Declare monkey species vermin, says Goa Congress leader

Panaji, Nov 8 (IANS) A senior Congress leader on Tuesday demanded that a species of monkeys be declared a vermin and culled periodically as they destroyed crops in the coastal state.

“We are getting so many complaints from farmers that ‘kheti’ monkeys are destroying crops, even coconut plantations. Some farmers have abandoned farming due to the damage caused,” Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane told the media here.

“The Goa government should immediately declare them as vermin,” Rane said.

Last month, the Goa Wildlife Board recommended periodic culling of boar, claiming it damaged crops in forested reaches of the Western Ghats on a large scale.

The proposal is currently pending with the National Wildlife Board.

In May, state Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar said that along with boar, national bird peacock and state animal Great Indian bison should also be declared vermin, along with specific species of monkey.

After a public outcry over Tawadkar’s statement, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said peacock and bison would not be declared vermin.