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Stolen from Paradise – The monkeys of St. Kitts & Nevis: Send Sample Letter

October 14, 2011


African green, or “vervet” monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) have lived on St. Kitts & Nevis for over 300 years. Estimates vary widely, but today there are thousands of free-roaming monkeys on the islands.

The monkeys live in mountain forests, where they feed off leaves, flowers, berries, fruit and insects. To the frustration of small-scale farmers, monkeys on St. Kitts & Nevis can cause damage to crops, and pose a challenge as the islands work to produce more of their own food and import less.

The killing or export of monkeys is sometimes promoted as a solution to human-monkey conflicts. This is not only cruel, but it fails to address the issue long-term. There are ways to reduce the indigenous monkey population which are not only humane, but also more effective.

In a report released in June 2010, the St. Kitts & Nevis Ministry of Agriculture proposed two long-term strategies to control the monkey population and reduce crop destruction: a spay & neuter program, and the establishment of strategically located feeding sites to provide monkeys an alternative source of food. The sterilization of monkeys has the potential to significantly decrease the population. A spay & neuter program could also act as a teaching tool for the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, located on St. Kitts. The report also stated that the monkey population on the islands has stabilized—the monkey population is not growing.

Two organizations on St. Kitts—the Behavioral Science Foundation (dba Primate Resources International) and the St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation—purchase wild-caught monkeys from trappers and sell them for export. Both organizations also maintain laboratory facilities on the island, where monkeys are used in research and testing for pharmaceutical and biotech corporations.

Write to the officials of St. Kitts & Nevis, and to the Premier of Nevis, and politely ask for a ban on the export of monkeys destined for the research industry. (Mailing addresses; postage is $0.98 from the U.S.)


Online webforms (all characters of Sample Letter fit)

St. Kitts Online Comment Form

Nevis Island Comment Form


Email block



The Honorable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas
Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis
Government Headquarters
Church Street, Basseterre
St. Kitts
(Erasmus Williams, Press Secretary To The Prime Minister)

The Honorable Joseph W. Parry
Premier of Nevis and Minister of Tourism
Bath Hotel
Belle Vue, Charlestown

Honorable Richard Skerritt
Minister of Tourism & International Transport
Government of St. Kitts & Nevis
P.O. Box 878
Building 9
Port Zante, Basseterre
St. Kitts

Rosecita Jeffers, CEO
St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Pelican Mall, Bay Road
P.O. Box 132
St. Kitts

John Hanley, CEO
Nevis Tourism Authority
P.O. Box 184
Main Street, Charlestown


Dear Honorable Premier, Prime Minister, Minister, CEOs and Whom It Concerns,

Each year, hundreds of vervet monkeys on St. Kitts and Nevis are torn from their families and forest homes and exported to laboratories around the world. Once wild and free, these sensitive and intelligent animals end their lives in laboratories where pain and suffering are routine. I urge you to ban the export of monkeys destined for the research industry.

I understand that there are conflicts between humans and monkeys on St. Kitts and Nevis, but there are ways of managing this situation without resorting to export or killing.

Please consider the impact that this continued trade will have upon the international reputation of St. Kitts and Nevis: regrettably, until such a time as you discontinue your participation in the barbaric monkey trade, I will be unable to visit; additionally, I will  share this unfortunate information with family, friends, and online groups.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important message.



vervet monkeys
and farmers clash
but these little beings
are not trash
to send to labs
for research
and a death
cruel and slow
this is not the
right way to go
by humane methods
both farmers and
monkeys win
and this will give
your tropic paradise
a most positive spin

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 11:37 am

    vervet monkeys
    and farmers clash
    but these little beings
    are not trash
    to send to labs
    for research
    and a death
    cruel and slow
    this is not the
    right way to go
    by humane methods
    both farmers and
    monkeys win
    and this will give
    your tropic paradise
    a most positive spin


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