years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
February 2010 update: export of monkeys from Nepal to US research facilities
A group of 30 rhesus monkeys from the iniquitous Biomedical Research Center in Lele, Lalitpur, has been released in the Shivapuri National Park.
News of the closure of the research centre and an end to the export of monkeys from Nepal to research laboratories in the US was gratefully received in 2009. But the fate of over 300 monkeys at the centre was still unclear.
Animals Asia appeals to the Nepalese government to ensure all 300 monkeys from the breeding centre are released as part of a managed release programme to ensure they have suitable habitat and the necessary resources to survive.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation said that the small group was released to see whether they “adjusted” to the wild. A spokesperson said, “This is a rehabilitation process itself. We will observe whether the monkeys adjust to the environment in the wild.”
The plan is to check whether the 30 seed monkeys (plucked from the wild for
research) can live in harmony with the original monkeys, learn to eat wild food and live in a healthy atmosphere. “This is the first lot. We will release the others as per the team report soon.”
Animals Asia appeals for the authorities to re-assess this approach and to follow the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) guidelines on rehabilitation and reintroduction of the animals to the wild. The government must ensure that resources are available within the release area to provide for the additional monkeys, and that the current wild population will not be adversely affected by the introduction of the new monkeys.
Manoj Gautam from the Animal Welfare Network Nepal said “The authorities should have resorted to soft release first to see whether they adjust to wild food. The monkeys have been released in violation of IUCN guidelines and without understanding the ecology.”
Reintroduction may cause some problems for surviving wild populations and ecosystems if not properly planned. As per IUCN guidelines, unplanned release may create problems such as transmission of diseases, genetic problems, over-population or fighting with introduced animals. Age, rearing conditions, nutrition, training, health, and suitable habitats containing critical resources are some factors to be considered during reintroduction.
The conservationists have also said that the monkeys have been released without neutering, which increases the chance of reproduction, thereby affecting the accommodation capacity.