There’s now a big legal battle over plans to open a facility in Hendry County, Florida to house and breed monkeys, reportedly for use in laboratory experimentation. More than 3,000 monkeys would be housed there. But, now, Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit seeking to void approval of the facility, charging local lawmakers violated Florida’s Sunshine law, claiming the decision was made behind closed doors. Attorney Chris Berry of ALDF talks to journalists Jane Velez-Mitchell and Donny Moss. Hendry County Statement and Primera Science Center Statement linked here. Here is a link to Hendry County Commissioners. Click here to read the ALDF lawsuit.
Donny Moss, a JaneUnChained contributor, has reached out to Primera without success. Representatives from the company and/or Hendry County are invited to appear on JaneUnChained.com any time. Meanwhile, here is Primera’s statement below.
STATEMENT FROM PRIMERA
November 10, 2014 From: Primera Management To: Hendry County Board of Commissioners & Residents Re: Response to the Recent Media Coverage & Animal Rights Activities Primera is currently a target of animal rights extremist groups. These groups have been known to harass employees of organizations such as ours as well as other companies related to the transportation, brokering, supply or any other related activity with regards to animals used in biomedical research. Such groups have the potential to commit illegal acts such as trespassing, property damage, disrupting business operations, making false & disparaging statements, illegally obtaining confidential information to disclose to the public and invading the privacy of our neighbors, employees and their families. For these reasons, Primera must protect the privacy and security of the respective parties. Primera has assembled a team of recognized industry experts, including nonhuman primate veterinarians, geneticists, animal welfare and breeding/housing specialists, who have taken into consideration the variables (whether by acts of nature or human error) and consequently designed an innovative facility with a program designed for the safety of humans, animals and the environment. Primera is committed to improving the quality of human and animal life. Our focus is aligned
with the principles of the 3R’s (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) in our unwavering
commitment to refining the nonhuman primate research model and reducing the number of animals used in biomedical research. Hendry County, FL is ideally situated in a subtropical climate which is conducive to agricultural operations & animal welfare, ground/air transportation accessibility and the local community’s appreciation for animals and their use. We stand by our commitment to create jobs and use the local community’s offerings to promote economic development. Over the past several years, Primera has delivered on our commitment to utilize local businesses and resources towards the development of the facility. Primera
s business function falls under the agriculture zoning that is required by Hendry County for such activities. Primera has fulfilled all the necessary environmental impact and survey requirements to obtain permitting. The waste management and water supply systems have been reviewed and permitted by the appropriate regulatory agencies. The distorted and unsubstantiated media coverage is designed to misguide the public and convey an agenda-driven story. It is propaganda which is based on various unfounded statements, unrelated background, and false accusations. For example, Primera will not be importing 3,200 nonhuman primates from Biodia, Africa or anywhere else, as false media
reports repeatedly claim. We request consideration from the general public to research and educate themselves as opposed to accepting the false claims made by the media. The concerns about the origin of primates from the island of Mauritius also brought forth the erroneous topic of the potential of the ebola virus being imported into Hendry County. This concern is unfounded as the ebola virus being discussed is not found in Mauritius, but rather thousands of ocean miles away in central regions of Africa. The United States Fish and Wildlife and Center for Disease Control (CDC) enforce strict regulations on the importation of nonhuman primates and require the quarantine of such imports. Importers must satisfy rigorous federal testing and oversight requirements which have long been established. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) also enforces strict regulations and oversight governing the care and welfare of these nonhuman primates, as established by the federal Animal Welfare Act. These governmental agencies regularly audit the facilities as per their respective protocols. The unbalanced and shock-value style of reporting portrayed in the media by various animal rights extremist groups reflects a prejudicial and biased image of Primera and the biomedical research community. We want to assure Hendry County residents that Primera is in full compliance with the rules, guidelines and laws at the local, state and federal levels. Primera is committed to meeting the highest standards with the utmost respect for the safety and preservation of the surrounding environment and its residents. Respectfully, Primera Management