It’s not an episode of Nurse Jackie, but it could be a health emergency! Emmy Award–winning actor Edie Falco is joining PETA in calling on Florida Interim Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip to take an important step to prevent the spread of the Zika virus: Shut down the massive facilities in Hendry County that import, warehouse, and breed monkeys.
In a letter sent to Dr. Philip this week, Falco writes:
“At these facilities, thousands of monkeys are kept in crowded open-air cages surrounded by ditches and swamps. … [I]t’s just a matter of time until the virus hits the jackpot—thousands of stressed, caged monkeys who cannot escape hungry mosquitos.”
Monkeys, like humans, are natural hosts for the Zika virus—and may not show any symptoms when infected. Thousands of monkeys are now housed by several primate dealers in Hendry County, including the notorious Primate Products, Inc. (PPI). Video shot inside PPI by PETA reveals improper drainage and standing water inside the compound—conditions ripe for mosquito breeding.
“I found Florida to be rich in wildlife and natural beauty. It is a shame to know that these feeling, intelligent monkeys are being warehoused and abused there, and worse yet, these monkey prisons are the perfect breeding ground for the Zika virus to hide out and multiply undetected.”