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Action for Primates

Long-tailed macaques, photo by Sarah Kite

Take Action on Behalf of Non-human Primates

24 October 2020: Speak out for the Barbary macaques used and abused as photo props in Morocco
Barbary macaque being kicked by 'handler' and used as 'entertainment' for tourists in Morocco; photo credit Nelly Moulin
Barbary macaque kicked by 'handler'
photo credit Nelly Moulin
The Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) is native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco along with a small population in Gibraltar. The species is listed as 'Endangered' with a declining population on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. In 2016, the Barbary macaque was given greater protection against international trade when CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) transferred the species from Appendix II to Appendix I.

Although habitat loss is the most serious threat to the wild populations of Barbary macaques, weak enforcement of the additional protection given to the species allows an illegal trade to continue, which is also having a significant negative impact. Captured in the wild within Morocco, these macaques are sold as 'pets' and to supply the cruel photo prop trade for tourists, in particular in Marrakesh.

Barbary macaques on neck chains used as 'entertainment' for tourists in Morocco; photo credit Nelly Moulin
Barbary macaques on neck chains
photo credit Nelly Moulin
Video footage depicting the shocking way in which the macaques are treated by street handlers in Morocco has been shared with Action for Primates by Nelly Moulin, who filmed the monkeys at the Jemaa El Fna square market in Marrekesh in February 2020. The videos show street handlers touting for photos and selfies to 'entertain' tourists, as they drag and manhandle struggling and cowering young Barbary macaques around by a neck chain. One street handler kicks a terrified individual (see photo), who is unable to escape from his abuser. Other macaques can be seen peering out of dark wooden crates on wheels in which they are imprisoned and transported. There is no question that the cruel treatment, exposure to crowds of people and loud noises and the chaos of the busy streets are extremely frightening and distressful for the macaques.

Although, there is a growing awareness regarding the exploitation of non-human primates and other wild animals as 'entertainment', many people remain unaware of the physical and psychological cost to these wild animals. They may be completely unaware of the behind-the-scenes abuse and may not appreciate the extreme suffering caused simply by being in captivity and deprived of their mothers and their freedom.

What can you do to help the Barbary macaques of Morocco:
11 October 2020: Call on Mauritius government to refuse permission for capture of wild monkeys and expansion of primate breeding farm
Long-tailed macaque living freely in Mauritius
Long-tailed macaque living freely in Mauritius
Action for Primates is appealing to the Mauritius government to refuse permission for the capture of wild monkeys and not allow the primate company, Biosphere, to expand its facility.

Biosphere Trading is a company at Closel in Tamarin Falls, Mauritius, that breeds and exports non-human primates for vivisection. It is seeking to expand and increase its current capacity of 800 monkeys to 7,500 individuals. The company is also seeking permission to capture monkeys from the wild, and aims to start exporting 1,500 monkeys per year.

Mauritius is one of the world's largest exporters of non-human primates for the global vivisection industry. Tens of thousands of macaques are kept captive in breeding farms across the country. They spend their lives behind bars, on bare concrete, deprived of the lush foliage of their jungle home that is all around them. In 2019, the five Mauritius companies involved in this brutal trade, shipped thousands of individuals to laboratories in the USA, Canada, France, the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. This cruel business, that inflicts so much suffering and distress, is reportedly worth over one billion rupees a year.

Capturing and removing non-human primates from their native habitat and family and social groups is cruel and inflicts substantial suffering and distress, including injuries and death. Holding and transportation add to this as the monkeys are shipped on long journeys around the world in the cargo holds of aeroplanes. Several official bodies and non-human primate organisations acknowledge the inhumanity of this situation. For example, the International Primatological Society states:
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
It is important that the Mauritius government is made aware of the strength of opposition – within Mauritius and around the globe – to this cruel trade in monkeys' lives.

Please support our campaign calling on the government of Mauritius urging it to refuse the application from Biosphere Trading Ltd to expand it's facilities:
7 October 2020: Support the campaign to End the global wildlife trade – Wild animals belong in the wild
Long-tailed macaques in Indonesia market; photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs
Long-tailed macaques in Indonesia market
photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs
Action for Primates is part of the Campaign to End Wildlife Trade, a coalition of 25 UK animal welfare and wildlife conservation groups, led by World Animal Protection, calling on the UK government to endorse and promote an end to the international trade in wild animals and wild animal products for commercial purposes at the upcoming meeting of G20 leaders in November.

The global trade in wildlife inflicts great cruelty and suffering as wild animals are snatched from their native habitats or farmed commercially to meet the demand for exotic 'pets', traditional medicine, bushmeat and the entertainment industry. For many endangered species, the wildlife trade is the biggest threat to their survival. It involves millions of animals and a variety of species, including non-human primates, bears, snakes, parrots, iguanas, lizards, tortoises, pangolins and otters.

COVID-19 is a wake-up call for the world and the case for a global wildlife trade ban has never been more urgent. Human activities such as deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of farming and building of mines, along with the exploitation of wild animals – hunting and poaching, whether for a legal or illegal wildlife trade – are having a devastating impact on the planet and have created a crisis that will result in increased disease transmission from wild animals to people.

It is a critical time for the planet and the other species with whom we share it. We need global leaders to commit to protecting and preserving the environment, biodiversity and wildlife.

If you live in the UK, please contact your local MP urging them to call on the UK government to lead the world in bringing an end to the global trade in wildlife at the upcoming meeting of G20 leaders in November. Ask your MP to support an end to the global wildlife trade by doing the following:
18 September 2020: Help end the trapping of Mauritius long-tailed macaques for food and 'pets'
Chamarel Fair serving monkey meat, Mauritius
Chamarel Fair, Cari No 2
monkey meat, Mauritius
Action for Primates is very concerned by several recent reports of the trapping of wild monkeys in Mauritius and the appalling fate that awaits these intelligent and sentient animals. Many people are unaware that, in Mauritius, monkeys may be captured to be sold as 'pets' or to be killed and eaten. Bushmeat - such as the flesh from captured and slaughtered long-tailed macaques - can even be found on sale in Mauritius, especially at fairs where monkey meat is advertised as 'Cari No. 2', such as found on the menu board pictured here at Chamarel Fair.
Chamarel Fair serving monkey meat, Mauritius
Chamarel Fair, Cari No 2
monkey meat, Mauritius


Non-human primates are wild animals and do not belong in captivity in homes and backyards and should not be killed as food. We need to end the cruel and appalling practice of trapping wild monkeys to be eaten or kept as 'pets'.

