‘Continue ban on export of monkeys’

April 28th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by admin  

Shimla, April 28 (IANS) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organisation fighting cruelty to animals, Monday urged the Indian government to continue the ban on export of monkeys. “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has written to the Ministry of Environment & Forests urging it not to lift the ban, after the Himachal Pradesh government’s recent request to lift the ban on the export of monkeys,” Dharmesh Solanki, PETA campaign coordinator, said here.

“Instead of taking rational steps to control the population of monkeys in the state, the Himachal (Pradesh) government wants to export them for experimental purposes in laboratories and make a few dollars,” Solanki told IANS.

“Once confined in laboratory cages, the simians suffer greatly from close confinement and isolation. Scientific reports indicate that 90 percent of monkeys in laboratories exhibit some form of psychopathological problems. Up to 25 percent engage in self-mutilation,” claims Solanki.

“Primates, like other wild animals, are national treasures. The larger importance of monkeys for India far exceeds any short-term monetary gains that might be realised through the commercialisation of primates,” said Solanki.

According to the latest count, there are 319,188 monkeys in the state, of which around 65,000 are in urban areas.

Shrinking habitats and release of monkeys from urban to rural areas by the wildlife department results in them sometimes destroying crops.

Farmer groups have been urging the state government to lift the ban on export of simians. Monkeys were exported by Himachal Pradesh for a brief period in the 1970s.

The Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti (HGVS), a non government organisation (NGO), has been spearheading the movement and pressuring the state government to allow the export of monkeys as it considers them farm pests causing huge losses to farmers.

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