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Monkey World News

Bank ad prompts plea for a boycott

Daily Echo
30 July 2005

SUPPORTERS of rescue centre Monkey World are being urged to boycott Barclaycard to protest against the company's use of a performing monkey in an advertisement.

The latest ad, depicting a monkey acting as a pickpocket on a crowded bus, has attracted condemnation from conservationists and animal charities.

And Jim Cronin, who runs Monkey World at Wool, near Wareham, told the Daily Echo: "It is more than disappointing that Barclay-card would seek to use such a gimmick.

"The idea of people keeping and training primates is something that has caused immense suffering. We will be campaigning against that and asking our supporters to boycott Barclaycard."

South Dorset MP and biodiversity minister Jim Knight is due to launch a government clampdown on the primate pet trade at Monkey World this Saturday.

He will explain how the government is preparing to stop the trade in primates being sold as pets and will launch public consultation on the issue.

The Barclaycard advertisement, which stars Jennifer Saunders, has been criticised by Animal Defenders International, the organisation which exposed the horrific abuse of primates at Mary Chipperfield Promotions leading to 13 convictions for cruelty.

Chief executive Jan Creamer said: "Training captive monkeys to perform on command requires the trainer to dominate the animals which frequently involves physical punishment and deprives them of their normal social interactions.

"In order to maintain a supply of trained animals for entertainment, baby animals are often pulled from their mothers and reared in human or other inappropriate surroundings.

"Our message is simple. If companies feel it is acceptable to treat primates in this way for a laugh in an advert then we will be calling on our supporters to hand in their credit cards."

Barclaycard spokesman Andrew Bond said: "We would stress that before and during their work with Barclaycard, the monkeys were well treated and Barclaycard have had positive feedback from these adverts."

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