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Heavier fines in store for protected monkey feeders

TAIPEI -- The Kaohsiung City Government sent a newly drafted bill to the city council yesterday for approval, increasing the fine for people who feed a protected species of monkey.

The new wildlife conservation bill stipulates that people who feed the Formosan Rock Macaque without permission will face fines ranging between NT$5,000 (US$169) and NT$10,000, the city government's agriculture department, which drafted the new raft of regulations, said.

In Taiwan, the macaques are known as being mischief makers that harass visitors for food at tourist sites, damage crops and even attack people with rocks.

Under the old regulations, enacted separately by the former Kaohsiung City and County Governments before the two administrative districts were joined into a single municipality in 2010, city people that fed the primates were fined NT$6,000, while violators in the county were fined between NT$4,000 and NT$8,000.

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