Officials on Friday raided a monkey farm in Preah Vihear province over the facility’s lack of permission to raise hundreds of monkeys in Preah Khlaing commune.
According to an Environment Ministry report, the monkeys were kept by 35-year-old Mey Sengky, who confined them without permission.
Roun Yet, chief of Tbeng Meanchey district, said that the farm manager was previously notified but did not heed the warning.
“We cooperated with a working group composed of the provincial forestry administration and national officials,” Mr Yet said. “We, along with the military police, had to ensure security to seize the monkeys from the owner.”
“We didn’t meet the owner when we went there, we only met the villagers who were hired to care for the monkeys,” he added. “They didn’t resist the seizure of the monkeys.”
Mr Yet said that Mr Sengky managed the monkeys. The real owner is likely an unnamed Chinese company, he noted.
“We don’t know where they’re planning to export the monkeys to. When we asked the manager, he said that they were actually owned by a Chinese company,” he said.
Poeng Trida, director of the provincial Agriculture Department, said that the monkeys were sent to the Phnom Tamao Zoo in Takeo province for medical treatment.
“There were a total of 95 monkeys and all the monkeys were sent to the zoo for medical attention,” Mr Trida said, declining to comment further.
Nhek Ratanak Pich, director of Phnom Tamao Zoo, confirmed that he received the monkeys on Friday.
“We received 95 monkeys on Friday and they are still alive,” Mr Ratanak Pich said.
According to the Environment Ministry, more than 2,300 monkeys were exported to the international market in the first six months of 2017, most likely for use in medical experiements.
A 2008 report by the British Union for the Abolishment of Vivisection said that Cambodia was breaching international regulations by allowing the capture of monkeys for research in the United States and China.