Basseterre, St. Kitts (Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Marine Resources): Farmers and dog owners are set to benefit greatly from an ongoing monkey meat sale at the Department of Agriculture.
The meat is that of the green vervet monkey and according to Assistant Coordinator of the Pest Programme in the Ministry of Agriculture, Bernel Hobson, it is being sold “at the Department of Agriculture at $5.00 per pound”.
Mr. Hobson was at the time promoting the sale during a recent interview with the Media and Communication Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture. He said, “we are selling it for the sole purpose only for dog food. So if you purchase that monkey meat from us at the department [it] is up to you if you want to consume it but we are selling it for the sole purpose of dog food”.
Monkey meat which is commonly referred to as “Tree Mutton” is sometimes consumed in soups by residents on island and because of this, Hobson said it is left up to individuals to purchase the meat for their own personal consumption.
Due to their rapid reproduction rate and grabby fingers, the visitor attracting animals have become increasingly problematic all across the region. Hence, the implementation of monkey control programmes on island which seek to eliminate what many farmers refer to as “crop-destroying pests”.
Meanwhile, during his recent visit to the monkey ravaged areas of Fahies Estate, Newton Ground, Coordinator of the Feral/Monkey Programme, Winston Mulraine, said “at the moment we have quite a number of trappers and shooters in the area so they are doing a pretty good job. The farmers are somewhat satisfied with the progress we have made so far in the area and we can only look forward for better things”.
Mulraine added that the Department is also “in the process of distributing some fish pot wires to the farmers and trappers for the building of the monkey traps to help alleviate the problem with the monkeys.”
Persons interested in purchasing the monkey meat are asked to contact the Department of Agriculture at 467-1841.