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Delhi drops sterilisation plan to control monkey population

The plan to use an immunocontraceptive vaccine, which can make monkeys sterile, is also off the table for now, they said. However, the department is preparing a proposal to conduct a monkey census with the help of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and train monkey catchers, employed by civic bodies, at the Dehradun facility.

November 25, 2021 / 09:37 AM IST
Pink-faced rhesus macaque monkeys at the Tulane University National Primate Research Center in Covington, La., outside New Orleans, on Feb. 12, 2021. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the United States’ dependence on China for research animals, reviving calls for a

Pink-faced rhesus macaque monkeys at the Tulane University National Primate Research Center in Covington, La., outside New Orleans, on Feb. 12, 2021. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the United States’ dependence on China for research animals, reviving calls for a "strategic monkey reserve." (Bryan Tarnowski/The New York Times)

Three years after it was initiated, the Delhi Forest and Wildlife Department has dropped the plan to control the surging monkey population in the capital through laparoscopic sterilisation, according to officials.

The plan to use an immunocontraceptive vaccine, which can make monkeys sterile, is also off the table for now, they said. However, the department is preparing a proposal to conduct a monkey census with the help of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and train monkey catchers, employed by civic bodies, at the Dehradun facility.

The decisions were taken last week at a meeting of the Enforcement Committee set up by the Delhi High Court to deal with the monkey menace in the national capital. Experts from WII also attended it.

"There was no discussion on sterilisation to control the monkey population. That plan has been dropped. Immunocontraceptive vaccine is also off the table for now. We don’t know what effect it may have on the animal population. There is no literature about its large-scale effect or a proven record of success", an official told PTI.

Animal rights activists have repeatedly opposed sterilisation of monkeys in Delhi, citing failed attempts in Himachal Pradesh and Agra. The officials The officials
PTI
first published: Nov 25, 2021 09:37 am
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