[Ed. Note: For more information, read The Monkeys are Going to Stay in Their Own Country.]
By Akanshya Shah on MyRepublica.com
Renowned international conservation expert Dr Jane Goodall has thanked the government of Nepal for its decision to put a permanent ban on the breeding of rhesus monkeys for export to the Unites States for biomedical research purposes.
In the letter written to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and handed over to the minister Deepak Bohara by country coordinator of Roots & Shoots Nepal, Jane also "welcomed" the ministry´s decision to help rehabilitate some 400 monkeys currently kept at Lele Breeding Center in Lalitpur.
"We will meet the minister soon again regarding details of the rehabilitation options for the monkeys to be released from captivity," said Manoj Gautam, country coordinator of Roots & Shoots.
Calling for an immediate release of captive monkeys, Bohara had on August 28 imposed a ban on monkey breeding for export to the US.
He further said there are "a whole gamut of issues facing animal conservation" in Nepal. "Monkey rehabilitation, wildlife trade, wildlife breeding act, wildlife rehabilitation and orphanage initiative from government level, providing land and supporting vulture conservation projects are some of the issues that need to be addressed by the government immediately," Gautam said.
"We are looking for Rhesus Macaque rehabilitation expertise, additional funds and any other support that can help in the successful re-release of all the 400 macaques in the wild," Pramoda Shah, President of Animal Welfare Network Nepal, said, adding, "The rehabilitation of these monkeys will be a big step in the field of animal conservation. Since the ministry is positive, we are hopeful that things would work as planned."
The network has called for "professional rehabilitation" of the monkeys and urged the government to introduce an Animal Welfare Act, include a clause on animal welfare in the new constitution and halt commercial wildlife breeding.
Goodall has been promoting Roots & Shoots program in recent years. She had repeatedly called for the promotion of ecological conservations and was instrumental in the fight to stop monkey breeding. She had also lobbied in the US to halt all such "ruthless practices" against animals.