Votes to Bar Monkey Breeders
of the harshest language ever expressed by a legislative body, the Commonwealth
Senate repudiated the experimentation with several types monkeys on the
by New Progressive Party Sen. Melinda Romero, the Senate approved a resolution
that not only expressed its concern regarding the use of ITAL macaca fasciculavis
ITAL primates for biological experiments, but denounced the company that
attempted to introduce the practice to Puerto Rico.
want to make sure that the federal authorities understand the problem here
regarding the use of these animals for testing," Romero said. "I’m
completely opposed to the issue on the grounds that other things could be
done before a life is sacrificed.”
year, Bioculture of Puerto Rico tried to develop a medical facility in which
they would use ITAL macaca ITAL monkeys for research. The idea was heavily
criticized by local animal rights groups. Their concerns prompted the city
of Guayama to cancel the company’s operating permits. Two resolutions
were signed Wednesday by Mayor Glorimari Jaime and the city assembly banning
the company from entering Guayama. However, the concerns prompting the Senate
resolution were to keep them from trying to set up shop in other island
towns or cities.
Resolution 1514 will send a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services requesting that they also cancel
the operating permits granted to Bioculture on the grounds that the company
lied to local officials when it requested them.
never knew what the real number of monkeys was. They were dishonest to us
all the time and that’s something that we need to report,” added
all senators were in favor of the measure that generated an unusually intense
debate on the Senate floor. The only verbal opposition to the measure came
from NPP lawmaker Carmelo Ríos who cited the job-creating nature
of the companies such as Bioculture for his opposition.
is important to realize that we in Puerto Rico need to develop a medical
research industry and that testing on animals is an important part of that
effort," Rios said. "We need more industries, not less. If we
send this letter, what other research company will come here?”
Democratic Party Sen. Jorge Suárez rebuked Ríos calling him
"insensitive" to the people who don’t want a company such
as Bioculture on the island.
the only argument presented to oppose this measure is that of jobs, that
is sad," Suárez said. "We don’t need a monkey farm
to generate work. That company and many like them are performing work which
goes against our beliefs and that’s why I support the resolution.”