What you can do to help:
Long-tailed macaques as 'pets', Mauritius
Long-tailed macaques as 'pets'
Mauritius
The long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) lives freely in Mauritius. Although the species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), there exists no legislation to protect the monkeys of Mauritius. Instead, over the years, the animals have been widely persecuted and exploited.

In addition to being captured to be sold as 'pets' or killed to be eaten, long-tailed macaques have historically been trapped and exported overseas for use in experiments or kept in captivity to breed offspring who are then exported.
19 August 2020: Baby monkeys killed in human infant formula research
Rhesus macaque mum with infant; photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Rhesus macaque mum with infant
credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
This research, recently published, was a cruel and shocking waste of life. Twenty-three female monkeys suffered the trauma and loss of having their babies taken from them and 23 baby monkeys were purposefully killed at just 6 months of age for a human infant formula that is already on the market. The study involved Abbott Nutrition infant formula products and was funded by Abbott Nutrition and the US taxpayer (National Institutes of Health). See more about this after the take action points.

Please take action: The research was carried out at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in the USA. At birth, the infant monkeys were assigned to one of three trademarked diets: Similac Advance with OptiGRO (eight monkeys), Similac Advance base formulation (seven monkeys) and a combination of monkey breast milk and Fiber-Balanced Monkey Diet 5000 [LabDiet] (eight monkeys). The research was carried out to look at different nutrients. All 15 infants who were fed the commercial human infant formula were removed from their mothers at one day old and kept in what was euphemistically called a "nursery". The eight infants who had the combination diet were allowed to be with their mothers for six months before being taken away and killed with the other 15 individuals. Forcibly separating infants from their mothers, and then depriving them of each other, is an extremely distressing experience for mother and infant, and one of the cruelest treatments to which primates, including human ones, can be subjected.

Researchers will often try to justify using non-human primates in research by arguing how similar they are to people. It is, however, precisely these similarities that make their suffering and use so unjustifiable. Like people, non-human primates carry with them the underlying abilities to feel pain; to suffer; to experience anxiety, fear and depression; to show signs of experiencing joy or enjoyment; to provide human-like care for others of their own kind. They are our closest biological relatives in the animal kingdom and to treat them in this way is disgraceful.

In addition to the inhumane nature of the research, Action for Primates believes that the results cannot be extrapolated to human infants whose metabolism, nutrient requirements and, in particular, social environment, would be completely different. Further, the Abbott Nutrition products are already in use for human infants and data for people have been and could continue to be derived from sophisticated studies on infants.

Reference:
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License
7 August 2020: Updated information on hundreds of monkeys to be flown from Mauritius to the USA to be used in experiments
Long-tailed macaques in Mauritius breeding farm; photo credit Cruelty Free International
Long-tailed macaques Mauritius breeding farm
photo credit Cruelty Free International
Action for Primates has appealed to Ethiopian Airlines (see below for their response) and Astral Aviation, a Kenyan based cargo airline, to refuse to be involved in the transportation of hundreds of monkeys from Mauritius to the USA. According to an alert received by Action for Primates, the shipment of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) is due to take place later this month. This follows an earlier shipment of monkeys originating from Mauritius and flown by Astral Aviation, eventually destined for the USA. These intelligent and sensitive animals will be subjected to unimaginable stress and anxiety as they are captured from their breeding cages, packed into small crates, driven to the airport, loaded into the cargo hold and subjected to the bewildering and frightening sounds and sensations of air travel thousands of miles across the world. Their fate in a USA research laboratory will be even worse.

Please join us in calling on Astral Aviation to not transport these monkeys, but instead commit to ending all involvement with transporting non-human primates destined for research. Send polite E-mail to the attention of:
Long-tailed macaques in Mauritius breeding farm; photo credit Cruelty Free International
Long-tailed macaques Mauritius breeding farm
photo credit Cruelty Free International
The international trade in primates for research inflicts great cruelty and suffering on these highly intelligent and sentient animals; including their their forced captivity in unnatural conditions on farms, the forced early separation of infants from their mothers, their transportation in the cargo holds of aeroplanes and their eventual fate in the research laboratory. During transportation, primates may be subjected to delays, inadequate ventilation, noise and extreme temperature fluctuations in the cargo hold of aircraft.

The transportation of primates by airlines is an issue that rightly attracts strong public concern and opposition. As a result, many international airlines and cargo carriers, including American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Eva Air, Air Canada, China Airlines and Amerijet International, have made the decision to dissociate themselves from the cruelty and suffering of the international trade in primates by refusing to transport primates destined for the research industry. We are hoping that we, with your help, can convince Astral Aviation to do the same.

Ethiopian Airlines have assured us they have no plans to transport Mauritius monkeys destined for research. Further, they stated that they have a general embargo against these types of shipments. We are grateful to Ethiopian Airlines for its willingness to discuss this issue with us and hope the stated embargo will be permanent. Thank you to everyone who has contacted Ethiopian Airlines, thereby alerting them to just how abhorrent the transportation of non-human primates by airlines is to the public.
3 August 2020: Campaign to end captive wildlife in tourism and entertainment In many countries, tourist attractions at parks, zoos and other outlets, will often have live shows featuring 'performances' by a variety of captive wild animals. The use of non-human primates as 'entertainment' is common, especially in Thailand, where animals may be forced to wear costumes or perform manoeuvres which are mostly unnatural, such as riding bicycles or walking or standing on their hind legs for long periods.

Tourists and travel companies are unaware of the cost to wild animals – the inherent cruelty and suffering – just so that people can be 'amused and entertained'. Non-human primates in particular are taken from their mothers, denied their freedom, kept in poor conditions and forced to perform unnatural tasks, cruel, degrading and demeaning.

Infant lar gibbon in photo opportunity for tourists at a Thai zoo; photo credit Amy Jones-Moving Animals
Infant lar gibbon handled by tourists
photo credit Amy Jones-Moving Animals
Young orangutan used for 'boxing' at a Thai zoo; photo credit Amy Jones-Moving Animals
Young orangutan at a Thai zoo
photo credit Amy Jones-Moving Animals
These heartbreaking photographs were taken by Moving Animals at a zoo in Thailand, where great apes, including this infant lar gibbon and young orangutan in 'boxing shorts', were being used as photo props to attract and amuse tourists. Instead of being with their mothers in their natural habit, they were being posed for photos with laughing tourists, the latter oblivious to the extreme mental anguish they were supporting.

The photographs have been released by Moving Animals and Action for Primates as part of the global campaign to end the use of captive non-human primates and other wildlife in tourism and 'entertainment'.

