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  No monkey business, please  
 

REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) has called for "professional rehabilitation" of over 300 monkeys kept at Lele Breeding Center. It has also urged the government to introduce the Animal Welfare Act, include a clause on animal welfare in the new constitution and halt commercial wildlife breeding.

Calling for an immediate release of the captive monkeys, Forest Minister Dipak Bohara had on August 28 imposed a ban on monkey breeding for export to the United States for biomedical research. "It is the responsibility of the government to free the monkeys and rehabilitate them in a professional manner," said Manoj Gautam, executive member of AWNN and head of Roots and Shoots Nepal. "Those born in the center need to be taught how to survive in the wild. While those caught from the wild need to be released gradually as they have spent many years in captivity," he added.

The government in the past captured monkeys from the wild and sold them to the Lele-based National Biomedical Research Center. According to a 1992 UK research, only around 20% of Nepal´s lab monkeys die a natural death, while 75% of them are killed in research centers across the world. A vast majority of them are suffering from common health problems such as flu or common cold.

AWNN is also concerned about a possible ´upgrading´ of the much criticized Wildlife Breeding Act 2003, which would reintroduce monkey business through a back door. Nepal has no animal welfare legislation and there are no legal mechanisms to monitor and prosecute animal abusers. Breeding further opens the door for biomedical research in Nepal, which is unregulated. "We need strict guidelines and a government committee which is authorized to issue licenses and implement rules and regulations," Gautam added.

Welcoming the government´s decision to halt the breeding of rhesus monkeys, AWNN has also called on the authorities to take strict action against those breeders that import and breed exotic species, including birds, snakes, tortoises etc. As an alternative, the Network said the government should introduce humane, responsible wildlife-related income generation ventures for impoverished communities.

 
Published on 2009-08-30 18:52:11
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No Monkey Business, Please
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LATEST COMMENTS
The earth , the only living planet is the home to many creatures. All have the equal right to live and human must understand it. we dont have right to snatch away what we can´t give-"life".



Its unfair to use these creatures in captivity and enject them to death.Nepal government must not promote such activities.I am shattered to know that more than 75% monkey die unnaturally in the lab. [more]
  - rajan paudel
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