French vets cull homeless macaque monkeys

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Vets in southwestern France euthanised a group of Java macaque monkeys from a shuttered animal park on Friday, local officials said, outraging former actress and animal rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot.

The macaques were from a monkey park near the town of Bayonne which closed in 2016. They were killed after they were found to be carrying a form of herpes that could be dangerous to humans.

"The destruction of a number of Java macaques... is being carried out," an official in the local administration told AFP on condition of anonymity, declining to confirm reports that 150 would be killed.

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation sent an open letter to local authorities demanding that the macaques be saved, denouncing a "scandalous massacre" which was "totally disproportionate to the health problems encountered."

Since the demise of their home at the "Pinede des Singes" animal park last year, ordered shut for safety and animal welfare reasons, the macaques have been housed in a local zoo in the town of Labenne.

© 2017 AFP

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