FORGET those traffic wardens – now monkey wardens are on the prowl!
And it could cost animal lovers a pretty packet if they are a caught feeding Gibraltar’s famous Barbary Macaques.
For new fixed penalty fines have been announced for feeding ape town’s iconic primates.
The maximum fine on summary conviction by a magistrate is a staggering £4,000.
There are fines from £500 for feeding monkeys outside the nature reserve, or enticing them from there and £250 for feeding them within the reserve.
In addition, new rules that will follow mean that officers of the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Agency will be able to issue these tickets, as well as the police.
The new laws – which will need to go through Parliament in the next few weeks – are aimed at setting a realistic deterrent to the feeding of macaques in built up areas, with the result that the macaques become established there.
Minister for the Environment, Dr John Cortes said: “Feeding of monkeys in built up areas continues to be one of the major reasons why they spend time there.
“By increasing the officers able to police this and making the fines more realistic, we hope the message will get through and offenders will realise that they have a responsibility to co-operate in keeping monkeys away and that they will be fined if they choose not to.”