Young orangutan used for 'boxing' at a Thai zoo; photo credit Amy Jones-Moving Animals
Young orangutan at a Thai zoo
photo credit Amy Jones-Moving Animals
Great apes are listed as Appendix I on CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). This means they are threatened with extinction. Major threats to great apes include habitat destruction, hunting and and illegal trade. Adult orangutans, for example, are often killed for bushmeat, while their infants may be trafficked or sold into the 'pet' or 'entertainment' trade.

Captive wild animals used in tourism and 'entertainment' are kept under stressful conditions and their psychological and physical health suffers as a result. They are forced to have direct contact with people, handled and passed around for hours at a time for photographs. The stress of captivity also puts people at risk because it increases the chance of disease transmission from the animals to them.

Aversive measures, such as coercion, physical violence or deprivation of food or water may be used in most cases to cause fear, intimidation and a feeling of helplessness or else the animals will not 'perform' or will be too dangerous to handle. Bipedal walking (walking on hind legs) is not natural, and to get the non-human primates to adopt this abnormal posture, they may be forced to stand up straight with the use of chains around their necks.

Amy Jones, from Moving Animals, who took the photographs seen here, stated: With orangutans and gibbons facing the threat of extinction over the next few decades, portraits like these are made all the more heart-breaking. Even when there are so few left of these incredible and unique species, we continue to hunt them, torment them, and subject them to captivity – just for profit and 'entertainment.

Sarah Kite, spokesperson for Action for Primates, stated: We are calling for an end to the cruel exploitation of all wild animals, not just non-human primates, in tourism and 'entertainment'. It is unacceptable that these intelligent and sentient beings should be treated simply as photo props for our amusement. The future must be wildlife-friendly for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Action for Primates has joined over 200 other NGOs and travel companies in signing an Open Letter to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), organised by World Animal Protection, urging it to include a move away from captive wildlife entertainment to wildlife-friendly tourism as a key component of their global recommendations for rebuilding the tourism industry.

Wildlife-friendly tourism is better for animals, people and the planet. We need to leave wild animals in the wild where they belong.

Please support our campaign by:
30 July 2020: Help protect critically endangered non-human primates in Cameroon
Chimpanzee at Cameroon rescue centre; photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Chimpanzee at Cameroon rescue centre
credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
The Cameroon government has opened up over 68,000 hectares of Ebo Forest – a pristine rainforest rich in biodiversity – to commercial logging, thereby threatening the survival of great apes and the many other endangered species who live there.

Please support the campaign urging the Cameroon government to cancel plans for commercial logging in Ebo Forest and instead protect this pristine rainforest by declaring it a national park:
Send polite E-mail to the Cameroon embassy/consulate in your country. Find the details here: Cameroon Embassies & Consulates
This tragic development follows years of campaigning by environmental and conservation groups, such as Greenpeace, and local communities to secure Ebo Forest's protection after the government failed to honour the decision in 2006 to declare the area a national park.

Ebo Forest is home to critically endangered non-human primates, including the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee subspecies, which is considered to be the most threatened of the chimpanzees, a small population of gorillas and the Preuss's red colobus. Other species at risk include elephants and gray parrots.

For further information: Cameroon Allows Logging in Forest That's Home to Gorillas
23 July 2020: Appeal to Liverpool Football Club
Baby long-tailed macaque, breeding farm in Mauritius; photo credit Cruelty Free International
Baby long-tailed macaque, breeding farm, Mauritius
photo credit Cruelty Free International
Join us in our appeal to Liverpool Football Club to use its influence to help the monkeys of Mauritius. We want Liverpool FC to urge Mauritius to end its involvement in the cruel global trade in primates for research. Mauritius should be a paradise for everyone, including the monkeys.

Please sign and share our joint petition with Vivisection Exposed: Liverpool Football Club - Urge Mauritius To End Its Trade in Primates For Vivisection
11 July 2020: The cruel and tragic fate of the monkeys of Mauritius
Free-living long-tailed macaque, Mauritius
Free-living long-tailed macaque
Mauritius
You can help the monkeys of Mauritius (see below for more information) by asking the Mauritius government to introduce legislation to protect the wild monkeys of Mauritius, to ban the capture and keeping of them as pets and to end the country's involvement in the cruel international trade in primates for research; let them know that the role Mauritius plays in the cruel trade in monkeys is tarnishing its international reputation as a holiday paradise:
  1. Write to Prime Minister:
    The Hon Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
    Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius
    E-mail: privateoffice@govmu.org
    E-mail: pmo@govmu.org
  2. Write to Mauritius embassy in your country: Mauritius embassies with contact details
  3. Write to Minister of Tourism in Mauritius:
    The Honorable Louis Steven Obeegadoo
    Minister of Tourism
    E-mail: mtou@govmu.org
    Cc Dr KAWOL Dhanandjay, Permanent Secretary, E-mail: dkawol@govmu.org
  4. Write to Mauritius tourism office in your country or region: Mauritius tourism offices
  5. Tweet Mauritius government and tourism authority (be sure to tag @SeeMauritius and @GovMauritius with any and every Tweet you send); suggested Tweets:
Share this action alert widely and add our hash tags: #StopMauritiusMonkeyTrade #ProtectMauritiusMonkeys.

The cruel and tragic fate of the monkeys of Mauritius

Macaques in Mauritius breeding farm; photo Cruelty Free International
Macaques in Mauritius breeding farm
photo Cruelty Free International

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) have been living on Mauritius for over 400 years. Despite being well-established on the island and having become part of the ecosystem, contributing to the island's biodiversity, the species is considered to be a 'pest' and is widely persecuted across Mauritius.

There is currently no legislation that protects the monkeys who live freely on Mauritius. Often referred to as a paradise island or 'a jewel of the Indian Ocean', Mauritius is one of the world's largest exporters of primates for the global research industry. In 2017, Mauritius accounted for 21% of the world's export of live primates; only second to China which accounted for 37%. Mauritius exports monkeys mainly to laboratories and animal supply companies in the USA and Europe, and, in 2019, exported thousands of individuals overseas to the USA, Canada, France, the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Over the years, many thousands of wild long-tailed macaques on Mauritius were captured and exported overseas for research. Now, tens of thousands of macaques are kept captive in breeding farms across the country. They spend their lives behind bars, on bare concrete, deprived of the lush foliage of their jungle home that is all around them. From around the age of two years, the youngsters are packed into small wooden crates and exported overseas as cargo on aeroplanes.

