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20% of monkey population exterminated in half a year, is this the way to go?

The figures are out, AVA has killed 357 macaques in the first half of 2013, almost 20% of our local macaque population in just half a year.

article28jul2013

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According to the AVA, the increase in culling was done in response to increased reporting of monkey nuisances. The unprecedented number of monkeys culled however, appears to go beyond conflict management or even population control. With no checks that trappers are only removing nuisance animals, and with no regulations on the number of animals removed, it seems that the strategy AVA is going for is extermination. Extermination of a native primate species, and an important member of Singapore’s biodiversity.

Defendants of culling have been quick to point out that public safety is of utmost concern, and I fully agree. What I am saying though, is that public servants’ goals of ensuring public safety and the appeal for sustainable management strategies by researchers and animal welfare groups are not at odds, but are in fact one and the same.

Does killing monkeys indiscriminately really serve to protect public safety? Does killing address the root causes of human-wildlife conflict? Will killing bring about long-term and sustained benefits to residents? What else can be done, and why are these solutions better? Continue reading