INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PRIMATE BREEDING FACILITY IN PUERTO RICO
Please support the international campaign to stop the building of a primate
breeding facility in Guayama City in Puerto Rico. There is already local
opposition to this construction and we want to offer our support by
launching an international effort to stop Puerto Rico from becoming a major
player in the cruel trade in primates for research. We understand that the
project is being led by Bioculture, a primate supply company from Mauritius
that ships long-tailed macaques around the world to be used in research
Such a proposal is highly controversial and is a major step backwards at a
time when the ethical and scientific use of nonhuman primates in research is
being challenged internationally by scientists as well as others.
Primates are highly intelligent, social animals with complex behavioral and
psychological needs. The cruelty and suffering involved in the international
trade in primates for research has been well documented; in particular, the
injuries and mortalities involved in the capture of monkeys from the wild
and the stress and suffering involved in their confinement in captivity. The
common fate of many primates in the research industry is to be used in
toxicity testing which involves the forced ingestion, inhalation or
injection of potentially lethal and poisonous chemicals
Please help by writing to the following people calling on them to dissociate
Puerto Rico from the suffering and cruelty inherent in the trade in primates
for research. If the construction is allowed to go ahead then this will not
only result in the suffering of thousands of monkeys, it will also have a
negative and detrimental impact on Puerto Rico’s image abroad.
Honorable Glorimari Jaime Rodríguez
Municipio Autonomo de Guayama
Oficina de Plan de Orden Territorial
P.O. Box 360.
Puerto Rico 00785-0360
Executive Assistant: ten.iuqoc|amgfp#ten.iuqoc|amgfp
Congressman Pedro Pierluisi
1218 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Fax: (202) 225-2154
Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño
P.O. Box 9020082
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fax: (787) 721-5072
Tere Nolla, Aide to the Governor:
Evelyn Cruz, Personal Executive Admin Assistant:
Laura Maristany, Public Affairs Liaison:
Rosemarie Vizcarrondo, Puerto Rico District Office Director:
Eduardo Hilera, Legislative Correspondent:
(if you have a time please write your own letter or use another sample from: http://www.kinshipcircle.org/letter_library/letter_new.asp?LetterID=1848&se)
I applaud the court decision halting construction of the Bioculture primate-breeding facility in Guayama. Puerto Rico should not participate in the cruel international primate trade. At a time when the ethics regarding the use of primates in research are being criticized internationally, it is disheartening to learn that Puerto Rico would ever consider becoming a major player in the supply of primates for research. I fear that, although construction has been halted, Bioculture may appeal this decision. Therefore I urge officials to ensure permanent termination of Bioculture's project, along with any future primate facilities. I hope that you consider local and global opposition to the breeding of monkeys for use in experimentation.
Construction of primates breeding facility is a major step backwards at a time when the ethical and scientific use of nonhuman primates in research is being challenged internationally by scientists as well as others.
Primates are highly intelligent, social animals with complex behavioral and psychological needs. Their use in research raises serious ethical and scientific questions. Perhaps you are unaware of the common fate of primates in the research industry. These animals are likely to be subjected to pain and suffering, sometimes extreme, in the research laboratories to which they are shipped. For example, many of them will be used in toxicity testing which involves the forced ingestion, inhalation or injection of poisonous chemicals. After sometimes years of this type of abuse, the animals are then killed. Although there is controversy about this, many scientists agree that this type of testing and killing of these primates is unnecessary scientifically and is morally unacceptable.
At a time when the ethics regarding the use of primates in research is being raised internationally, it is disheartening to learn that Puerto Rico is planning to allow itself to become a major player in the supply of primates for research. Such a move will not only result in the suffering of thousands of monkeys, it will also have a negative and detrimental impact on Puerto Rico’s image abroad.
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01.01.2010 The Construction Barred by Court - Action Needed!!!
Please send emails again, check if you have signed all petitions. The email from PCRM site is a new one so please sign this one !!
By DANICA COTO Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press Dec. 30, 2009, 3:42PM
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A judge has barred construction of a monkey-breeding facility in southern Puerto Rico that has pitted people seeking an economic lifeline for their poor mountain town against other residents and animal activists.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by nine residents of Guayama and the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. They argued Bioculture Ltd., the company planning the facility, failed to hold public hearings or submit a full environmental impact statement. Bioculture denied the allegations.
"We're not resting on our laurels," PETA spokesman Justin Goodman said Wednesday. "If Bioculture attempts to pursue this project any further, we are poised for action."
Bioculture will appeal the ruling by next week, lawyer Jorge Martinez Luciano said. He represents the Mauritius-based company seeking to build a facility that would hold at least 3,000 macaque monkeys and supply them to pharmaceutical companies for research.
Superior Court Judge Juan Frau Escudero ruled that construction permits should not have been awarded because the facility would be built on land reserved for agricultural purposes.
"The monkeys are not being bred for consumption of their meat," the judge wrote in the 16-page ruling, which was issued last week but not made public until Wednesday.
Martinez dismissed the judge's definition of what qualifies as agricultural use, and he dismissed complaints by the townspeople involved in the lawsuit.
"None of them showed … they would suffer real and palpable damage," he said.
A judge previously suspended construction of the 13,000-square-foot (1,208-sqquare-meter) facility because Bioculture lacked appropriate environmental permits, but it received clearance in June.
