Illegal monkey business

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SEPRONA; the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil, has recovered 25 monkeys that were being offered for sale illegally.

As part of the ‘Titisali’ investigation, officers investigated seven people in Alicante, Murcia and Sevilla, for alleged crimes relating to the protection of flora and fauna, belonging to a criminal organisation, forgery and theft.

The 25 marmoset monkeys were being offered to pet shops, being sold on the black market for between €1,800 and €2,000 each. Investigations on homes and stores across Alicante Province as well as in Sevilla, Almeria and Albacete, revealed over 60 species of the monkey were being sold but just 25 were recovered by officers. These are now being cared for at animal centres in Villena and Alicante.

The marmoset monkey is native to Brazil and is a protected species that is often the subject of illegal trafficking and sale. Its breeding in Spain is prohibited without a specific permit from a zoological centre.

The CITES, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, of which Spain has been a member since May 1986, regulates trade in these endangered species and seeks to preserve their conservation by regulating trade through official export permits in the country of origin and import destination.

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