Macaques kept as 'pets' in Mauritius
Macaques kept as 'pets' in Mauritius
Many wild macaques are also trapped and kept as 'pets'. These individuals may be imprisoned on their own in small cages or permanently tied to a length of rope. It is cruel to deprive these intelligent and social animals of a normal life. Such confinement, deprivation and isolation from other monkeys causes physical and psychological suffering. Monkeys are wild animals and they need space, stimulation and the companionship of other monkeys.

8 July 2020: New study highlights success of nonlethal means of managing conflict between baboons and people in South Africa
Chacma baboons in South Africa; photo 151629574  Grobler Du Preez - Dreamstime.com
Chacma baboons in South Africa
photo 151629574 © Grobler Du Preez - Dreamstime.com
Conflicts between non-human primates and people are almost always due to human expansion into and the destruction of native habitat, forcing non-human primates to compete with people over land and resources. Rather than attempt to resolve this conflict humanely, the response is often to treat the animals as a 'pest' or 'nuisance' and simply to kill them, or to capture them alive and send them off for research and breeding or for the 'pet' and food trade.

Action for Primates always advocates the adoption of humane methods to resolve such conflict as well as addressing some of the issues that are causing conflict, including deforestation and inappropriate disposal of food waste. We have, therefore, welcomed the findings of recently published research (Nonlethal management of baboons on the urban edge of a large metropole) that has shown using field rangers was a successful nonlethal method to managing conflict between chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) and people in urban areas of Cape Town in South Africa. The study looked at the role of field rangers in deterring two troops of baboons from urban areas and how it affected the diet and activity patterns of the animals. The results showed that when the field rangers were present, baboons spent only 3% and 19% of their time within the urban edge, compared to 70% and 80% when the field rangers were absent. Furthermore, both troops ate more human-derived foods when field rangers were absent.

The research found: Action for Primates recently revealed that the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is considering whether to grant permits to allow the capture of wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) for research purposes, amid claims there has been an increase in the monkey population and conflicts with people.

You can help with conflict issues occurring at this moment in the Philippines by:
  1. Signing and share our petition: Urge the Philippine Government to deny the capture of wild monkeys for research purposes
  2. Writing to relevant Philippine officials: Contact information
At a time when there is increasing awareness of the devastating consequences that human activity is having on the natural world, including non-human primates – we invade their habitat and disrupt ecosystems – it is imperative that we learn to coexist with other species rather than just eliminate them when conflicts arise.

See our Conflicts with people page for more information on conflict resolution between non-human primates and people.
4 July 2020: Do not purchase coconut products the result of cruel exploitation of non-human primates
Southern pig-tailed macaque forced to pick coconuts in Thailand; photo credit
Southern pig-tailed macaque
forced to pick coconuts in Thailand

Action for Primates welcomes the news that the UK supermarkets such as Boots, Co-op, Ocado and Waitrose, have banned the sale of coconut products that involve the exploitation of non-human primates to harvest the fruit. The move comes following an investigation by PeTA Asia, Thailand, that has exposed the mistreatment and abuse of captive pig-tailed macaques. The animals, who are kept chained in terrible conditions, are forced to climb trees and pick coconuts.

Animal Place, a sanctuary and advocacy organisation in the USA has, for several years, been maintaining an approved list of companies that do not support the use of non-human primates to harvest the coconuts. Please ensure you only purchase coconut products such as coconut milk, oil and water, from companies that do not exploit non-human primates; especially boycott coconut products from Thailand.


What you can do to help:
28 June 2020: Monkeys continue to be forced to 'perform' on the streets of Indonesia
Long-tailed macaque with dolls' head clamped on head; photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs
Long-tailed macaque with dolls' head
photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs

In Indonesia, monkeys continue to be forced to 'perform' on the streets. The practice is known as 'topeng monyet' or 'masked monkey'. Long-tailed macaques are dressed up, often with dolls' heads clamped on their heads (photo) and forced to 'perform' and beg. Food deprivation and physical violence are common 'training' methods used.

Long-tailed macaque with neck chains, forced to stand on hind legs; photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs
Long-tailed macaque, neck chains
photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs
The animals may be forced to wear costumes or perform manoeuvres which are mostly unnatural, such as riding bicycles or walking or standing on their hind legs for long periods. Bipedal walking (walking on hind legs) is not natural for monkeys and can lead to long-term damage to joints and muscles. In order to get the monkeys to adopt this abnormal posture, the monkeys are forced to stand up straight with the use of chains squeezing their neck (photo). Other aversive measures such as physical violence or deprivation of food or water may be used in most cases to cause fear, intimidation and a feeling of helplessness or else the animals will not 'perform' or will be too dangerous to handle.

Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) has campaigned tirelessly for an end to 'topeng monyet', and a ban has extended from Jakarta to other parts of Indonesia. The practice, however, is still taking place, especially in East and Central Java, mainly because of a lack of enforcement. JAAN has also campaigned successfully for these monkeys to be confiscated, and they have already been able to rescue, rehabilitate and release many of these monkeys, who now live freely on an island off the coast of Java. JAAN is in urgent need of funds to continue this important work, and currently have several macaques rescued from a miserable life in which they were forced to 'entertain' people. You can make a donation or sponsor one of the rescued monkeys.

Please also take action by writing to the Minister of Environment and Forestry. Thank the Minister for the action her Ministry has taken so far to protect monkeys exploited in 'topeng monyet', but urge her to ensure that any legislation is implemented and enforced properly, so that monkeys do not continue to suffer in this cruel practice:
Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya Bakar
Minister of Environment and Forestry
Manggala Wanabakti Building Block I lt. 2 Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto
Jakarta 10270,
PO Box 6505
Indonesia
E-mail: sitinurbaya_bakar@yahoo.co.id and pusdatin@menlhk.go.id
26 June 2020: US hearing on keeping non-human primates as 'pets'
Olive baboon, former 'pet', USA; photo credit Sarah Kite/Born Free
Olive baboon, former 'pet', USA
credit Sarah Kite/Born Free
This week in the USA, a hearing on an important bill that would restrict the keeping of non-human primates as 'pets' was held by the US House Natural Resources Committee.

The Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 1776, introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa, 'would add nonhuman primates to the definition of "Prohibited Wildlife Species" under the Lacey Act. The legislation would make it illegal to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, any live animal of any prohibited wildlife species.'

If you live in the USA, please contact your U.S. Representative and urge her or him to support the Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 1776. Click here for contact information for your legislators.

In the USA, thousands of non-human primates are bred commercially to be kept as 'pets'. Infants are removed from their mothers and advertised for sale dressed in human children's clothes. They may even have their tails removed to make it easier to put on diapers.

