Animal advocacy groups call for probe after monkeys taken from KZN rescue centre are euthanised
DURBAN - The Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa has penned an open letter to the National Council of SPCAs after 59 monkeys, removed from the Umsizi Umkomaas Vervet Monkey Rescue Centre last month, were euthanised.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s, Musa Mntambo said 100 monkeys were taken from the facility.
"They were illegally kept at the Umsizi Umkomaas Vervet Monkey Rescue Centre and the owner was charged with breaking two sections of Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974," he said.
Mntambo said the owner was given 21 days notice and by February 4 had to remove the monkeys. He added she was issued a R1 500 fine.
Describing the monkey centre, Mntambo said multiple monkeys were housed in an extremely small and dark outdoor area with no sun and no perches.
"The walls and floors were covered in old faecal matter and had to be swept out by the consulting team before catching could begin," he said. The monkeys were captured by teams from Ezemvelo, SPCA and the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife or CROW.
CROW has since confirmed that 52 monkeys were euthanised by Ezemvelo and has expressed shock at the news.
"We were informed by EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE, prior to and at the time of the capture, that the monkeys were being relocated to Hluhluwe. Please be aware that we would never have agreed to assist with the capture had we have known that they were going to be euthanised," the Centre said.
WAPFSA has since called for a probe into the matter.
"Whilst WAPFSA members appreciate the fact that the SPCA cannot comment on the on-going matter that is being heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on behalf of the owner of the Umzizi Umkomaas Vervet Rescue Centre. The raid was apparently illegal because it was carried out without a warrant. Our concern is for the well-being of the vervet monkeys whilst the outcome of the high court matter is being determined," WAPFSA said.