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Action for Primates

Long-tailed macaques, photo by Sarah Kite

News Releases

The following are news releases for the current year. See elsewhere for news releases from previous years.


26th April 2021

Animal Protection groups outraged as Mauritius government gives permission for capture of wild monkeys and expansion of monkey breeding farm for vivisection

Animal Protection groups have condemned as a 'backward step' the decision by the government of Mauritius to grant permission for the expansion of Biosphere Trading Ltd and to allow the company to capture around 1,000 wild monkeys. Biosphere Trading, a company at Closel in Tamarin Falls, breeds and exports long-tailed macaques for research. It has been reported that it will now increase its current capacity of 800 monkeys to 7,500 monkeys, with the aim of exporting 1,500 monkeys per year to the USA and Canada (1).

Mauritius is already one of the world's largest exporters of monkeys for the global research industry, exporting thousands of monkeys every year to the USA and Europe. In 2020, 10,827 long-tailed macaques were exported from the country, an increase of 40% (3,088 monkeys) to 2019.

The animal groups Action for Primates, Progress Science Mauritius, One Voice and Animal Rights, who led an international campaign representing many thousands of people from within Mauritius and around the world, are dismayed this decision was made at a time when there is widespread global concern over the capture of wild non-human primates, especially because of the cruelty and suffering caused by the removal of such animals from their natural habitat, social and family groups. They are concerned that such a step could lead to the resumption of the large-scale commercial trapping of wild long-tailed macaques in Mauritius.

Several official bodies and organisations, including the European Union, recognise the suffering involved in the capturing of wild non-human primates. For example, the International Primatological Society (IPS):

...the capture of nonhuman primates from the wild is stressful for the animals and increases the suffering, risk of injuries, spread of disease and even death during capture, storage and transport (2)

The European Union Directive (applied across the EU in 2013) recognises that the capture of non-human primates from the wild is highly stressful for the animals concerned and carries an elevated risk of injury and suffering during capture and transport. In order to end the capture of animals from the wild, including for purposes of breeding, the Directive introduced provisions with the objective of moving towards using only non-human primates who have been bred in self-sustaining colonies, from parents who themselves have been bred in captivity (3).

Holding and transportation are additional sources of stress and suffering, as the monkeys are shipped on long journeys around the world in the cargo holds of aeroplanes. There has been much evidence accumulated over the years that has revealed the immense cruelty and suffering that is inflicted on monkeys during their capture, caging, holding and transportation.

ENDS

Action for Primates:
E-mail: info@actionforprimates.org

References:

  1. Exportation à des fins de recherche médicale : feu vert du GM au plus grand projet d'élevage. https://defimedia.info/exportation-des-fins-de-recherche-medicale-feu-vert-du-gm-au-plus-grand-projet-delevage?fbclid=IwAR21Wd2bnNPFQPzyQX6iBfWVtxwLR7eUaaX7gApVCl4TuYPfhAEeli2KBG8
  2. "Trade in Primates Captured in the Wild". International Primatological Society. http://www.internationalprimatologicalsociety.org/TradeInWildPrimates.cfm
  3. 2010/63/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (Article 10) Directive. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2010/63/oj

YouTuber in Indonesia who abused monkeys is fined and sentenced to imprisonment

18th April 2021

Action for Primates and Jakarta Animal Aid (JAAN) have welcomed the conviction of a YouTuber for animal cruelty by the authorities in Jakarta. Rian Mardiansyah abused and mistreated monkeys and filmed their suffering for 'entertainment' which he then broadcast on the YouTube channel Abang Satwa (previously called 'Monkey Raging').

The trial took place on 9th April 2021 at the Jakarta Selaten District Court Office (Kantor Pengadilan Negeri Jakarta Selaten). Mardiansyah was sentenced to a fine of Rp. 402,000 and 15 days imprisonment for behaviour relating to exploitation and violence against monkeys (1).

In February, Mardiansyah's monkeys were confiscated by the authorities in Jakarta, including Satpol PP South Jakarta Administrative City and the local government / pemda DKI, following complaints submitted to Dr Anies Baswedan, the Governor of Jakarta, by Action for Primates and Jakarta Animal Aid (JAAN). The three macaques, Boris, Mona and Boim, are now safely at the JAAN rescue centre and have started their new lives free from the torment and cruelty to which they were being subjected daily.

Examples of Mardiansyah's cruel behaviour towards the monkeys included spraying them with jets of water, rubbing obnoxious substances such as glue or chilli onto their food, lighting firecrackers and sparklers to scare them and encouraging the monkeys to fight each other by teasing them with food. He then posted these videos with sound tracks and commentary on his YouTube channel.

