According to Ball, there were around 110,000 primates held in labs in the U.S. in 2013. Bringing another 3,200 breeding macaques into the country would lead to tens of thousands of new lives destined to end up as experiments, subjected to gruesome conditions. The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Hendry County in November on behalf of worried residents, who became suspicious of the new facility when they were neither notified of plans nor given the opportunity to discuss it within the community.
The facility is backed by "a mysterious entity called SoFlo Ag LLC," according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also reports that PreLabs was mentioned at a local board meeting, but it's unclear whether SoFlo Ag LLC is a front for PreLabs or whether the companies are connected in some other way. On repeated state filings, according to the lawsuit, SoFlo Ag LLC listed its primary office location as a UPS mailbox. The company also listed as its manager an entity called "XII LLC," which doesn't seem to exist.
The county has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and a hearing is scheduled for this Thursday to determine whether it can go forward. Activists are calling for supporters to show their support by gathering at the Hendry County Planning & Zoning Department.
UPDATE: A judge has denied Hendry County's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and the lawsuit will move forward.