For Immediate Release:
20 April 2015
Animal Welfare Board of India Calls for Facility to Close Down Until Improvements Are Made
Shimla – Prompted by complaints over the treatment of monkeys at the Monkey Sterilisation Centres (MSC) in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand – part of the state Forest Departments’ effort to control the population of monkeys in the area – inspectors with Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), People for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India inspected the facility in Himachal Pradesh and revealed that no written standard operating procedures are in place to ensure the humane treatment of the monkeys during capture, handling, transport, housing, surgery, post-operative care and release, which leads to injuries, starvation, prolonged captivity and other abuses. AWBI have now urged the Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife), the Central Government and the Chief Secretary in Himachal Pradesh to take immediate action to comply with the requirements and forward the report on action taken to the Board at once. With the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department in the process of advising other states, and even Sri Lanka, to start the same programme, AWBI recommend that the MSC be shut down until the Forest Department establish guidelines to ensure the monkeys’ humane treatment.
The report and photographs of the monkeys’ plight can be obtained from PETA or downloaded here.
“Sterilisation is the most humane way to control the monkey population – but not if it’s being done in a cruel way”, says PETA Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA are calling on the Forest Department to impose strict protocols that will protect monkeys from injuries, pain, distress, starvation and suffering before, during and after sterilisation.”
The monkeys at the MSC are captured by untrained individuals who hand the animals over to the facility for a monetary reward, and many animals were seen suffering from traumatic tail and face injuries, for which they did not receive any veterinary treatment before their release. The facility also operates on pregnant monkeys in the absence of an ultrasound machine to detect pregnancy and does not have a weighing machine to measure out anaesthetics properly. During the period between February 2007 and February 2014, a total of 29,038 monkeys were captured and 24,751 were sterilised – 4,557 (or 16 per cent) of whom were unfit for sterilisation, as they were found to be either pregnant or already sterilised. The report further revealed that the monkeys were rarely, if ever, given any pain relief after surgery and that the only oral analgesic available in the post-operative unit was acetaminophen (paracetamol), which provides only mild pain relief. The monkeys huddled together in pain and fear inside tiny, rusted, filthy and barren cages, and many of them – some of whom were pregnant – were starved for more than 24 hours and held captive for more than five days.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.