Sarah Kite, co-founder and spokesperson for Action for Primates, stated: We are grateful to Dr Anies Baswedan and the authorities in Jakarta who responded to our complaint concerning animal cruelty by confiscating these monkeys and prosecuting the individual involved. We hope this conviction will send an important message and help to deter other people from inflicting cruelty on monkeys and other animals in the guise of 'entertainment' for broadcast on YouTube and other social media platforms.

The conviction of Mardiansyah and confiscation of the monkeys have also shone a spotlight on YouTube and its shameful promotion of animal cruelty by allowing such abusive content to be broadcast on its platform. There has been a proliferation of such animal cruelty videos appearing online across social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and TikTok. The Social Media Animal Cruelty Coalition, of which Action for Primates and JAAN are members, is playing a key role in co-ordinating efforts among animal welfare organisations across the world and raising awareness and educating the public. Its Website provides information and lists the many ways that people can take action to help end this animal cruelty content (2).

The Social Media Animal Cruelty Coalition has also recently sent a letter to the Mr Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Jawa Tengah, urging the authorities to take steps to investigate other similar YouTube channels based in Indonesia. Such channels, including 'Monkey Ji' whose owner also abuses and mistreats monkeys held in captivity and broadcasts their torment and suffering on YouTube (3).

Notes:

  1. Law Number 18 of 2009 Article 66 paragraph 2 and amendments to UU Law Number 41 of 2014 concerning Animal Husbandry and Animal welfare.
  2. https://www.asiaforanimals.com/smacc-public-advice
  3. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mKMmMDv0T6H5pZgcBuimSeMsJmvXL9q4/view

For further information:

Action for Primates:
E-mail: info@actionforprimates.org
Web site: http://actionforprimates.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ActionforPrimates
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/actionforprimates/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Action4Primates

Jakarta Animal Aid Network is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of animals in Indonesia:
E-mail: jakartaanimalaid@gmail.com
Website: https://www.jakartaanimalaid.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jakartaanimalaidnetwork/?hl=en

Indonesia in breach of its own wildlife legislation by allowing export of wild-caught monkeys

26th February 2021

Action for Primates has criticised a decision by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry to allow the capture and export of 2,070 long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in 2021 for biomedical research, despite legislation that was introduced in the country in 1994 that prevented such exports of wild macaques. The 2,070 quota has been allocated to two companies that export macaques for research: CV Primaco and CV Inquatex.

Sarah Kite, spokesperson for Action for Primates, has stated: To allow the export of wild long-tailed macaques is not only a breach of Indonesian wildlife legislation, it is also a huge backward step at a time when there is widespread global condemnation of the trapping of wild non-human primates, especially because of the cruelty and suffering caused by the forcibly removal from their natural habitat, social and family groups.

The resumption of capturing and exporting wild long-tailed macaques by Indonesia is an alarming development. Several official bodies and organisations recognise the suffering involved in the capturing of wild non-human primates. For example, the International Primatological Society has stated:

...the capture of nonhuman primates from the wild is stressful for the animals and increases the suffering, risk of injuries, spread of disease and even death during capture, storage and transport (1)

The European Union recognised that the capture of non-human primates from the wild is highly stressful for the animals concerned and carries an elevated risk of injury and suffering during capture and transport. In order to end the capture of animals from the wild for research, including for purposes of breeding, the European Union Directive (2010/63/EU) introduced provisions with the objective of moving towards using only non-human primates who have been bred in self-sustaining colonies, from parents who themselves have been bred in captivity. The implementation date for these new provisions has been set for 2022. (2)

Long-tailed macaques are indigenous to Indonesia and are part of the rich and diverse ecosystem, contributing to the country's unique biodiversity. The species is listed under Appendix II on CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Further, there has been a new global assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species for the conservation status of the long-tailed macaque. The species has now been listed as 'Vulnerable' with a decreasing population trend (3).

The reason often cited by authorities for allowing the capture of long-tailed macaques is that the animals are coming into 'conflict' with residents and farmers in local communities. An ever-increasing expansion and encroachment into wildlife habitat by people is the primary cause for these 'conflicts', not the fault of the macaques. Rather than allowing wild macaques to be trapped and exported for research, Action for Primates urges the authorities to resolve the issues that lead to negative interactions, such as deforestation and disposal of food waste that results in macaques being attracted to human settlements.

Action for Primates calls on the Government of Indonesia to enact legislation that provides protection for the indigenous long-tailed macaques and urges the adoption of humane and preventative methods that can be used to resolve 'conflicts' without resorting to their capture and export.

ENDS

Action for Primates is a not-for-profit group that campaigns on behalf of non-human primates worldwide.
E-mail: info@actionforprimates.org
Web site: http://actionforprimates.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ActionforPrimates
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/actionforprimates/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Action4Primates

References:

  1. "Trade in Primates Captured in the Wild" International Primatological Society: http://www.internationalprimatologicalsociety.org/TradeInWildPrimates.cfm
  2. 2010/63/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (Article 10) Directive: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2010/63/oj
  3. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12551/17949449