Setback for opponents of monkey farm

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 21:29:51-04

A Hendry County judge ruled against an animal rights group suing over the county's dealing with a monkey breeding farm.

Judge James Sloan ruled the county did not violate state open records laws when it met with officials representing SoFlo Agriculture and Panther Tracts.   Both companies were trying to build and expand monkey breeding facilities in the county.

The judge said Sunshine Laws only apply to boards and commissions, not the staff that work for those elected bodies.

"I totally disagree with it," said Madeleine Doran, who is among several animal rights activists opposing the monkey farm.

"It was done in secret" Doran said of the project.  "The residents living within an 8th of a mile were not told about thousands of monkeys going in next door."

"We are pleased with Judge Sloan's ruling upholding our constant assertions that Hendry County did not violate Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law," said County Spokesperson Electa Waddell in a statement to Fox 4.

Animal rights activists began pressuring the county after the USDA began investigating another monkey farm in Hendry County, Primate Products.  Video surfaced showing monkeys being abused.