Monkey export case on May 19: CA notifies Minister, 27 others
The Court of Appeal issued notices on 27 members of the Cabinet including Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera to appear before court on May 19 regarding the decision taken to send 100,000 monkeys to China.
The court issued the summons after considering a writ petition filed by several environmental organizations including the Sri Lanka Wildlife and Environment Protection Association and thirty people including Matara Ananda Sagara Thera, environmental scientists Rukshan Amal Jayawardene and environmentalist Otara Gunawardena.
Twenty seven persons including Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Director General of Wildlife, Director General of Forest Conservation, Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet have been cited as respondents.
The petition was taken up before the President of the Court of Appeal, Nishshanka Bandula Karunaratne. President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena, who appeared for the petitioner cited
that it was recently announced that decision has been taken to export 100,000 monkeys to China. He also stated that information has been revealed that a private Chinese Company had requested these monkeys be sent for research and testing purposes and as a result, the export of monkeys was being prepared.
The President’s Counsel stated that the export of monkeys is completely illegal and it is against the Animal Cruelty Act as well as the Environment Acts including the Fauna and Flora Ordinance. He said further that if the export takes place, serious damage will occur to the environmental system of this country and it will have a grave impact and it will harm the animals as well.
He pointed out before the court that since there is a risk of exporting Sri Lankan monkeys to China at any moment, an order should be issued to prevent it. After considering the facts presented, the appellate court decided to hear this petition and issued a notice. It was decided to consider further matters in this regard on May 19.
The petitioner has pointed out that the export of monkeys is not being done according to a request of the Chinese government and that the request has been made by a Chinese private company for testing purposes and that company has no legitimacy.
Since the export of monkeys is in violation of several environmental laws including the Animal Cruelty Act, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, the petition requests the issuance of a writ of certiorari invalidating the decision taken to export monkeys and the recommendations made in this regard.