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BUAV applauds the Puerto Rico Senate's opposition to monkey breeding facility

13/10/2010

The BUAV applauds the latest dramatic development and further blow to Bioculture, the Mauritius monkey supply company, trying to construct a monkey breeding facility on Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Senate has just approved a resolution that opposes the construction of the facility.

Led by Senator Melinda Romero, the Senate approved Resolution 1514 to send an official letter to the United States Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services requesting that they deny any permit requests by Bioculture to import macaques (Macaca fascicularis) into Puerto Rico. Without importing primates, Bioculture will not be able to establish a breeding farm.

Reported by the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, Senator Melinda Romero stated:

“I want to make sure that the federal authorities understand the problem here regarding the use of these animals for testing," Romero said. "I’m completely opposed to the issue on the grounds that other things could be done before a life is sacrificed.”

This vote follows a landmark action by the municipality of Guayama, the location of the farm, which has enacted new legislation effectively banning the import, export, breeding, and use of monkeys in experiments within its boundaries.

In May 2009, the BUAV received a tip off that Bioculture (a company based in Mauritius and Israel) planned to construct a monkey breeding farm in Puerto Rico to supply monkeys primarily to the US research industry. It was reported that 4,000 wild-caught monkeys from Mauritius would be used to establish the farm.

The BUAV joined forces with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and the Bar Association of Puerto Rico in a lengthy campaign to fight this proposal. Our campaign was supported by groups around the world, including the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) and members of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE). Opposition to the project has also been widespread in Puerto Rico itself, especially Guayama, the location for the proposed farm.

The BUAV's recent investigation on Mauritius has raised serious concerns about the trapping of wild monkeys, their treatment and the conditions in which they are been held captive on Mauritius. We sent our report to the Governor of Puerto Rico requesting he reconsider his continued support for the construction of a Bioculture facility.

Read more in the Puerto Rico Daily Sun