April 24 (Newshour.com.ng) – Sri Lankan authorities have announced their intention to export 100,000 monkeys to China.
The Sri Lankan minister of agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera, announced that 100,000 monkeys endemic to Sri Lanka would be exported.
However, Sri Lanka’s agricultural minister stated that the country could no longer afford to nurture three million torque monkeys, which he claimed were damaging crops and posing a threat to a country already dealing with an economic crisis and inflation as high as 50 per cent in 2022.
“Toque monkeys are the foremost among the animals that cause crop damage in this country. All the efforts made by the government so far to reduce its population have failed,” Mr Amaraweera said.
The monkeys are expected to be shipped to a Chinese firm, Zhejiang Wuyu Animal Breeding Co. Ltd.
The Chinese government denied being aware of such a planned move.
The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka said in a statement that the government agency overseeing wildlife was “not aware of the request (from China) and has not received such application from any side.”
“The Chinese government always attaches great importance to wildlife protection and actively fulfill international obligations, which makes China one of top countries in the world in terms of wildlife protection legislation and law enforcement,” the embassy statement said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature considered toque macaques endangered species that may soon be extinct.
There were also fears that China only had 18 standard zoos that could accommodate 5,000 monkeys, raising concerns about whether China intended to shelter the endangered monkeys or use them for painful scientific tests.
Animal rights campaigners are against the move to export the monkeys, claiming that the Chinese firm would only import so many monkeys for lab experiments.
“Macaques, with their human-like qualities, have been particularly popular, especially with medical testing facilities in the U.S. and Europe,” said Wildlife & Nature Protection Society, Centre for Environmental Justice, Federation of Environmental Organizations, and Rally for Animal Rights and Environment Sri Lanka in a statement. “The potential income from such a trade would be far greater than that from the sale of this species to zoos.”
Credit: Peoples Gazette
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