Tougher Measure Against Monkey Feeding
30 Jan 2008
Singapore, 31 January 2008 - With effect from 1 February 2008, the National Parks Board (NParks) will raise its composition fine on monkey feeders from $250 to $500. The increase in composition fine is part of the ongoing efforts to help curb issues relating to nuisance monkeys in our urban environment.
Monkey feeding endangers both humans and monkeys. It adversely alters the natural behaviour of monkeys as it makes them reliant on humans for food. Such monkeys become too familiar with humans and this results in their nuisance and at times aggressive behaviour towards people, especially children. Monkey feeding also results in an unhealthy growth of monkey population, and monkeys straying out of the nature reserves into residential areas. Sadly, monkeys often have to be culled for this reason.
NParks does not believe that enforcement is the only way to curb the monkey feeding problem. We also conduct educational outreach programmes, put up signage and distribute pamphlets to explain the consequences of monkey feeding, and why it is an offence. CCTVs have also been installed at selected spots at our nature reserves to deter monkey feeding. In addition, we monkey-proof dustbins in residential areas near our nature reserves.
However, while the bulk of the population responds very responsibly to these educational messages, there is a growing minority that still persists in feeding monkeys. In 2006, a total of 142 people have been fined for feeding monkeys. The figure continues to rise in 2007, with a total of 157 people fined. The last increase in composition fine was in May 2007 from $200 to $250. Under the Parks and Trees Act, monkey feeders can be fined up to a maximum of $50,000 and/or jailed up to six months. We will continue to step up raids on monkey feeders in the parks and nature reserves and if necessary, enlist the assistance of security companies to supplement our own efforts.
NParks regrets that we have to resort to tougher enforcement measures against monkey feeding. We are concerned that if monkey feeding is not curbed effectively now, it can result in more serious monkey nuisance problems that are difficult to put under control. We hope to have the understanding and cooperation of the public in this matter. The best way to care for monkeys is not to feed them or to report monkey feeders (1800-471-7300) when you spot them.