Monkey Breeding and Experimentation in Puerto Rico


Animal protection organizations across the world have launched a campaign calling on the government of Puerto Rico to stop the construction of a major monkey farm following reports that the monkeys will be supplied to the international research industry, in particular in the U.S., which is the world’s largest user of primates in research.  It is understood that the farm in Guayama will be established using macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from the island of Mauritius.

The groups, including the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), the IPPL (International Primate Protection League), and PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), believe that such a proposal is highly controversial and 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. The cruelty and suffering involved in the international trade in primates for research has been well documented. 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.

It should be noted that, because of previous U.S. experimentation centers established in Puerto Rico in the 60s and 70s, two species of primates currently thrive on the island of Puerto Rico: rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas). Both species originated from the La Parguera Primate Facility, which was administered by the Caribbean Primate Research Center of the University of Puerto Rico’s Medical Sciences Campus from 1961 until 1982 through a contract with the Food and Drug Administration. Primates were introduced to Isla Cueva and Isla Guayacán, off the southwest coast near Guánica. In 1974, the Center began to increase the number of breeding female rhesus monkeys to supply animals for the Sabin Poliomyelitis Virus Vaccine Program. Patas monkeys were introduced to the peninsulas between 1971 and 1981.

During this time, an unknown number of monkeys of both species escaped into the regions of Sierra Bermeja, Lajas, Cabo Rojo, and San German. La Parguera Primate Facility, where monkeys also underwent experimentation with various drugs and substances (such as cannabis sativa), ceased operating in 1982, but many monkeys had already escaped to the main island. During the last 20 years, the escapees and their progeny have continued to cause problems in the area, plaguing farmers and worrying public health and environmental officials.

For full article on breeding farms, see–21-21–.html

For more information on how to help stop this and similar projects, see

Photo of a rhesus monkey (Caribbean Primate Center) from

Information on P.R. monkey experimentation,

7 thoughts on “Monkey Breeding and Experimentation in Puerto Rico

  1. There is also recent proof that alot of these monkeys which escaped have mutated into a more human appearance and infiltrated into politics. They now control the legislative process on the island.

  2. Is so sad what are they doing to this animals. On TV the Rep. Pedro Pierluisi spoke on favor of this criminal acct. Monkeys have their right to live in jungle in peace.
    Dear CNN reporters keep bringing news from Puerto Rico….. Take a look to public schools and hospitals is all a mass! What are they doing with the money they receive from US?

  3. I don’t understand why our politician do not realize that the world is becoming smaller Internet blogs…and that people care about animal welfare and tourists speciallyz.Barceloneta already forgotten?
    Why do they want to Puerto Rico to remain in the dark ages regarding the way our animals are treated.
    Our shelters have a 4% adoption rate ! Out of a 100 animals 96 are killed!
    They don’t support TNR although it is used more and more wordly .No we know better . Killing is not animal control. Let’s join the civilized world.

  4. It is sick and disgusting what our government will do for money. I fully agree with Sylvine, instead of becoming an example of ethical treatment of animals, we have stooped even lower.

    I hope our government will consider the lives of these animals, as well as their people, and stop this madness. If they decide not to, I hope we have the backing of major animal rights groups in the States to help us fight against it.

  5. To Entities of Monkey Breeding:
    Such arrogance! Clean up your act before you propose to build a facility for the purpose of breeding thousands of primates. Due to your history of negligence, poor oversight, control and follow-up, Puerto Rico now has a problem with wild, non-native and dangerously viral monkeys, descendants of your lab monkeys which now endangers the lives of our citizens. Have you forgotten the origins of Yellow Fever and Malaria! How dare you bring these monkeys to our tropical island where mosquitoes are likely to become vectors of unknown diseases. Why don’t you use your funds to clean up your previous mess and collect all the monkeys that you left behind as well as their offspring that are currently running wild and spay and neuter them. STRICT CONTROL MUST BE ENFORCED IN ORDER TO PREVENT A FUTURE CATASTROPHE AND ALL INGREDIENTS THAT CULMINATES IN A POTENTIAL EPIDEMIC MUST BE EXPOSED AND ERADICATED. WE WILL NOT AND MUST NOT ALLOW PUERTO RICO TO BECOME YOUR NEW AFRICA!!!

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