SAO: State attorney’s office reviewing Hendry County ‘Monkeygate’ case

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The state attorney’s office for the 20th judicial circuit in the Southwestern region of Florida confirms it is currently reviewing allegations of animal abuse and possible government corruption related to Hendry County’s monkey farms.

The secretive industry and suspected misdeeds have been called “Monkeygate” by opponents of the monkey farms.

Animal activists held a symbolic demonstration outside of the Lee County jail this afternoon requesting the release of thousands of “imprisoned” monkeys currently bred for animal experimentation and testing at Hendry County monkey farms.

Demonstrators marched from outside of the jail to state attorney Stephen Russell’s office demanding a full investigation into alleged animal abuse of the monkeys as well as possible public corruption involving Hendry County officials and Hendry County Economic Development Council CEO Gregg Gillman.

Animal-right’s organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released graphic video from an undercover investigation spanning eight months in which an undercover operative posed as a worker at Hendry County’s oldest monkey farm, Primate Products.  The video shows graphic images of monkeys pulled by their tails and forced into nets; cowering inside of blooding shipping boxes; and having their protruding innards forced back into their anuses.

Primate Products and the Mannheimer Foundation’s Haman Ranch are both the subject of current code-enforcement cases in Hendry County.

A WINK News investigation found hundreds of possible violations where both facilities were operating outside of their zoning restrictions, performing tests and experiments on their monkeys.


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