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Supreme Court: No monkey farm in PR

Court's final ruling marks end of Bioculture, Inc.'s plan for monkey-breeding business in Guayama

January 18, 2012

The Daily Sun staff

In the conclusion to a lengthy and hard-fought lawsuit that was filed by Guayama citizens and PETA, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court has upheld previous decisions by lower courts and determined that Bioculture, Inc.'s monkey-breeding facility in Guayama was constructed illegally and cannot open for business. The island's highest court has also denied a motion for reconsideration on the ruling from Bioculture, making this decision the final blow to Bioculture's plan to capture more than 4,000 monkeys from Mauritius, confine them in cages in Guayama, and then sell their offspring for use in experiments at facilities abroad, such as Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, Charles River Laboratories, Pfizer, and Covance.

"From citizens' protests and local ordinances all the way to the Supreme Court, Puerto Rico has made it quite clear that it wants no part of Bioculture's bloody business," says PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo. "The final nail is now in Bioculture's coffin, and the 4,000 monkeys and generations of their offspring who would've suffered and died for the company's profit have been officially spared."

In 2010, Guayama Mayor Glorimari Jaime Rodríguez announced that the municipality had unanimously adopted a new law explicitly banning the import, export, breeding, and use of monkeys in experiments within its boundaries. Previously, the Puerto Rico Senate Environmental Committee found that Bioculture's facility was improperly built on land that was not zoned for the business's purposes, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Bioculture thousands of dollars for violating the federal Clean Water Act. Actor Benicio Del Toro and renowned primatologist Jane Goodall have voiced opposition to the project as well.

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