Malaysia has dropped a controversial plan to capture and export monkeys from urban areas after it found that a majority of
them were infected with deadly diseases and are unfit for export.
The decision came after wildlife officials found that 80 per cent of the 250,000 urban monkeys were sick with diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and hiv/aids, the natural resources and environment minister, Azmi Khalid, told the media. The monkeys were supposed to fulfil the demand for exotic meat in a few countries in Asia and in the West and also used in scientific research. Though 20 per cent of the monkeys are healthy, only half of them are marketable in terms of size, he said.
Long-tailed monkeys are listed as endangered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (cites), which restricts their trade. Malaysia is a signatory to the convention but can trade them if it shows it will not hurt the survival of the species. The government in August 2007 lifted a 23-year-old ban on their export saying the monkeys had become urban pests. Animal rights activists call the plan cruel.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.