Animal rights activists are urging the government to withdraw its wildlife farming policy, which allows domesticated breeding and research of certain species like monkeys, snakes, deer and crocodiles. There is concern that the government's permission to export monkeys will send them to labs in the West where they will die slow and painful deaths. The government has reportedly already allowed the export of thousands of rhesus monkeys to America. Monkey suppliers are looking at Nepal because other countries have banned exports. Nepali activists have sent 500 letters of protest to the Department of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) to prevent the export.
In Nepal, monkey researcher Mukesh Chalise has denied allegations of involvement in the controversial deal. But he is said to be working closely with an American research organisation that has been helping to establish a monkey breeding and research centre in both Nepal and Russia. Chalise works with the Natural History Museum of Nepal with which the government has reached an agreement to supply 150 monkeys for breeding purpose.
Researchers can buy a rhesus monkey from DNPWC at a cost of Rs 25,000 for breeding and they can use their second generation for research as per the government policy. It is estimated that 14,000 monkeys are used every year in American research labs for testing vaccines and other drugs. American labs are reportedly ready to pay as much as $10,000 for each monkey.