Non-human primates are wild animals and do not belong in captivity, especially not in private homes and backyards. Keeping them as 'pets' compromises their health and welfare and creates a danger and health risk to human beings. For further information on why non-human primates should not be kept as 'pets', choose Issues > Private homes ('pets') from our main menu.
20 June 2020: Update on Haywood County, North Carolina, and capuchin monkeys as 'pets'
Wedge-capped capuchin in private home, USA
Wedge-capped capuchin
private home, USA
Thank you to everyone who sent E-mail to the Board of Commissioners at Haywood County in North Carolina, USA, urging them to reject a proposed amendment to the existing county ordinance that bans all non-human primates in private homes. If accepted, the amendment would allow capuchin monkeys to be kept as 'pets'.

This week, a public hearing was held by the Commissioners at which they heard arguments for and against allowing capuchin monkeys as 'pets'. We are encouraged to learn that, in a written recommendation submitted to the Commissioners, the Haywood County Animal Services Director said that he is opposed to the proposed amendment to the ordinance. The meeting was reported in The Mountaineer news.

A decision by the Commissioners is likely to be made at its next meeting on this coming July 20th.

It is important that we continue to send E-mail to the Commissioners urging them to reject the amendment, and instead maintain their important ban on keeping any non-human primate as a 'pet'.

Write your opposition to the amendment:
18 June 2020: Capuchin used on HBO series "I Know This Much Is True"
Tufted capuchins
Tufted capuchins
Despite increasing concern about using non-human primates in 'entertainment', the creators of "I Know this Much Is True", HBO, used a captive tufted capuchin in the series. Using a captive monkey and forcing her to 'perform' is cruel. Organisations such as the American Society of Primatologists, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the International Primatological Society are opposed to using non-human primates as 'entertainment', largely because it is considered inhumane.

Whenever we see this type of entrenched abuse of non-human primates, we need to let the producers of movies or television shows know that using these animals in this way is unacceptable.

Please contact the following, using their on-line access, and politely voice your disappointment that a captive monkey was used, and ask that they institute a policy to stop using captive wildlife, whether non-human primates or others, in their productions: Non-human primates have complex behavioural, social and psychological needs that cannot be met in any meaningful way in captivity or when used in situations to 'entertain' people. They may be forced to wear costumes (as was the case with the capuchin in this series) or perform manoeuvres which are mostly unnatural.

Of great importance is the implicit message sent by such use of animals. Children and others learn, by example, that it is acceptable to use these animals for any purpose, regardless how trivial and even when such use is degrading to the dignity of the animals involved or is potentially dangerous.

HBO is an American pay television network owned by Warner Media Entertainment.
16 June 2020: Monkeys flown from Barbados to USA for research - contact airline
African green monkeys; photo credit Cruelty Free International
African green monkeys
credit Cruelty Free International

We have been alerted by Animal Rights Foundation Florida (ARFF), about another air cargo company transporting non-human primates for research purposes. Conquest Air Cargo recently flew dozens of African green monkeys as cargo from Barbados to Miami, Florida. The monkeys were imported by PreLabs, a Florida-based supplier of monkeys to laboratories.

African green or vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) have lived freely on Barbados for hundreds of years. However, Barbados has been exporting them for research purposes for decades. The monkeys are captured from the wild, taken from their families, social groups and forest homes, and packed into small, wooden crates and shipped as cargo to their fate in a research laboratory.

Please help by urging Conquest Air Cargo to refuse to transport any further shipments of monkeys destined for research, and to instead join the increasing number of airlines that have made the decision to stop their involvement in this appalling trade:
Marc Wolff, CEO
Conquest Air Cargo
5820 Miami Lakes Dr
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
Phone: (305) 593-8847
E-mail (send to Wolff and be sure to Cc the other addresses):
Sample letter:
Dear Conquest Air Cargo:

I appeal to you to stop transporting monkeys destined for the research industry. African green monkeys, the species recently transported by your company, are trapped in the wild in Barbados for export to laboratories. Capturing wild monkeys is cruel and inflicts substantial suffering and distress, as the animals are forcibly removed from their habitat, family and social groups. Many international airlines and cargo carriers, including the Florida-based airlines Amerijet International and IBC Airways, as well as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Lufthansa and Air China, have made the decision to no longer be involved in the cruelty and suffering of the international trade in primates by refusing to transport them for animal supply companies and research laboratories. Please make a similar commitment.
12 June 2020: Urgent action needed to prevent capuchin monkeys being kept as 'pets'
Wedge-capped capuchin in private home, USA
Wedge-capped capuchin
private home, USA
Action for Primates is alarmed to learn that in Haywood County, North Carolina, USA, capuchins may be allowed to be kept as 'pets' as an exception to an existing ordinance banning any non-human primates in private homes. At a public hearing due to take place on Monday 15th June, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners may take action on a proposed amendment to Chapter 91: Animal Services Ordinance, that would grant an exemption for capuchin monkeys, thereby allowing people to keep them as 'pets'.

Every state in the USA has exotic animal laws which allow, restrict or prohibit 'ownership' of certain types of wild or exotic animals. In some states, such as North Carolina, the law allows individual counties and cities to create ordinances regarding these animals.

In Haywood County, the ordinance bans the keeping of certain wild animals, deemed to be "inherently dangerous to persons or property", in private homes. Currently, this includes all non-human primates. The petitioner for the proposed amendment incorrectly is arguing that capuchin monkeys are not inherently dangerous, are easily domesticated and do not have an aggressive nature. Action for Primates has ample evidence that none of these assertions is true. Non-human primates are not 'pets' and Action for Primates will speak out at every opportunity to oppose this cruel practice.

We applaud Haywood County for having an ordinance that currently prevents the keeping of all non-human primates in private homes and urge the Commissioners to reject the proposed amendment. Keeping any non-human primate as a 'pet' undeniably compromises the health and welfare of the animals. It also creates a substantial danger and health risk to people. As non-human primates mature and become physically stronger, they become unpredictable and aggressive towards people and can cause serious injuries.

Please send polite E-mail to the five Commissioners below urging them to maintain their current important ban on the private keeping of all non-human primates and urge them to reject this amendment: For more information on why primates should not be kept as 'pets', see Issues > Private homes ('pets') from our main menu.

Those of you in the US can access the following news article concerning this issue: https://www.themountaineer.com/news/local/county_government/commissioners-to-address-a-bit-of-monkey-business-next-week/article_557928dc-a9cd-11ea-8623-674b0c7d94c8.html.
11 June 2020: Please support call to end killing of rhesus macaques in Indian state of Himachal Pradesh
Rhesus macaque in India; photo credit Action for Primates
Rhesus macaque in India
credit Action for Primates
Action for Primates supports the India Greens Party (IGP) in its appeal to the Himachal Pradesh government to make the killing of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) illegal by revoking an order that declares this species 'vermin'.

