A WILDLIFE photographer from Chepstow who is being sued for copyright says an animal rights organisation are representing the wrong animal in court.

A famous photo taken on David Slater’s camera by a monkey is the subject of a legal copyright battle in the United States

A lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is claiming the copyright for the image belonged to the ape, following the publication of the image in a book by Mr Slater, was originally dismissed last year, but they lodged an appeal.  

Mr Slater now says the monkey being represented in the courts is the wrong one.

He said: “They definitely have the wrong monkey, and I can guarantee that. My lawyers can confirm it too.

“The American court system doesn’t seem to care about that, which is baffling.”

The photo was taken after he had spent months following a troop of monkeys that he'd befriended.

Since the photo went global life hasn’t been easy for Mr Slater.

Wikimedia, the US-based organisation behind Wikipedia, refused the photographer’s requests to remove the image which he said was used without his permission, claiming that because a monkey pressed the shutter button it should own the copyright.

“I have been the victim of the rumour mill,” Mr Slater added.

“Wikipedia have made my life a misery I have lost thousands of pounds. I have been told the photos has been shared 40 million times, if I had a pound for every use then I would have £40 million.

“I should be earning money and be at least paying my bills, but the opposite is true. It’s ruining my career and I’m suffering from financial and emotional stress,

“I’m still in no mans land not knowing what the future going to be.”

Mr Slater says the legal system relating to copyright needs changing, especially in relation to the internet and use of photos.

The case has had a huge effect on his career. He added: "I don’t feel that I have done anything wrong.

"I am seriously thinking giving photography up."