Hendry County concluded an investigation Wednesday into two local primate breeding facilities. The county was concerned the companies were performing practices outside of their agricultural permits.
The county found no violations.
The investigation was sparked when the county received United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports. The reports suggested the companies – Primate Products and the Mannheimer Foundation - were doing things like research and experiments on monkeys.
County Administrator Charles Chapman said what the USDA counts as possible research still falls under appropriate agricultural uses – things like drawing blood to test the animal’s health.
“Once we got that clarification from the USDA on how they defined those documents and those categories, it kind of cleared it up for us so we could make a determination that they were still operating within the spirit of the agricultural land use,” he said.
The investigations began in March and early April. They involved an announced site visit for each company and consultations with USDA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agents.
Chapman said the cases are closed.