Although rhesus macaques are a protected species under Schedule 11 of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the legislation allows hunting and killing to take place by declaring a species 'vermin' for a specific period if that species poses a danger to human life or property, including crops.

During the past few years, the Himachal Pradesh government has carried out monkey sterilisations, although this non-lethal approach of resolving conflicts has gone hand-in-hand with citizens using lethal methods such as the hunting and poisoning of monkeys.

In a press statement, IGP President, Mr Suresh Nautiyal, said that rapid urbanisation and deforestation have forced monkeys to find shelter and food in areas habituated by humans, including cites. However, killing the monkeys was no solution to resolving conflicts with people. Instead, humane methods such as sterilisation and the proper disposal of waste should be used.

Mr Nautiyal stated: "Therefore, we are responsible for [the monkeys'] displacement and we must not kill them...The earth belongs to all species of flora-fauna that inhabit it. It does not belong to the humans only. Therefore, any solution has to be within the principles of co-existence."

Action for Primates welcomes this call from the India Greens Party. It is more important than ever that we look for humane ways in which we can coexist with other species. If the management of rhesus macaque populations is needed, the Himachal Pradesh government should develop and implement a long-term, humane and effective plan than does not involve killing these sentient beings. See our conflict resolution page for more information.

Video in support of this campaign: Save the Himalayan Monkeys

Please support this campaign:
3 June 2020: Indonesian celebrity continues to promote monkeys as 'pets'
Action for Primates is very disappointed to learn that Indonesian celebrity Irfan Hakim has recently posted several videos of himself with Candy Laura, his 'pet' baby monkey, on YouTube, thereby continuing to promote the keeping of monkeys as 'pets'. This confused baby monkey is pitifully dressed in children's clothes and paraded around like a toy in front of the camera, along with a second albino monkey whose behaviour is clearly disturbed (stereotypical). These infant monkeys should be living freely with their mothers in the forest, not kept in captivity as a source of amusement for people.

Please join us in calling on Irfan Hakim - again - to use his celebrity status to do something positive for monkeys in Indonesia and to urge people not to keep them in captivity. If he truly cares for monkeys, he will see that what he is doing is harmful to them:

E-mail: info@irfanhakim.com
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/theirfanhakim
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/irfanhakim75/

Although we would prefer no one view these videos, if you feel you need to see the evidence of the inhumanity of the situation in order to write a strong message to Mr Hakim, here is a link to one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_U0pulsKbM
2 June 2020: Join the campaign to end the global trade in wildlife
Coalition to End Wildlife Trade
Action for Primates has joined the Coalition to End Wildlife Trade, a new network of animal protection and wildlife conservation groups set up by World Animal Protection. The Coalition is calling on the UK government to secure a global ban in wildlife trade at the G20 meeting of global leaders in November and to end the import and export of wild animals into the UK.

Please join us in demanding an end to the global trade in wildlife: https://www.change.org/p/the-uk-government-demand-an-end-to-the-global-wildlife-trade

The global trade in wildlife inflicts great cruelty and suffering as wild animals are snatched from their native habitats or farmed commercially to meet the demand for exotic pets, traditional medicine, bushmeat and the entertainment industry. For many endangered species, the wildlife trade is the biggest threat to their survival. It involves millions of animals and a variety of species, including non-human primates, bears, snakes, parrots, iguanas, lizards, tortoises, pangolins and even otters. For example, it is estimated that there are over 17 million exotic 'pets' across the United States and, in the UK, at least 800,000 reptiles and 5,000 primates are kept as 'pets'. In addition to the suffering and distress experienced by the animals, the stress caused by capture and captivity, often in overcrowded conditions, can potentially create a hotbed for diseases that can be transferred to people.

Hundreds of thousands of wild animals, including non-human primates are forced into a widespread legal and illegal trade, domestic and international, that causes immense animal suffering. For some primate species, hunting and trapping for bushmeat and medicinal products has a major negative impact on their very survival. The capture of non-human primates from the wild and their removal from their habitat and natural social groups inflicts substantial suffering and can result in injuries or even death. The infants of primates who are killed for food, are usually taken to be sold as pets or for entertainment purposes.

In many countries, non-human primates are forced to take part in animal shows and performances in zoos, wildlife attractions, recreational parks and resorts to entertain visitors. Forcing non-human primates to perform unnatural tasks is cruel, degrading and demeaning. Methods used to coerce the animals to carry out these tricks are usually aversive and inhumane and may involve food and water deprivation, intimidation and physical threats as well as forcing the animals into unnatural postures like standing on their hind legs for long periods.

By far, the largest trade in primates has and continues to be that for the global research and testing industry. It is an industry responsible for inflicting immense cruelty and suffering on tens of thousands of primates every year, during their capture from the wild, their forced captivity in unnatural conditions on farms, the forced early separation of a female from her infant, their transportation in the cargo holds of aeroplanes and their eventual fate in the research laboratory.

Historically, this was a trade in wild non-human primates that saw many thousands of animals, including rhesus (Macaca mulatta), long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), baboons (Papio sp), squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and various species of African green monkeys (Chlorocebus sp), captured in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and South America and exported to laboratories and suppliers around the world. International pressure led to a reduction in demand for wild-caught primates. This decrease has, however, been offset by a rapid increase in large-scale commercial breeding farms for macaques in countries such as Cambodia, China, Laos, Mauritius and Vietnam, to supply the global research industry. The long-tailed macaque is the most widely traded non-human primate species, with tens of thousands of animals now kept in small, concrete pens in large industrial scale facilities, with no foliage and little enrichment. It is a trade that often continues to rely on wild populations to establish and maintain breeding groups.

China and Mauritius are two of the main breeders and exporters of non-human primates for the research industry. In 2017, China accounted for 37% and Mauritius accounted for 21% of the world's export of live primates. Mauritius exports primates mainly to laboratories and animal supply companies in the USA and Europe, and, in 2019, exported over 7,500 monkeys to the USA, Canada, France, the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.
29 May 2020: Another example of why non-human primates are not 'entertainment'
This week, a chained African green monkey (vervet) was taken onto a live Egyptian TV talk show by the actor Ibrahim El Samman. The monkey is being used in one of the actor's films.

