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About ALF > Worldwide Actions > Actions in Nepal

zondag 6 september 2009
Gateway to Hell Campagne reageert op besluit regering Nepal tot sluiting apenfokkerijen en export apen naar proefdierlaboratoria in VS

The Monkey Farms Will Close and ALL the Monkeys are to be Freed!!!



06-09-2009 Gateway to Hell Campaign

VICTORY -- Nepal's government has decided to permanently halt the breeding of monkeys and all the monkeys are to be released from the farms back into the wild!!!

The Nepalese government had previously banned the export of monkeys after international pressure, with over 50 protests in 13 countries and countless emails being sent to the Nepalese decision makers and anyone else who could influence them. Finally, through the tireless work of the local Stop The Monkey Business campaigners, and despite American "diplomacy" which at times verged on the point of blackmail, the Nepalese government has accepted the inevitable and decided to close the farms and release the monkeys.

 

The National Biomedical Research Center in Lele, Nepal

Forestry Minister Deepak Bohara is quoted as saying, "We have decided not to allow the monkeys to be exported [so] we will ask [the breeders] to release the monkeys within a week." An Under Secretary of the Ministry was also quoted as saying "The Ministry has come to the conclusion that the monkeys should be released to their natural environment." A letter from the Ministry of Forestry ordering their immediate release has been sent to Pravesh Man Shrestha, an American paid veterinary surgeon who has been breeding monkeys for the past five years. He has visited the SFBR for "training" and was also present during the American trapping expeditions in 2004 when the monkeys were taken from the wild, (it is alleged that at least some of the monkeys were taken from holy temples).

No monkeys were ever exported from Nepal, despite at least one scare when 25 monkeys were less than one week from being transported to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) in the United States! This attempt showed the desperation of the Americans and really exposed the importance of the international campaign. For the SFBR to get even 25 of Nepal's monkeys might have been enough for them to replenish their breeding stocks for 20 years or more.

Thanks to a rapid international mobilisation and swift diplomacy on the ground, the monkeys were saved and a petition was made to the Supreme Court of Nepal to outlaw any exports until the legality of monkey farming was decided. After "consultation" Minster Bohara came to the conclusion that it was illegal to export the monkeys, although in reality this decision was forced upon the ministry because the Supreme Court was about to rule that exporting monkeys was
not in the "public interest" of the Nepalese people. Faced with either a humiliating defeat or making a popular decision and profiting from the situation, he made the obvious choice.

Students and animal welfare campaigners join the demonstration in Kathmandu organised by Roots and Shoots

The most important factor in the Supreme Court's decision was the image Nepal would portray to potential travellers, and again this was where international solidarity really counted for Nepal's monkeys! The massive volume of emails being sent from the all over the world and all the visible demonstrations shaming Nepal in front of thousands of passers-by, (especially at the Tourism Expos), was simply too much for them to ignore. The affects of the huge information campaign directed to Nepal's tourism industry and constructive dialogue with many Nepalese Ambassadors also had a big impact on the decision, and this pressure combined with the persistence and tenacity of the local campaigners in Nepal was more decisive than the American's threats. With the export ban in place, nearly 400 monkeys had remained caged in the breeding farms awaiting an uncertain future, described as "private property" the Nepalese government claimed they were powerless to act. Now, 6 months after the export ban was imposed, monkey farming has also been banned and all the monkeys from the farms are to be rehabilitated back into the wild!

The G2H Team would like to pay tribute to the latest Minister of Forestry, Minster Bohara, who has shown the compassion and enlightenment that embodies the true spirit of the Nepalese people in defending Nepal's sacred monkeys from the greed and arrogance of the American bio-medical research industry. To close the farms was a hugely courageous decision in the face of immense pressure from American "diplomacy" and we now call on Nepal's government to reject any demands for compensation from the greedy Americans, who will no doubt want to
recover some of the $8M US tax dollars they lost in this corrupt venture.

