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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
Monkey Farms Will Close and ALL the Monkeys are to be Freed!!!
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
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!
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
some of the $8M US tax dollars they lost in this corrupt venture.
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
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
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;
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.
Enlightened and Honourable Minister Deepak Bohara
Ministry of Forests and
Finally we leave you with the inspirational words
of Margaret Mead, (Anthropologist & Peace Activist):--
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,
Gateway to Hell Team