The Dhyan Foundation, a spiritual and charitable organization has issued an urgent plea for more people to sign a rapidly growing Change.org Petition “to take action against land mafia and poachers, and preserve our forests and animals.”
In this case, the animals they are seeking to protect are the Rhesus Macaque monkeys in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India, who, in April of last year, were declared to be “vermin” for one year by the Environmental Ministry; the time period allotted by the government for the stigmatized monkeys was to take control of their population by culling their own.
The official notification issued at the time claimed that “the state had reported damage to life and property including large scale destruction of agriculture by the species in areas outside forest.”
Animal rights advocates responded in horror declaring that the 2016 decision turned the killing of these poor primates into a “free-for-all” and made note that it came after years of the monkeys being poached, tortured and illegally and brutally captured for the meat trade.
“And why?” questions the authors of the petition that was started last year by the Dhyan Foundation, “Because they moved to our habitats in search of food, shelter and water, all of which WE have destroyed for our convenience? Because to defend their young ones from us they fight back?”
The foundation had previously launched its ‘Help a Monkey’ initiative, “taking to the cause of monkeys, feeding them, away from human habitation and creating a harmonious environment for men and monkeys.”
The “notification hits at the very foundation of the initiative and poses threat to our environment and to humans as a microcosm of that environment,” the organization said at the time the monkeys were deemed “vermin.”
Further, it declared that the lawbreakers in this case are not the monkeys “but the mafia and the officials who do nothing to stop the mafia and take bribes to look the other way.”
According to an article in The Times of India, the decision caused Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, an animal rights activist, to vehemently speak out as well, accusing the Environment Ministry as having a “lust” for killing.
This petition will be delivered to:
Ministry of Environment & Forests: Letter to WITHDRAW “VERMIN” status allotted to Monkeys in Himachal Pradesh and PREVENT their culling.