OMACHI, Japan, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Japanese farmers said trained dogs are proving effective in keeping crops safe from monkeys but there aren't enough dogs to meet demands.
Municipalities in 24 prefectures have adopted dog training programs to address the monkey problem since Omachi, Nagano prefecture, introduced such a program in 2005, Asahi Shimbun reported Friday.
Farmers in Uda, Mie prefecture, said damage to agricultural produce from monkeys dropped $24,431 since the dog training program was introduced in 2008 and neighboring Nabari, which established a training program the same year, said damage to crops dropped $4,886 in the first year since the program was adopted.
An official in Numata, Gunma prefecture, said demand for monkey dogs is higher than the number of available canines.
"About 450 monkeys from 10 or 11 groups live here," the official said. "We want to increase the number of monkey dogs but we cannot find enough dog owners willing to participate."
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