Rhesus monkey confiscated in raid on pet shop

ABU DHABI — The CITES Management Authority at the Federal Environment Agency (FEA), UAE, raided a pet shop in Al Ain and confiscated a Rhesus monkey (Macaca Mulatta) which was being sold illegally, and was without the proper documentation.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 16 Jun 2005, 11:01 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:01 PM

Officials acted on a tip-off from a private school teacher. Rhesus monkeys are classified as ‘Lower Risk’ by the 2000 IUCN Red List.

After the specimen was confiscated, pet shop attendants were handed a letter declaring that they had violated Article No. 27 of Federal Law No. 11 for the year 2002 on Regulating and Controlling International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The pet shop attendants were found guilty of displaying to the public an endangered species with no accompanying CITES certificate or registration by the FEA, which is the CITES Management Authority in the Abu Dhabi.

Article No. 27 of the law states that any person having in their possession or under their control, or selling or offering for sale or display to the public, any specimen of species listed in the Appendices without carrying out the necessary registration provided by the assigned authorities, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, and/or a fine of not less than Dh5,000 but not to exceed Dh30,000.

Interestingly, these species of monkeys were the first primates to be rocketed into space! Officials said CITES in the UAE encourages members of the public to alert the authorities if they suspect any pet shop is trading in any animal species in an illegal manner. Rhesus monkeys prefer forest habitats, including semi-desert, dry, deciduous, bamboo, and tropical woodland up to 3,000m. They live in Afghanistan, India, Thailand and Southern China. They are diurnal, which means they spend a big proportion of their time on ground. CITES has been focusing on confiscating illegal monkeys as they may pose a health risk to humans.

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