Large Primate Facility Meets
Hendry County Standards
Area Hendry County residents have been distressed by news that a facility that breeds large primates for use in research is preparing to move into western Hendry County near Lehigh Acres border.
Some residents are responding to an internet video clip that purports to show animal abuse and claims the facility would bring in animals infected with diseases such as ebola from an island off the African coast and captive macaques are carriers of the herpes B virus.
The Primera facility, located south of SR 80 abutting the Lee County line, already has roads in and fencing up on 34.17 acres the company purchased some time ago.
Of the total acreage, 2.31 acres will be covered by buildings; 2.61 will be paved; and 29.25 acres will remain open wooded space.
The Oak Creek Hammock Site Development, as it is known, is about a year old in Henry County. The plan calls for an office, vet buildings, equipment shed, feed storage, temporary office trailer, animal enclosures and an animal support building.
The wooded site is to be buffered on all four sides by existing trees.
The west side is fenced and, along with the south, has an existing fire lane.
The site plan indicates that the facility’s potable water will be governed by Hendry County regulations and two deep water wells.
Hendry County EDC President Gregg Gillman expects the facility will open in three or four months.
Hendry County has issued the following statement about the Primera facility:
In response to recent media coverage of a new primate breeding facility to be located in Hendry County, Florida.
“Hendry County Government is concerned with the current efforts being made by media outlets and animal rights activists in an effort to oppose the nonhuman primate (NHP) breeding facility, known as Primera that is currently under construction in Hendry County, Florida.
“Hendry County’s position is to clearly communicate the responsibility of the Board of County Commissioners over such nonhuman primate facilities.
“Hendry County’s authority is only to address the proper land use, zoning, site layout, drainage, buffering, and traffic impacts of such a facility, as well as building construction standards.
“Animal husbandry (breeding) falls under the agriculture land use of the property procured by Primera. As such, primate breeding and holding is an allowable use under the land use category where Primera is constructing their facility.
“Supervision for the conduct of Primera’s business falls under various state and federal agencies, not Hendry County Government. The agencies that review Primera’s operations for example are the United States Department of Agriculture, United States Center for Disease Control, United States Fish and Wildlife, and State of Florida Department of Agriculture.