US Firm Plans City Of 30,000 Monkeys For Medical Research, Locals Outraged

Monkeys and baby

A plan to build a 200-acre mini-city for monkeys in Georgia, in the US, is facing a backlash from local residents and animal rights group. According to The Guardian, the facility is meant to house 30,000 macaques that will be used for research purposes. It has been planned by Safer Human Medicine, which is spending $396 million simian metropolis. The plan includes assembling thousands of long-tailed macaques in vast barn-like structures and sending them to universities and pharmaceutical companies for medical research, the outlet further said.


But residents of Bainbridge, which has a population of less than 15,000, are calling on local authorities to block the construction of the proposed city. “They’re an invasive species and 30,000 of them, we’d just be overrun with monkeys,” Ted Lee, a resident of the city, told The Guardian. “I don’t think anybody would want 30,000 monkeys next door,” added David Barber, who lives very close to the new facility.

Animal rights groups have also come together to oppose the plan, arguing that breeding primates for medical tests is cruel.

“This move not only further threatens the survival of these primates in the wild, it perpetuates a cycle that we should be breaking away from. We urge local officials to reject the proposal to build this facility and the federal government to prioritise science that will ultimately save both human and animal lives,” said Kathleen Conlee, vice-president of animal research issues for the Humane Society.

PETA said on its website that Bainbridge residents have filed a lawsuit against the authorities and its officials who voted to approve a plan to build the monkey-breeding facility.

However, the company said the macaques in specially outfitted warehouses will be able to roam freely and socialise. It also said that the monkeys will be kept in highly secured conditions, and will not spread disease in the area.

“We all depend on these critical primates to save the lives of our loved ones and ourselves,” Safer Human Medicine said in an open letter to residents.

It has also filed a legal complaint against the local development authority, insisting that they should stick to the earlier agreement.

The facility initially secured tax breaks ahead of construction, although those have now been withdrawn ahead of a decision by local authorities over whether to allow the project.

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