Thursday, 19 February 2015

Anger at bid to fly monkeys to Australia for Pirates of the Caribbean film

The trip from California to Australia would stress the monkeys, groups say, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 could be made ‘without the need to exploit animals’



Wednesday 18 February 2015 03.10 GMTLast modified on Wednesday 18 February 201515.59 GMT

Animal rights groups have urged the Australian government to prevent the transport of two capuchin monkeys to Queensland to perform in Pirates of the Caribbean 5.

Greg Hunt, the federal environment minister, is considering whether to allow the monkeys to enter Australia for the latest instalment of the movie franchise, which is being filmed on the Gold Coast.

Production companies Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have applied for a permit to bring the female and male monkeys, aged 19 and 20 respectively, to Australia.

The monkeys are set to perform in the role of “Jack the monkey”, a pet owned in the films by Captain Barbossa, who is portrayed by Geoffrey Rush.

However, three animal welfare groups have called on Hunt to reject the application, claiming the long journey from California to Australia will unduly stress the animals and that primates performing in films is inherently unnatural and cruel.

According to a Department of Environment assessment of the application to import the monkeys, the animals will arrive in Queensland on 9 March and be taken to purpose-built facilities on the Gold Coast set and held in “secure mesh and steel enclosures within a fenced compound”.

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