Mar 08 - Government Calls for Opposition Statement on Macaque Failure

apesThe Government has rejected the philosophical ruminations of Shadow Environment Minister Jaime Netto that were present in the Party’s recent statement on Ape Management.

The Government insists that the Opposition have to understand that they cannot pretend that the world started on 9 December 2011 and that they were not in Government before.

A statement adds, ‘the Opposition cannot simply brush away its responsibilities for action or inaction when they were in office particularly when the lasting effects of their policies are still causing problems for Gibraltar and our community today.

It is therefore incredible that Mr Netto should have the audacity to point the finger at this Government when it is precisely he and his colleagues who have much to answer for in this and in many other areas of Government policy.

The argument as to who is responsible for the situation with the macaques was won by this Government months ago when it revealed how the GSD had failed to act on good scientific advice during its years in power.

The fact that the use of noise happens to be working – as one of an arsenal of tools – and that residents are responding positively to this, the fact that Government is deploying more resources in this area than any Government has ever done, clearly annoys the GSD who are worried that, with due time, the Government’s plans may actually work. Instead of welcoming this, they give the impression that they would very much LIKE the problem to get worse.

Mr Netto seems to have forgotten the many cases he had to deal with of monkeys in town, and instead talks now as if there has never been a problem in the past.

The irony is that in his statement, Mr Netto clearly admits guilt. He says “the problem is that the numbers of Barbary macaques are too high for the Upper Rock to sustain”. When did these numbers become so high? It certainly did not happen overnight. It happened during the GSD’s watch. Even the young monkeys born in 2012 will have been engendered in October 2011, before the last election! Therefore if there are too many, it is clearly due to inaction on the GSD’s part. This isn’t a question of apportioning blame for political reasons, it’s hard biological fact.

In contrast, for example, this Government late last year already increased resources and investment in the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic’s programme of contraception for female monkeys.’