|Monkey attack || || |
|Saturday, 09 January 2010 |
| The illegal importation of a monkey by a prominent Kingston businessman with strong political ties to the Government.|
reportedly forced the Ministry of Agriculture to issue a warning Friday against the illegal importation of such exotic animals.
The monkey was reportedly being kept at a posh Upper St. Andrew residence over the Christmas period where persons frequently posed with it for photographs.
However, things turned ugly last week, leaving the businessman's family in a fit of worry.
It is understood that the monkey, the businessman was forced to shoot the monkey after it bit into his son's ear.
The worried family reportedly sent the monkey's brain overseas to be tested for communicable diseases.
The Agriculture Ministry issued the warning against the illegal importation or purchasing of such animals as pets on Friday.
In a release, the Ministry cautioned that exposure to monkeys may cause a number of illnesses including Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which is a retrovirus closely related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The potential for SIV induced disease in human is not clear, but because of the virus's close relationship to HIV and its ability to infect human tissues and blood, it should be considered hazardous.
Other illnesses potentially lethal to humans include Ebola-Reston, Cercopithecine Herpes Virus 1, Rabies, Tuberculosis, Measles, Influenza Viruses, Yellow Fever, Monkeypox and Viral Hepatitis (Hepatitis A, B, C).
Individuals in possession of these animals are being asked to contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries' Veterinary Services Division or the nearest Veterinarian by February 15 for arrangements to be made for the safe removal and management of these animals.
Failure to do so will result in the full application of the law.
In addition, persons who may have been in recent contact with a monkey are urged to contact their medical doctor, a medical officer or the Ministry of Health and Environment
immediately, as they may have been exposed to infectious diseases.