Bainbridge Residents File Lawsuit Against Agencies to Block Monkey-Breeding Facility

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Decatur County, Ga.

Bainbridge residents filed a lawsuit yesterday against the City of Bainbridge, Decatur County, the Decatur County Board of Education, and the Decatur County Board of Assessors, which voted to approve a plan to build the largest monkey-breeding facility in the U.S. in violation of Georgia’s Open Meetings Act.

image shows a trio of people standing behind a row of signs attached to a table - text reads: The people have spoken: no monkey facility in Bainbridge
Credit: PETA

The agencies voted at a meeting on December 11 to approve a 20-year tax abatement scheme worth at least $58 million to lure the proposed facility. According to the lawsuit, the agencies failed to publish notices or agendas, record the presence or absence of their members, and identify individual members who voted to approve the project, along with violating the act in other ways. The plaintiffs argue that the violations make the agreements void and not binding.

“Public agencies are supposed to represent their constituents, not greedy businessmen from out of state,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “These officials apparently followed the dictates of Safer Human Medicine and held secretive meetings to attract a monkey-importation company that nobody wants to their community.”

The planned facility would import, breed, and warehouse monkeys destined to be poisoned, mutilated, and killed in pointless laboratory experiments, risking the spread of infectious diseases and degrading the environment.

PETA Manager of Primate Experimentation Campaigns Amy Meyer will join the plaintiffs and other concerned residents of Decatur County holding signs reading, “Stop the Monkey Farm!” to directly confront the Bainbridge City Council at its meeting on Tuesday evening.

The leaders of Safer Human Medicine, the company behind the plan, are former executives from Envigo, Charles River Laboratories, and Covance—animal experimentation companies that have faced federal investigations and citations for repeated violations of animal welfare regulations. PETA recently revealed that Safer Human Medicine CEO Jim Harkness, a former Envigo executive, lied to Georgia residents about issues at the company’s facility in Virginia that bred beagles to be sold to laboratories—after a PETA investigation and the violations it exposed led to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, the closure of the facility, and the release of nearly 4,000 beagles for adoption.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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