The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a penalty of $3,250 against Bioculture Puerto Rico, Inc., for failing to comply with water pollution guidelines of the federal Clean Water Act during the construction of a massive monkey breeding facility in Guayama. PETA has submitted formal comments praising the EPA’s actions and urging the agency to go a few steps further by revoking Bioculture’s permit for stormwater discharges and halting construction of the devastating project. Bioculture plans to capture monkeys from Mauritius, cage thousands of them in the Guayama facility, and sell their offspring to U.S. laboratories to be used in experiments. “Bioculture violated permit requirements left and right, and has now racked up a federal violation for polluting the precious water supply of Puerto Rico. On top of that, it plans to bring thousands of monkeys from eastern Africa–likely killing their mothers in the process–even though monkeys who have escaped from laboratories are already running rampant in Puerto Rico,” says PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. The EPA’s actions follow an investigation by Puerto Rico’s Senate Environmental Committee, which found that Bioculture demonstrated a “defiant and disrespectful attitude to the law” and that the agencies that were responsible for granting approval for the project may have acted improperly by failing to adequately consider the impact that the project would have on local citizens and their water supplies and land.
In response to a lawsuit filed by Guayama citizens and PETA, a Superior Court judge found that Bioculture’s construction permit should not have been issued because the land is not zoned for such a facility and ruled that all further construction of the monkey-breeding facility be halted. Construction was subsequently allowed to continue pending appeal. PETA has filed two legal briefs in opposition to appeals by Bioculture and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
For more information, visit PETA’s Web site StopAnimalTests.com.