Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Petition to oppose plans to build a monkey breeding facility in Florida

19241 people have signed this petition so far

To: FWCC Director Colonel Calvin Adams, Jr.
Florida governor Rick Scott
US Senator Bill Nelson
US Senator Marco Rubio
US Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart
US Congressman Alcee Hastings
Florida Senator Dwight Bullard
Florida Representative Matt Hudson
Greg Gillman, President, Hendry County EDC
Karson Turner, Chair, Hendry County BOCC

We, the undersigned, oppose plans by SoFloAg/Biodia/PreLabs to build a commercial monkey breeding facility in Labelle, Florida and urge you to do all you can to oppose this proposed establishment which seeks to import thousands of non-native long-tailed macaque monkeys from outside the US into the state.

In making your decision, we ask you to consider:

  • That many members of the public and scientific community are concerned about the use of these intelligent, social animals in laboratory research and the effect of the trade on the conservation of the species in the wild
  • That animal experimentation has a limited carryover to successful human trials
  • That advanced technologies are increasingly replacing animal experimentation; these cost-effective techniques produce faster results and are more applicable to humans
  • The potential risk and impacts of the escape and establishment of a third non-native monkey species in Florida, including:
    • Public safety and human health issues:
      • Hundreds of monkeys escaped after Hurricane Andrew which set off a panic in the streets of Miami
      • The potential zoonotic diseases arising from monkey-human contact and potential disease risk from runoff and animal waste at the facility
      • Potential threats to Florida’s native ecosystems:
        • Procedures to deal with contaminants in animal bedding and other waste are typically required in the industry, but neighbouring lands and aquifers may not be protected
        • Rhesus macaques previously introduced to the state have damaged mangroves and impacted native bird populations
      • Economic issues, including the potential impact to Florida agriculture, specifically Hendry County’s resident citrus and avocado farmers – non-native macaques similarly introduced to Puerto Rico decimated fruit groves

As it stands, no one at the local, state or federal level will evaluate the potential impacts of the introduction of this non-native species beforehand, despite state findings that after-the-fact remedies are ineffective

  • And finally that, based on the promised job figures and bearing in mind the industry’s standard roles and salaries, two-thirds of the workforce may actually earn incomes below federal poverty standards and below Hendry County’s median household income.

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