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Puerto Rico Senator Joins PETA in Fight to Stop Monkey-Breeding Facility

Puerto Rico Senator Joins PETA in Fight to Stop Monkey-Breeding Facility

Sen. Melinda Romero Donnelly Files Senate Resolution Urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to Stop Bioculture

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2010

Contact: Shalin Gala 757-622-7382

San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico Sen. Melinda Romero Donnelly has filed Senate Resolution 1514, which urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) not to grant Bioculture Puerto Rico, Inc., licenses or permits to import, confine, breed, or sell monkeys at a massive facility being constructed in Guayama. Bioculture plans to capture more than 4,000 monkeys from Mauritius, confine them to cages in the Guayama facility, force them to breed, and sell their offspring to U.S. and foreign laboratories for use in painful and deadly experiments.

PETA and Romero Donnelly have also written letters to the USDA and FWS urging them to condemn the project. The letters and Resolution 1514 outline Bioculture's repeated violations of Puerto Rican and U.S. laws--violations that were discovered during an investigation by Puerto Rico's Senate Environmental Committee.

Earlier this year, the Senate Environmental Committee found that Bioculture demonstrated a "defiant and disrespectful attitude to the law." The committee also found that the facility was improperly built on land that was not zoned for its purposes and raised serious concerns about whether government agencies had failed to adequately consider the impact that the project would have on local citizens and their water supplies and land. The committee also noted that at least four agencies have halted Bioculture's progress because of the company's "failure to fulfill the agreements or permits given." In March 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Bioculture thousands of dollars for violating the federal Clean Water Act.

In response to a lawsuit filed by Guayama citizens and PETA, a Superior Court judge ruled that Bioculture's construction permit was invalid and halted construction of the facility. An appeals court subsequently allowed construction to continue pending the outcome of an ongoing legal battle between PETA and Bioculture. 

For more information, visit PETA's website PETA.org.

http://www.peta.org/MC/NewsItem.asp?id=15114

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