Removing the protection of rhesus macaque monkeys – afforded to them for over 50 years under the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972 – through the passage of The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022, will expose them to capture, abuse, and exploitation.
Indian Rhesus Macaques Face Imminent Threat
PETA India has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav requesting that they reinstate and strengthen protections for these vulnerable monkeys – whose population declined by 90% during the 1960s and ’70s, prompting greater protections – in the interest of safeguarding animal welfare, local ecosystems, and human health. In the letters, PETA India raises the concern that these Earthly representatives of Lord Hanuman are now again at risk of being captured or killed for experimentation, meat, the “pet” trade, and other forms of abuse.
Stolen From Forests – Monkeys Are Cut Open, Poisoned, and Electroshocked for Experiments
In addition to being revered in Hinduism, rhesus macaques fulfil an important role in local ecosystems by dispersing seeds – due to their mostly fruit-based diet – and their absence can be detrimental to forests. Monkeys abducted from their natural habitats by international wildlife dealers in Asia are often crammed into small wooden crates and transported in the dark, terrifying cargo holds of planes for up to 30 hours. The stress of capture and transportation can weaken their immune systems and risks the spread of zoonotic diseases around the world. In laboratories, monkeys are typically confined alone to small metal cages where they are cut open, poisoned, crippled, addicted to drugs, electroshocked, and killed.
What You Can Do to Help
Request that honourable Prime Minister Modi and Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav reinstate rhesus macaques as a protected species under the WPA and grant them the highest protection afforded to numerous other indigenous species under Schedule I.