US

Monkey business in Florida draws scrutiny from community and animal rights activists

  • In this April 7, 2015 photo, BJ Gerald, a retired horse trainer who lives a few miles from a monkey breeding facility, talks to a reporter, in Alva, Fla. With three monkey-breeding facilities and a fourth in development, rural Hendry County has become one of the country’s biggest suppliers of research primates. Gerald said she opposes the primate companies. She doesn’t think the facilities are humane and believes they were improperly permitted by Hendry County authorities. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

    In this April 7, 2015 photo, BJ Gerald, a retired horse trainer who lives a few miles from a monkey breeding facility, talks to a reporter, in Alva, Fla. With three monkey-breeding facilities and a fourth in development, rural Hendry County has become one of the country’s biggest suppliers of research primates. Gerald said she opposes the primate companies. She doesn’t think the facilities are humane and believes they were improperly permitted by Hendry County authorities. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)  (The Associated Press)

  • This April 7, 2015 photo shows a marker identifying the Hendry County line in Florida. The county is home to three monkey breeding farms containing thousands of primates. A fourth is in the works, and the possibility that the small, rural county will become the country’s biggest supplier of research primates has some neighbors and many animal rights activists howling. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

    This April 7, 2015 photo shows a marker identifying the Hendry County line in Florida. The county is home to three monkey breeding farms containing thousands of primates. A fourth is in the works, and the possibility that the small, rural county will become the country’s biggest supplier of research primates has some neighbors and many animal rights activists howling. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)  (The Associated Press)

With three monkey-breeding facilities and a fourth in development, rural Hendry County has become one of the country's biggest suppliers of research primates.

This has some neighbors and many animal rights activists howling.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed suit against the county, saying that officials didn't follow the state's Sunshine Law when it approved one of the facilities under an agricultural zoning designation.

Hendry County officials have launched an investigation into two of the facilities.

Officials want the companies to explain what they do with the "nonhuman primates" on the property, and whether they perform research, tests or experiments on the animals.