With a chain tied around his waist, the monkey was held by the chain and patted by the co-host. Clearly becoming agitated, the monkey started to attack the co-host who shrieked and jumped up causing a commotion in the studio. The people on the TV show, including the actor, thought the incident funny and laughed and joked about it. It is, however, no laughing matter for the monkey living a miserable life in captivity, forced to be a source of 'entertainment' on a TV show and in a film.

Monkeys are unpredictable and, when in captivity, can become aggressive towards people. They are wild animals and forcing them to perform unnatural tasks is cruel, degrading and demeaning. This unfortunate individual should be living freely with his family in his native habitat.

We urge you to send a polite message to Mr El Samman through his Facebook page and Twitter, letting him know that keeping non-human primates in captivity, and especially exploiting their plight as 'entertainment', is cruel and immoral:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ibrahim.elsamman.1
Twitter (@ibrahimofficial): https://twitter.com/ibrahim2elsman
14 May 2020: Please sign and share our petition calling on YouTube to stop promoting animal cruelty
In addition to the call for action we posted on 12 May (see below), we have started a petition calling on YouTube to enforce their policy on videos depicting animal cruelty. Please sign and share widely: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/584/151/521/call-on-youtube-to-stop-hosting-channels-that-promote-cruelty-and-violence-against-monkeys/
12 May 2020: Call on YouTube to stop hosting channels that promote cruelty and violence against monkeys
Baby long-tailed macaque in captivity
Baby long-tailed macaque in captivity
photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs


YouTube is allowing content that promotes animal abuse and cruelty for 'sport and entertainment' purposes on its platform, in particular videos depicting the tormenting and cruel treatment of monkeys. One such channel, 'Captive Baby Monkeys', which encourages cruelty and violence against baby monkeys, has been posting sickening videos since 2012. Another YouTube poster, called 'Monkey Raging', has posted a series of videos in which he is abusing and mistreating captive monkeys, while asking people to send donations. Unfortunately, people are posting supporting comments with suggestions of further cruel things that can be done.

An open letter, from Asia for Animals Coalition, representing a global network of hundreds of animal welfare and conservation organisations (including Action for Primates), has been sent to Google (owner of YouTube) calling on YouTube to "implement a robust mechanism for reporting and removing animal abuse content that has been uploaded to [their] site, specifically content that glorifies animal abuse or entertainment purposes". The letter can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r7knqLq99_zIJ49kbgD8X4Ar8Xxtod7Z/view

Despite having what appears to be a strong policy with regards to what content is not acceptable, and the grounds on which a complaint can be made, ("Content where there is infliction of unnecessary suffering or harm deliberately causing an animal distress"), submitting a complaint is not straightforward and YouTube has continued to allow shocking footage to remain. By permitting such content on their platform, YouTube is complicit in promoting animal cruelty and abuse, and even making it profitable for some. And, by not monitoring and enforcing its own policy, viewers could be encouraged to inflict deliberate acts of cruelty on other animals.

Dr Nedim Buyukmihci, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine and representative of Action for Primates, stated: "As a veterinarian, I am shocked by the acts of cruelty inflicted on monkeys on these YouTube channels. It is sickening to watch. No responsible video-sharing platform should tolerate animal cruelty in the guise of entertainment. YouTube must immediately take action to implement and enforce its animal cruelty policy."

What you can do to help #stopyoutubecrueltyvideos:
5 May 2020: Please help stop the shipment of 300 1,200 monkeys from Mauritius to the USA to be used in experiments
Action for Primates, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and One Voice have received an anonymous tip-off alleging that Primate Products in Florida, a major importer and supplier of non-human primates to the research industry, has been in contact with a French aviation company, CS Aviation, regarding a shipment of 300 long-tailed macaques it wants to transport from Mauritius to Miami for a laboratory in the USA. CS Aviation has agreed to take this on and has enlisted SkyBus Air Cargo in Peru to carry out the transport of these primates.

We urgently need people to contact CS Aviation and SkyBus Air Cargo urging them to refuse to be associated with the cruelty and suffering involved in the international trade in primates for research. Here are the contact details:

Stop primate shipment
The Manager
CS Aviation
Paris, France
E-mail:contact@csaviation.fr
Telephone: + 33 1 42 62 24 60
Fax: + 33 1 42 62 32 71

The Manager
SkyBus Air Cargo
Lima, Peru
E-Mail: comercial@skybusperu.com

Suggested text for your E-mail, fax or letters:
CS Aviation     SkyBus Air Cargo


Dear Madam/Sir,

I appeal to CS Aviation to not organise the transportation of primates for the research industry, especially a pending shipment of 300 long-tailed macaques from Mauritius to Miami with the cargo carrier Skybus Air Cargo.

The international trade in primates for research inflicts great cruelty and suffering on these highly intelligent and sensitive animals; including their capture from the wild, their forced captivity in unnatural conditions on farms, the forced early separation of a female from her infant, their transportation in the cargo holds of aeroplanes and their eventual fate in the research laboratory. During transportation, primates will suffer stress and anxiety while forced to endure extremely long journeys. Packed in small crates in the cargo hold, they may be subjected to delays, inadequate ventilation, noise and extreme temperature fluctuations. Over the years, a number of incidents have taken place where these animals have suffered greatly or have died during transportation on airlines.

The transportation of primates by airlines is an issue that attracts strong public concern and opposition. As a result, many airlines, including the world's flag carriers, such as American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Eva Air, Air Canada and China Airlines, have made the decision to dissociate themselves from the cruelty and suffering of the international trade in primates by refusing to transport primates destined for the research industry.

I urge CS Aviation to refuse to be a broker for the transport of primates, thereby dissociating itself from this highly controversial and cruel trade.

Yours faithfully,


Dear Madam/Sir,

I appeal to SkyBus Air Cargo to not transport primates destined for the research industry, in particular a shipment of 300 primates from Mauritius to Miami that has been organised through CS Aviation.

The international trade in primates for research inflicts great cruelty and suffering on these highly intelligent and sensitive animals; including their capture from the wild, their forced captivity in unnatural conditions on farms, the forced early separation of a female from her infant, their transportation in the cargo holds of aeroplanes and their eventual fate in the research laboratory. During transportation, primates will suffer stress and anxiety while forced to endure extremely long journeys. Packed in small crates in the cargo hold, they may be subjected to delays, inadequate ventilation, noise and extreme temperature fluctuations. Over the years, a number of incidents have taken place where these animals have suffered greatly or have died during transportation on airlines.

The transportation of primates by airlines is an issue that attracts strong public concern and opposition. As a result, many airlines and cargo carriers, including the world's flag carriers, such as American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Eva Air, Air Canada and China Airlines, have made the decision to dissociate themselves from the cruelty and suffering of the international trade in primates by refusing to transport primates destined for the research industry.

