‘Dickens of a Christmas’ Event Skips Monkey Act

PETA Urged Organizers to Protect Animals and Audiences by Canceling Appearance by Captive Capuchin

For Immediate Release:
December 6, 2018

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Chestertown, Md. – After hearing from PETA and nearly 100,000 of its members and supporters, the organizers of Chestertown’s “Dickens of a Christmas” event confirmed that this weekend’s festivities won’t include a capuchin monkey in performer Jerry Brown’s act, as originally scheduled.

In its letter to the event organizers, PETA pointed out that most monkeys used in performances are sold as infants by animal breeders and dealers, who remove the babies from their mothers prematurely—a practice that denies them the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development. When used for fairs and traveling exhibits, they’re often locked inside cages or shackled with chains and shipped from city to city to be displayed, used for photo ops, or forced to perform.

“There’s nothing merry about dragging sensitive monkeys from town to town and subjecting them to a constant barrage of strange noises and activity and to people touching them,” says PETA Primatologist Julia Gallucci. “Dickens of a Christmas organizers did the right thing in moving forward without this cruel display, and PETA urges everyone to skip any event that treats living beings as stage props.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—also informed the event’s organizers that capuchin monkeys are known to become aggressive when handled and that the monkey originally slated to appear in Chestertown, Django, was recently filmed behaving aggressively toward children at a fair. She’s also missing her canine teeth, which were likely extracted in an effort to reduce the risk of injury to humans who handle her. Procedures to remove or grind down monkeys’ teeth have been deemed unethical by top veterinary organizations and prohibited by a U.S. Department of Agriculture policy since 2006.

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