Whilst this victory in Nepal is an amazing achievement, it should never be forgotten that the battle to save Nepal's monkeys was about more than the nearly 400 monkeys who will now run free where they belong, or even for their offspring who will now be born into their natural environment. The campaign to save Nepal's monkeys was an opportunity to strike a savage blow against the global primate research industry where it was weakest. In the American's own
words they admit that their breeding "stock" of "Indian type" rhesus have now become "dangerously inbred" and there is a desperate shortage of fresh DNA to replenish their "stocks". Nepal represented one of the last few places they could harvest these precious animals and so there can be little doubt the Americans would have turned Nepal into another Mauritus, had they not met such strong resistance.

If the current export bans remain in India, Bangladesh and now Nepal, then in a few short years we could finally have removed the precious "Indian type" rhesus monkey, (an entire sub-species), from research labs altogether. Many "scientists" agree that the results from the "Indian type" rhesus often cannot be reproduced in the "Chinese type" rhesus, thus we can hope to see a lot of "research" data invalidated because it can no longer be reproduced due to a lack of suitable victims!

There are too many people who deserve to be mentioned for their part in this fantastic achievement, from those who organised the protests to those who sent a single email or signed a petition, however some simply cannot go without mention...such were their immense contributions to the campaign:

Manoj Gautman, (award winning activist and the true savior of Nepal's monkeys), who campaigned for Nepal's monkeys from the very start and the mastermind behins the Stop Monkey Business campaign in Nepal;


From left to right: Manoj Gautam (Roots and Shoots), Lucia de Vries (Animal Nepal), Jane Goodall and Mangal Man Shakya (Wildlife Watch Group)

Lucia de Vries, (freelance journalist and Stop The Monkey Business activist), who was responsible for the internationalisation of the campaign and instigator of the involvement of G2H; Shirley McGreal (founder of the IPPL), who provided endless research, support and practical advice on primates to the STMB campaign; Michael Budkie, (Stop Animal Exploitation Now), who provided such valuable data from the SFBR about the farms; their funding, population and mortality rates of the monkeys which provided us with such damning evidence; Dr Jane Goodall, (Conservationist), who had such constructive dialogue with the Nepalese government and provides funding for Manoj's "Roots and Shoots" conservation group, and so many more people who's names we won't mention, but who's dedication and hard work we'll never forget.

We sincerely hope that those of you who have read this far are now feeling inspired to take action for other campaigns. The anti-vivisection movement is making great gains and there are so many great campaigns that are worthy of your support. We firmly believe that the abolition of primate experiments in Europe is a realistic and achievable goal, which could even represent a tipping point for global primate research, and we urge all of our European supporters to work this goal.

The activists who worked on the Nepal campaign are moving on to other projects and the Gateway To Hell campaign is now disbanding, but the fight against the global primate industry continues. Many great victories still lie ahead and many weaknesses are yet to be exploited, however the global primate trade is on our doorsteps and this is where it must also be fought. We will continue to monitor the situations in Nepal and with Air Mauritius closely, and if needs must then the Gateway to Hell campaign will return to action.

G2H was always about taking on the primate supply chain at it's weakest points, and in our
view it's weakest points are currently in our own countries, so we hope to see more pressure against the primate abusers on a local level.

Great changes can be made by the smallest things, so please support your local campaigns in whatever way you can; but the greatest lesson we can learn from this campaign is the importance of international solidarity, global action results in global change, so think globally and act locally!!!

The full magnitude of this achievement is yet to be realised...but on behalf of the nearly 400 monkeys who are about to experience life in their natural environment, and on behalf of their offspring who will never know captivity, we offer you our heartfelt gratitude and thanks.

There will be no further response from the G2H email address so, for those who wish to offer thanks or congratulations, we instead ask that you offer them to the Enlightened and Honourable Minister Deepak Bohara who is the true saviour of Nepal's monkeys.

Address:--
Enlightened and Honourable Minister Deepak Bohara
Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation,
Singhadurbar,
Kathmandu
Nepal

Telephone: 977-1-4220067
Fax: 977-1-4223868
Email: info@mofsc.gov.np

Finally we leave you with the inspirational words of Margaret Mead, (Anthropologist & Peace Activist):--

"Never forget that a small group of dedicated, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Until we are all free,
The Gateway to Hell Team

(Bron: http://www.gatewaytohell.net/)
(Bron foto's: http://www.stopmonkeybusiness.org/)

 

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