I urge SkyBus Air Cargo to refuse to transport primates, thereby dissociating itself from this highly controversial and cruel trade.

Yours faithfully
5 May 2020: Please sign and share our petition to the Philippine government
Long-tailed macaques in breeding farm; photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Long-tailed macaques, breeding farm
photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Please sign and share our petition to the Philippine government calling on it to refuse permits to capture wild monkeys for research purposes

Action for Primates is pleased to join with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). We are calling on the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to refuse permits to capture wild monkeys for research purposes. We are urging the DENR to adopt a humane approach to dealing with any human-macaque conflict.

We have launched a joint petition and hope you will sign and share widely: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/661/180/303/urge-the-philippine-government-to-deny-the-capture-of-wild-monkeys-for-research-purposes/
28 April 2020: Please support our call to the Philippines to refuse permits to capture wild monkeys
Long-tailed macaque female with infant at SE Asia breeding facility; photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Long-tailed macaque female with infant
SE Asia breeding facility
photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines has received at least one application to trap long-tailed macaques. This could mean a revival in farms breeding and exporting macaques for research, using newly trapped monkeys as a source. According to the DENR, there are at least seven farms in the country with special permits to breed indigenous species of monkeys. The export trade in long-tailed macaques from the Philippines has been few in recent years, but the coronavirus pandemic may result in an increased demand for these monkeys.

It is vital that the Philippines government be made aware of the international concern about the capturing of its native wild monkeys for research or any purpose.

Please send E-mail to the following officials, urging them to refuse trapping permits:

Mr. Ricardo L. Calderon, Assistant Secretary
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
E-mail: director@bmb.gov.ph

Dr Ronnie D. Domingo, Officer-In-Charge
Bureau of Animal Industry
E-mail: bai_dir@yahoo.com

Please also write to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your country. A list can be found here with contact E-mail addresses: https://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/philippines/
14 April 2020: Monkey kept by celebrity sparks a call for an end to keeping monkeys as pets
Infant long-tailed macaque in Pramuka animal market, Indonesia; photo credit Wildlife Watchdogs
Infant macaque
Indonesia Pramuka market
credit Wildlife Watchdogs
Keeping primates as pets is cruel and immoral. Unfortunately, celebrities often fuel the demand for the cruel wildlife trade by keeping monkeys as pets and displaying them in public and on social media. One such celebrity is the actor, Irfan Hakim, in Indonesia, who has posted photographs and is in videos showing a tiny long-tailed macaque dressed in human baby clothes on Instagram and YouTube. He calls the monkey Candy Laura. She is just a few weeks old and appears bewildered as she is paraded around in front of the TV cameras. Mr Hakim appears oblivious to the impact his behaviour is having on this poor animal, who should be living freely with her mother.

Other videos include: Grid Network and deHakims

The trade in primates as pets is one of immense suffering and distress. Sadly, keeping monkeys as pets is legal in many countries, whether the animals are taken from the wild and sold at street markets such as in Indonesia or bred commercially to be sold in countries such as the USA. These primates should be living freely in the wild, not kept and 'raised' as if they are children in a human household. Depriving them of their freedom, the companionship of other monkeys and keeping them in totally unnatural conditions, is cruel and immoral. The forcible removal of infants from their mother, often at birth, and keeping them in captivity results in abnormal development including severe psychological and physical problems. As these animals mature and get stronger, they often become aggressive and are a danger to people, biting and scratching, causing injuries, often severe. The animals are sometimes subjected to mutilations, such as having their teeth and nails removed, in the erroneous belief that this will prevent injuries; these mutilated individuals, however, can and do still inflict injuries on people. Ultimately, the animals may be killed or permanently caged.

Please take action for the primates by politely asking Irfan Hakim to release his monkey to a sanctuary, and to use his celebrity status to protect wild monkeys, urging people not to have them as pets. You can contact him via: For lasting change, please contact the authorities in Indonesia urging them to protect indigenous non-human primates by banning their trade as pets:

1) Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya Bakar
Minister of Environment and Forestry
Manggala Wanabakti Building Block I lt. 2 Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto
Jakarta 10270,
Po Box 6505
Indonesia
E-mail: sitinurbaya_bakar@yahoo.co.id and pusdatin@menlhk.go.id

2) Dr. Ir. Wirdateti
Director of the Research Centre for Biology-LIPI
Biology Research Center-LIPI
Cibinong Science Center,
Jl. Raya Jakarta-Bogor, Km.46
Cibinong 16911,
Bogor
Indonesia
E-mail: biologi@mail.lipi.go.id

3) Indonesian Embassies and Consulates in your own country. Contact information can be found here: https://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/indonesia/

7 April 2020: Urge the Philippines to not allow wild monkeys to be trapped for research
Long-tailed macaques in a breeding facility in SE Asia; photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Long-tailed macaques, breeding facility
credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Action for Primates has urged the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to refuse a permit application for monkeys to be captured and used for breeding and research. The DENR is reportedly considering whether to grant such a permit and cites an increase in the monkey population and conflicts with people as well as a demand for the use of primates in coronavirus research as the reasons behind its consideration of the permit application (1). We have asked the DENR to instead adopt a plan that will deal with any human-macaque conflict in the community in a humane way.

The Philippines long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis philippensis) is a subspecies of the long-tailed macaque and, according to the most recent entry on the IUCN Red List Category, is listed as a 'Near Threatened' species, with a decreasing population. Long-tailed macaques are widely traded across the globe and are the most used primates in research.

China was until recently the key supplier of macaques for the international research industry. However, according to a recent news media report (2), the Chinese ban on the trade and transport of wild animals (following the coronavirus outbreak) has also effectively shut down the export of primates for research. This will prompt countries, such as the USA, to look for alternative sources for its supply of primates, and likely include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Please support our call to the DENR and send E-mail to the following officials, urging the DENR to refuse any permit applications that would allow the trapping of wild monkeys:

Mr. Ricardo L. Calderon, Assistant Secretary
E-mail: director@bmb.gov.ph

Attorney Theresa M. Tenazas, OIC Wildlife Resources Division
E-mail: wrd@bmb.gov.ph

Mr. Anson M. Tagtag, Chief, Wildlife Conservation Section
wrd@bmb.gov.ph
  1. DENR official sees revival of native monkey farming amid global virus contagion
  2. Chinese wildlife ban freezes export of test monkeys amid worldwide push for COVID-19 vaccine