Statement by the Minister of Environment and National Beautification on the Video Circulating of Monkeys Being Burnt Alive
The Ministry of Environment and National Beautification shares its abhorrence for the grossly inhumane treatment of the Green Monkey in the video being circulated and echoes the calls for the culprits perpetrating this heinous act to be brought to justice.
The green monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus) was brought to Barbados from West Africa in the 1600s. The species survived despite the fact that most of its natural food was destroyed in the forest clearances after settlement, because it learned to include cultivated foods in its diet. As a result, it has been considered an agricultural pest since the 1680s. Various methods have been used to control the population over the past 400 years, including humane trapping. Limited export of green monkeys has previously been permitted through the Ministry for polio vaccine production, within the restrictions imposed by the listing of this primate on Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The Ministry recognises the challenges being faced by farmers as a result of monkey crop damage, especially during this current drought situation, but does not support any actions by the public that are clearly designed to inflict pain and suffering on a defenceless animal.