Monday, March 23, 2015

Monkey Breeding Protests Increasing

LABELLE, FL. -- An animal rights group is claiming a second macaque monkey breeding facility has been secretly given permission to raise non-human primates for eventual sale to biological experimenters in Hendry county.

Another facility in western Hendry is under fire by citizens suing Hendry County government for approving the facility under agricultural rules without public hearings. They claim that there is no designation in the Hendry county zoning code for non-human primate breeding and the county has slipped the business under the guise of an agricultural zoning. this week published a story indicating "The newly-discovered facility has already been built and is owned by the Mauritius-based company Bioculture. Bioculture is leasing land from Primate Products, a company that breeds monkeys and manufactures equipment for use in monkey labs.

Biolculture reportedly lost a court case in Puerto Rico after attempts to operate a monkey breeding facility there. "In 2012, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled that Bioculture’s already-constucted monkey breeding facility in Puerto Rico could not be opened because it was illegally built on land that was zoned for other purposes," said the TheirTurn story.

Hendry county responded in a press release today saying "Recent press articles and media coverage regarding Hendry County and a second primate facility in the works near Immokalee are inaccurate.

"The facilities in question, Primate Products, Inc. and BioCulture, are located on lands owned by Panther Tracts, LLC. The Panther Tracts, LLC property has been used for primate breeding purposes dating back more than ten years. Additional buildings were approved to be added on the land already in use for related activities.

"Hendry County is formally requesting a retraction or correction of all stories regarding the above mentioned due to erroneous information."

In an additional statement Tuesday the county said,

"Panther Tracts, LLC has been in operation through the proper required permits since 2001 and is up to date with all required building permits with Hendry County.

"The leasing or operations on a property are the responsibility of the property owner as long as operations comply with the approved federal, state and local permits required to conduct business.

"During the 2012 approval of the site development plan, the review met the approval of the Fire Marshall, County Engineer and the Hendry County Health Department.

"Subsequent building permits were issued by Hendry County in compliance with the approved site development plan as recently as 2014.

"This project falls within the permitted uses in the Agriculture future land use category and the General Agriculture zoning district, therefore, no public hearing was required.

"Hendry County stands by the rights provided to our property owners contained within the language of our comprehensive plan and land development code."

A group opposing experimental animal breeding is holding a news conference regarding the Primate Product facility Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Hendry County House Commission Meeting Room

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