Community in court over monkey farm breeding practices

A Hendry County monkey farm has been condemned for violent monkey breeding practices—and the community says what they’re doing is a direct threat to their lives.

The year-long battle sparked back up again in court Monday over monkey farms that neighbor sacred land in the county.

“The health and safety dangers that are posed by these thousands of primates in closed confined quarters…ultimately our goal is seeking an injunction to prevent the practices which they engage in,” said Justin Cochran of Zuckerman Spader Law Firm.

People living on the Big Cypress Indian Reservation say hundreds of monkeys being contained at facilities just miles away from where they live and hunt are threatening their lives and the environment around them.

But defendants of the monkey farms say they’re working in compliance with the Florida law and have been without any incident since their facilities opened five years ago.

Still, many people say they’re left in the dark about what goes on at the facilities.

“You never know if there’s one loose. It’s going to jump on you. You just can’t understand a monkey because they’re not native here. You always have to be on your best guard, which you shouldn’t have to in your own backyard,” said Virginia Mitchell of the Big Cypress Reservation.

Right now, the judge is reviewing both sides of the arguments and no decision has been made yet on the next motion in court.