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New draft law protects Barbary Macaque’s from being touched

Eyleen Gomez

It could be an offence to touch a Barbary Macaque in Gibraltar, if new proposed legislation is introduced.

The amendment to the Animals Act gazetted yesterday stipulates could be an offence if a person entices, feeds or interferes with a Barbary Macaque.

The Bill has proposed an offence for deliberately touching a macaque or in any way interfering with the natural behaviour of a macaque unless authorised by the Minister for the purpose of management, research or veterinary care where necessary.

“It is the first time touching has been an offence,” a Gibraltar Government spokesperson told the Chronicle.

The spokesman added the Government aims to “actively enforce” the new bill.

The feeding of macaques has also been an offence for a number of years, but the Government confirmed there have been no recent fines for this.

Law enforcement agencies and the Department of the Environment’s own Environmental Protection and Research Unit (EPRU) will be in the Nature Reserve to monitor and fine those breaking the law.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A version of this article in our print edition incorrectly reported that the law had been passed. In fact, it is still in draft form and has yet to be debated in Parliament.