JAIPUR, OCTOBER 4: An Indo-US joint research group has asked the government not to treat monkeys as stray dogs or cattle as projected in the proposed action plan for controlling the menace.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Primate Research Centre, based in Jodhpur, also recommended setting up of a special committee for survival, translocation and sterilization.
"It is unfortunate that the Ministry for Environment, Forest and Wildlife has issued a draft action plan for the controlling the stray animal menace," Institute Chairman S M Mohnot said in the letter.
Citing the Wildlife (Protection) Act 2000 which gives primates special status and protection, Mohnot said the ongoing sterilisation drive in civic bodies including Delhi should be stopped immediately as it would affect the breeding prospects.
"The ongoing sterilisation drive will not solve the rising population in urban areas," he said.
"Instead of male monkeys, the sterilisation of female monkeys living in urban density be preferred and their translocation to forests be ensured to save the declining species of primates in protected forests," Mohonto said.
"A practical and acceptable action plan for monkeys in India is the need of hour and the committee represented by primatologists, veterinarians, biochemists, and wildlife experts be formed in each state for this," Mohnot said.
Emphasising the need for translocation of monkeys to forests, he said, there were at least five fatal cases of monkey bites in India every day and many more communicable diseases like TB, rabbies, and even AIDS were rampant with the co-existence of monkeys with human population.