Helen Thirlway, UK Director of the International Primate Protection League, has strongly condemned the Gibraltar government’s culling of around ten of the world-famous “Barbary apes”, even though her organisation and a coalition of animal welfare and conservation groups had found somewhere to relocate them. The groups had been working beghind the scenes to save the apes since April, when the government announced plans to cull around 25 of them. The groups had succeeded in finding a home for the condemned primates back in May and were still discussing the terms of a relocation plan with the Gibraltar government when the killings allegedly took place. Ms Thirlway said: “The government assured us that they were culling because they could not relocate. We found a home for the monkeys, and offered our assistance in moving them, and now we have been informed by a reliable source that half of the group have been culled anyway. We can only assume that the motivation for this unethical decision was a financial one; we can find no other explanation and all we have had from the government is a damning silence on the matter.” She added: “We urge the people of Gibraltar to demand that culling stops once and for all. The authorities know exactly what needs to be done; they need to employ wardens, enforce the feeding ban, cover rubbish sites, and invest in a more comprehensive contraception programme. So why do they not simply do so? Is this really about looking after the people of Gibraltar, or is it simply about protecting the interests of a few wealthy property developers?”


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