Hendry County has issued a press release asserting that media reports on a second secret new monkey breeding facility are “inaccurate” because the facility in question was constructed on property that has been used for primate breeding purposes for more than ten years. The County is “formally requesting a retraction or correction” due to “erroneous information.” (See County’s full statement below).
TheirTurn has posted the County’s statement but will not be issuing a correction or retraction to the original story. A response to the county’s statement issued by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) explains why TheirTurn’s story and those that followed are, in fact, accurate (see below).
Statement by Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF)
In its attempt to rebut news about a second new monkey breeding facility, the county has, in fact, confirmed its existence and the company behind it, Bioculture — the same company whose monkey breeding facility in Puerto Rico was shut down by the Puerto Rican Supreme Court after much controversy. The fact that Bioculture’s new facility was built on land that is also the site of another company that breeds monkeys (Primate Products) does not change the fact that Bioculture is a separate company that has built several new buildings that are designed to house and breed thousands of additional monkeys in Hendry County. (See satellite image below). Based on Hendry’s statement, both Bioculture and Primate Products lease the land for their respective primate facilities from Panther Tracts, LLC.
The news of the second new monkey breeding facility, which caught area residents by surprise, comes just four months after several Hendry residents sued the County for failing to hold a public meeting about a different monkey breeding facility, Primera Science Center. In a court hearing about the Primera facility, a Hendry lawyer compared the county’s approval of a new primate facility to that of a new restaurant, in spite of the county’s knowledge that residents have grave concerns about the public safety, environmental and animal cruelty issues associated with primate facilities in their community. Indeed, we believe it is the fact that these facilities are so controversial that has led Hendry County to keep them hidden from the public in the first place.
On March 22nd, Drones for Animal Defense took aerial footage of a monkey breeding facility in Hendry County that matches ARFF’s diagram showing Bioculture on a satellite image.