For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Levy County, Fla. – This week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and more than 4,000 Gulf Hammock–area residents received urgent letters from PETA (letter to DeSantis here and to residents here) warning them about a plan to turn Levy County into a monkey importation center. The Chinese company JOINN Biologics has purchased 1,400 acres of land and plans to build a massive facility to receive and quarantine newly imported monkeys, effectively establishing the county as another point along the dangerous and deadly wildlife-trade chain. The monkeys would be sold and trucked to laboratories across the U.S. for use in barbaric experiments.
PETA’s letters call on Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has spoken out against the facility, and residents to ask him to stop the facility from being built. The letters note that monkeys in the wildlife trade are often stressed, injured, and exposed to pathogens that can spread to humans. Often pathogens slip through without detection during quarantine screening, and some don’t show up until months or years later—and new, unidentified viruses with pandemic-causing potential are a risk, too. JOINN’s facility, which could house thousands of monkeys a year, could introduce monkeys’ urine, feces, and other bodily secretions into the environment, where other animal species would be affected. Some animals might even escape, as has happened at other monkey facilities. And earlier this year, a truck transporting monkeys to a quarantine facility crashed and the animals who escaped were shot because of the fear that they could be carrying dangerous pathogens.
“This misguided facility would mean misery for the monkeys warehoused there, and it would put the health of every Levy County resident at risk,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “We must stop JOINN’s plan before a single brick is laid.”
Long-tailed macaques, one of the species JOINN will most likely import, are now recognized as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—in large part due to their capture and exploitation as part of the international wildlife trade to U.S. laboratories, where they’re mutilated, poisoned, deprived of food and water, forcibly immobilized in restraint devices, infected with painful and deadly diseases, psychologically tormented, and killed.
The land JOINN purchased—according to reports, one of the biggest recent Chinese acquisitions of U.S. land—isn’t zoned for quarantining imported animals, but the company still appears to be going ahead with its plans.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.