In response to a lawsuit filed by local citizens and supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Superior Court Justice Juan Frau Escudero has ruled that further construction of a massive monkey-breeding facility in Guayama, Puerto Rico, must be brought to an immediate halt. The court found that there were improprieties associated with Bioculture’s application and the permit process that followed.
Bioculture—a company that supplies primates to laboratories—planned to capture monkeys from Mauritius, hold thousands of them in cages in Guayama, and sell their offspring to US laboratories, where they were to be used in frightening, painful, and deadly experiments. PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo said that “PETA and everyone who cares about the well-being of animals are praying that this is the beginning of the end for Bioculture’s torture shop in Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rico’s Senate Environmental Committee found that Bioculture and the government had failed to adequately consider the impact that the project would have on local citizens, water supplies, and land, and stated that Bioculture’s disregard for the “protection and integrity of the cultural, historic, and archeological resources of the land” was “absolutely inadmissible and reprehensible.” The final report concluded that it “is not sensible” for Puerto Rico to support the project.
Opposition to the project was widespread in Puerto Rico and abroad. An international coalition of groups and individuals such as Guayama Mayor Glorimari Jaime, Guayama citizens, and public figures like Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro and renowned primatologist Jane Goodall have opposed the facility.