Lawsuit Shuts Down Puerto Rico Monkey FactoryPosted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Staff Attorney on January 23, 2012
Great news from Puerto Rico! The Puerto Rico Supreme Court has sounded the death knell for the Bioculture monkey breeding facility in Guayama after several years of litigation and public protest by local citizens and animal rights activists.
The Bioculture facility would have housed more than 4,000 primates captured from the wild, whose offspring would have been sold to research laboratories in the United States. But Guayama residents, supported by an international coalition of animal protection groups including ALDF, drew public attention to the proposed facility and pledged to fight its construction. The residents joined People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in filing a lawsuit challenging Bioculture’s permits.
As we reported last year, the plaintiffs won at the trial level, but Bioculture continued construction of the facility while it appealed the decision all the way up to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Last month, the high court upheld the trial court’s decision, and just last week, it denied Bioculture’s request for a rehearing.
Politicians continue to push involvement in the biomedical research industry as part of Puerto Rico’s economic development, but the popular activism and tenacious litigation surrounding the Bioculture facility should make them think twice about courting business from industries that exploit animals for profit.