With the confirmation that Zika is now being locally transmitted in Florida, “pregnant” PETA protesters converged outside the Borinquen Health Care Center in Miami on Tuesday to demand the closure of the massive monkey importation and breeding laboratories located in nearby Hendry County.
These facilities—including the Mannheimer Foundation, Bioculture (BC US), and Primate Products, Inc., where PETA exposed violations of animal-protection regulations—confine thousands of monkeys used for experiments and breeding to unhygienic, outdoor open-air cages. These conditions are ripe for mosquito breeding and the infection of large populations of captive monkeys, who, like humans, can be infected with Zika by mosquitos.
“Florida is facing a public health crisis, and these massive swampy monkey prisons are poised to become a reservoir for the Zika virus,” says PETA Senior Laboratory Oversight Specialist Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on the Florida Department of Health to protect mothers, babies, and monkeys by shutting these cruel facilities down as soon as possible.”