Monkey Service Animal - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Monkey Service Animal

Monkey Service Animal

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Stirring up controversy in Kentucky.
A state senator suggests that monkeys be used as service animals, but not everyone agrees.
Tim Johnston has the story.

"Poorly conceived, poor public policy,"

April D. Truitt, Executive Director of the Primate Rescue Center- will not hide her disapproval for a newly proposed kentucky legislation, "bad idea. this is the worst idea ever."

Senator John Schickel from Boone County made this proposal in the allow monkeys as service animals... specifically he's designated capuchin monkeys that are individually trained and can perform tasks in the home for adults living with paralysis and who are unable to perform day-to-day tasks and activities for themselves.

The senator did not return my calls for comment.

"It's not a good idea. everybody seems to know that, except perhaps Senator Schickel, who I'm hoping will get this message."

Yet programs, nationwide, are already putting these primates to work.

"It evidently takes up to ten years to train a monkey for this purpose. their success stories are few"

"There have been several accounts of these assistant animals turning on their human quadriplegics." and it can be bad for the monkeys, too.

"They remove every tooth in their head so as to prevent injury to their human caretakers,"

"If your viewers had to consider doing that for say a seeing-eye dog, there would be a terrible uproar."

Much like the uproar she's already starting about this piece of proposed legislature. In Jessamine County, Tim Johnston.

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