The owners of the PeonyLand nursery have dropped their proposed monkey kennel, but not because of intimidation by animal rights extremists.
Michael Hsu, who owns the business with his parents, Chao and Susan Hsu, said Wednesday an engineering review determined the proposed 23,800-square-foot kennel would have exceeded the percentage of the 47-acre Church Road property that can be built on under township regulations. He said reducing the size of the building was not considered.
"We are not capitulating because of the attacks," he said, referring to vandals who struck the greenhouses early Friday, destroying hundreds of valuable Chinese peonies and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Spray-painted threats mentioned the ALF, an apparent reference to the radical Animal Liberation Front.
The Hsu family will continue to process imported Chinese monkeys for laboratory use at an undisclosed location, Michael Hsu said. The Richland facility was intended to consolidate that operation and house up to 500 monkeys awaiting shipment to private and government laboratories.
"We are not new to the biomedical industry. We're proud to be in this industry, which is engaged in research to find cures for millions of Americans and improve their quality of life," he said.