Conservationists in Sri Lanka Slam Proposal to Export Monkeys to China

Zoologists and conservationists in Sri Lanka on April 19 slammed a recent government proposal exploring the export of monkeys to China, terming it an ad-hoc, illegal, and short-sighted response to a long-standing human-animal conflict.

Earlier this month, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said the government was studying a proposal from a Chinese company to purchase Sri Lankan toque macaques, a golden brown-coloured monkey endemic to the country. The Chinese firm, said to be an animal breeding company according to Sri Lankan portal Newswire, had written to the Ministry, making an offer to buy “a large quantity of monkeys” from Sri Lanka, as the island nation was reportedly looking to “get rid of certain crop-destroying species”. Local media reports said authorities were considering exporting about 1,00,000 monkeys.