The According to Ada Derana, the Ministry of Agriculture stated that there is a high demand for Sri Lankan monkeys (Toque macaque) from China, which will aid in resolving the country’s overpopulation problem.
According to the Ministry, a Chinese delegation has requested that the Ministry provide Sri Lankan monkeys to Chinese zoos.
A special meeting was held today to discuss sending 100,000 monkeys to China as part of the first phase of the programme.
According to Ada Derana, officials from the Agriculture Minister, Department of National Zoological Gardens, and Department of Wildlife Conservation attended the discussion led by Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera.
During the discussion it was revealed that the current monkey population in Sri Lanka has reached nearly 3 million and the animals were a menace to local crops.
The appointing of a committee to study the legal procedures for the programme was also discussed.
The request from China has been made at a time when the local authorities have taken several measures to contain the monkey population.
Farmers have also been given the green-light to kill monkeys (toque macaque) to save crops.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told farmers that there is no other option but to control the monkey population, better known in Sri Lanka as the rilawa.
He said that monkeys are no more in the list of protected species in Sri Lanka.