BARBARY macaques have been shown to be disease free in a major new international research work.

The Survey of Treponemal Infections in Free-Ranging and Captive Macaques, 1999–2012, analyses the tropical disease Yaws.

MONKEY BUSINESS: Macaques free of disease
MONKEY BUSINESS: Macaques free of disease

Some 124 Gibraltar macaques were analysed out of a total of 734 from around the world, with the Gibraltar macaques showing no sign of disease.

Environment minister Dr John Cortes said: “They are much more than just tourist attractions.

“Once again scientific research has shown that our animals are free from significant infection.

“Because as primates they are prone to human diseases, our policy of discouraging human/monkey contact is important, as it is much more likely that they can catch something from us that we can from them.”