The company has said it would employ at least 50 people and buy fruit from local farmers, an appealing promise for an island battling a nearly 16 percent unemployment rate.
Bioculture also has pledged to buy supplies for a local school whose principal collected 300 signatures in favor of the facility earlier this year.
"I support it 100 percent," principal Olga Colon said. "This is going to bring progress to the community, and jobs."
In recent years, Colon said she has seen dozens of unemployed families move from Guayama to the United States for work.
Local people who oppose the project fear the monkeys will escape just as others did from labs near the island's southwest region in the 1960s and '70s. Authorities are trying to get rid of the estimated 1,000 monkeys now living in that area by shooting them and even sent a group of them to a zoo in Iraq earlier this year.
Bioculture has said it hopes to open the breeding facility next summer, but Martinez said the company has not secured permits to import monkeys to Puerto Rico.
02.08.2009 PCRM: Monkey Farm Could Prove Catastrophic to Public Health
A proposed primate-breeding facility in the Puerto Rican city of Guayama could endanger public health and pose serious risks to the island’s environment. On July 22, PCRM joined an international coalition of nonprofit health and animal protection organizations to ask Puerto Rico to halt the construction.
On July 22, representatives from PCRM and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) joined the Puerto Rico Bar Association for a news conference in San Juan. The three organizations are calling on Gov. Luis Fortuño to halt the construction of Bioculture’s monkey farm in Guayama. Bioculture is a Mauritius-based primate supply company that ships long-tailed macaque monkeys, including those torn from the wild, around the world for use in product testing and experiments.
At the news conference, a PCRM physician and a BUAV veterinarian explained that monkeys are likely to escape from Bioculture’s Guayama facility. Such escapes could result in the establishment of another destructive invasive species in Puerto Rico, adding to the serious problems already caused by patas monkeys and rhesus monkeys who also invaded the island by escaping from a laboratory.
The facility may also emit air and water pollution. Primate facilities often use incinerators to dispose of waste and dead animals. These incinerators release ashes and soot from animal carcasses, along with chemicals that can cause cancer and damage human embryos.
“As a physician, I think the concerns expressed by Guayama residents about the Bioculture facility are well founded,” says Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., PCRM's director of research policy and a public health expert. “A monkey-breeding facility like this one could pose serious health risks to Guayama and the surrounding region.”
Bioculture has claimed that the probability of a monkey escaping from the new facility is zero, but a BUAV veterinarian will counter the claim and provide examples of recent monkey escapes at facilities considered to be highly secure.
“The authorities and people of Puerto Rico are being misled about the potential dangers of setting up a monkey-breeding facility,” says Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D., BUAV's veterinary primate consultant and emeritus professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis. “The reality is that escapes are bound to occur. If long-tailed macaque colonies get established in Puerto Rico, it will be devastating to the human population, through crop damage especially, and to indigenous wildlife.”
The experts also explained their concern that breeding primates for experimentation will not advance medical research. Recent reports in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal have criticized the usefulness of primate experiments, noting that they consistently fail to predict the safety and effectiveness of drugs in humans.
15.07.2009 A New CNN Video
13.06.2009 Proposed monkey breeding farm in Puerto Rico sparks international outcry
I pasted the article below but please go to the site as it counts the visits:
SAN JUAN, Puerto — As millions of Puerto Ricans join National Day Parade events across the USA as part of a celebration and appreciation of Puerto Rican culture, groups from around the world have launched an international campaign calling on the government of Puerto Rico to stop the construction of a major monkey farm.
The proposed farm in Guayama City will be established using macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from the island of Mauritius. Monkeys will be shipped to research laboratories around the world, in particular the USA, where their likely fate is pain, suffering and death.
The groups including the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) the IPPL (International Primate Protection League), PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) believe that such a proposal is a major step backwards at a time when the ethical and scientific use of nonhuman primates in research is being challenged internationally by scientists as well as others.
Primates are highly intelligent, social animals with complex behavioral and psychological needs which cannot be met in captivity. The cruelty and suffering involved in the international trade in primates for research has been well documented; in particular, the injuries and mortalities involved in the capture of monkeys from the wild and the stress and suffering involved in their confinement in captivity.
The USA is the world's largest user of primates in research and there has been a significant increase in the imports of long-tailed macaques in recent years from around 17,000 in 2004 to over 26,000 in 2008. Over 4,500 of these were imported from Mauritius. The common fate of many primates in the research industry is to be used in toxicity testing which involves the forced ingestion, inhalation or injection of potentially lethal and poisonous chemicals. After sometimes years of this type of abuse, the animals are then killed.
There are also concerns that these monkeys may be destined for federal programs on chemical and biological warfare. In the past, the government of India banned the export of rhesus macaques after learning of the radiation experiments that they were being subjected to in the USA. It is hoped that the government of Puerto Rico will stop the construction of the farm once they hear of the likely fate of the monkeys being bred on their land.
The Coalition of groups commented, "At a time when ethical questions about the use of primates in research are being raised around the world, it is disheartening to learn that Puerto Rico is planning to allow itself to become a major player in the supply of primates for research. It will not only result in the suffering of thousands of monkeys, it will also have a negative and detrimental impact on Puerto Rico's image abroad. As Puerto Ricans take to the streets to celebrate this weekend, we call on Governor Luis Fortuño to take a compassionate stance and refuse to allow Puerto Rico to become associated with the cruelty and suffering inherent in the trade in primates for research."