Products’ monkeys were bred in captivity, in spite of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services documents showing that the company imported 630 monkeys who were “taken from the wild.” [Update: In an addendum to his original letter, Rowell concedes that some of the monkeys were caught in the wild].
Wild monkey in Mauritius, one of three locations where Primate Products acquires monkeys to breed and sell (photo: BUAV)

Wild monkey in Mauritius, one of three locations where Primate Products acquires monkeys to breed and sell (photo: BUAV)

Secondly, he asserts that the company abides by the “three guiding principles of ethical and humane use of animals in scientific research” — replacement, reduction and refinement. The success of Primate Products, which sells monkeys and primate lab equipment, depends on increasing the number animals used in research. In fact, Primate Products conducting a major expanding right now. While neither the company nor the county will divulge information about how many additional monkeys will be kept at the new facilities, experts who have reviewed the plans estimate the number to be between 5,000 and 14,000.
A partially completed expansion on the land owned by Primate Products

A partially completed expansion on the land owned by Primate Products

In his letter to Hendry County, Mr. Rowell also fails to address allegations by a whistleblower who accused the company of assigning c-section abortions to vet techs, instead of veterinarians. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Veterinary technicians cannot diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery, or engage in any activity prohibited by a state’s veterinary practice act.”

Primate Products performed the c-section abortions on pregnant monkeys to harvest and sell the organs of the dead fetuses and to sell the milk from the lactating mothers.

Prior to joining Primate Products, Jeff Rowell was the Director of Research at the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center. Undercover footage taken at the research center exposed such extreme cruelty under Rowell’s watch that the NIH ceased funding and removed 110 NIH-owned chimpanzees from the facility.

Your Turn

Please ask Hendry County’s five commissioners to stop the expansion of Primate Products pending county and/or state investigations: bocc1@hendryfla.net, bocc2@hendryfla.net, bocc3@hendryfla.net, bocc4@hendryfla.net, bocc5@hendryfla.net



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TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. Ann says:

    Does anyone here that has so much love, empathy, and compassion, for these monkeys also feel the same for infants that are aborted and embryonic stem cell research? I love animals as well but I find it a bit of a hypocrisy for people to cry over the treatment of these monkeys used for research but think nothing of aborted infants used for research. In my opinion, I wouldn’t care if a million monkeys died for a cure for cancer and if many of you cared for a loved one and watched them slowly die, while nothing could be done, suffering in pain, or slowly suffocating to death from lung cancer, you might change your mind too.

  2. Sharon M. says:

    Torture of primates has been going on for decades, maybe longer. It is done in the name of science. Supposedly, the experiments conducted on primates help bring new and better treatments, and medicines to humans. Laboratory rats are used the same way. So. The question becomes; do we continue to use animals for scientific advancement, humans, or just not try to find new cures, new methods for the ails of humanity? I am personally very torn over the question. Given the dangers associated with new medication and treatments to people, I am becoming more inclined to turn to ancient herbal treatments that are safe, and do not require the torture of any living mammal. Of course, that is not a money maker, and the widespread rejection of modern treatments and medications would cause a huge disruption in the medical industry.

    Do the people care enough to stop the use of mammals in medical experimentation? Are will it just remain a debate subject?

  3. Heidi Endres says:

    This sickens and saddens me to think that we are treating our fellow creatures in this way. Where are their rights? Don’t they have a right to live out their lives on this earth in peace too? Please think about what you are doing. Would you want this done to yourself or your spouse or children?

  4. D Chell says:

    So many people on the earth have no regards for the humane treatment of all creatures. This man is one of millions. Is there a way to show him how cruel his life work is? How could he grow, reach adulthood, thinking what he does is acceptable? I wonder what happens to his blood pressure as one of those sweet babies are strapped into that contraption? What was it in his family that raised a man to think this is acceptable behavior. All in the name of science? Too many other choices now, animals do not need to be treated this way.

  5. what kind of asshole does this

  6. sharon tamberlin says:

    my heart breaks and bleeds for all our GOD GIVEN gifts that are tortured “experimented” on and thrown away like trash GOD IS WATCHING

  7. Elinor Hawke-Szady says:

    Message sent. I’ll let you know if I receive a response of any kind. This is WRONG and should be stopped.

  8. There must be a way to stop this torture and painful treatment of these living feeling and sentient beings made for a life very different than the hellish treatment they experience day after day. What can I do to help I have very little money but this man and his invention is evil. In the name of medicine science and research does not count…while hugh abuses like these take place daily weekly and for decades.

  9. Natasha Brenner says:

    Sorry, I can’t read about this horror. Animal experiments are NOT the only way. Penicillin was delayed because it didn’t work on animals. Aspirin didn’t work. I hope this monster drops dead, twice!

  10. Alice Shollar says:

    I just moved rom Hendry county in De. 2014, after living there for 17 yrs. I can tell you this is NOT common knowledge to all residents. The people of that community will rid themselves of this TROLL.

    1. jerry macmillan jr says:

      Post this to people you know in florida and alert the media

    2. jerry macmillan jr says:

      Post this to people you know in florida and alert the media on facebook tweets and myspace

    3. jerry macmillan jr says:

      Post this to people you know in florida and alert the media on facebook tweets and myspace center for anticruelty to animals and PETA

  11. Elspeth O'Vanin says:

    Jeff Rowell is making his money off the torture and killings of monkeys. He lied and made false statements. C-sections on the mothers to get the fetuses. Horrible torture on these monkeys but this is business as usual to Rowell. Primate Products should be denied expansion. There should be more investigations, thorough investigations, on this hell hole for monkeys. Primate Products should be shut down for good.

  12. maria araujo says:

    how can any person do this and sleep at night?

    1. Pat says:

      GREED….$$$ that is ALL they are interested in. GOD BLESS OUR ANIMALS…..
      CLOSE these facilities

  13. Bob Heisler says:

    This sub-human Jeff Rowell truly is a Nazi-like evil monster. I hope that he and all vivisectors die immediately.

  14. Carmen Duaz says:

    This person it’s a monster. How could we accept such horrible people in this days

  15. Jo Ardell says:

    Poor Monkeys! This poor excuse of a “human” is a sick sadist! What a rotten way to “make a living”, making torture devices that will cause misery and suffering to helpless, defenseless little monkeys! Shame on him!!!

  16. lorna button says:

    PUT HIM IN THE CONTRAPTIONS AND LEAVE FOR FEW DAYS..TREAT HIM LIKE THE MONKEY AND SEE HOW HE LIKES IT….

  17. Michael Pitts says:

    messed up.

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