Action for Primates

Long-tailed macaques, photo by Sarah Kite
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News Releases 2024

The following are news releases for 2024. See elsewhere for news releases from other years.


Index of news releases; select date & title to access:

15 February 2024: Animal Protection groups urge Mauritius Government to refuse permit for massive monkey farm

Long-tailed macaque in toxicity testing, Germany; SOKO Tierschutz/Cruelty Free International
Long-tailed macaque in toxicity testing, Germany
SOKO Tierschutz/Cruelty Free International

Animal Protection groups in the USA, Europe and Mauritius are appealing to the government of Mauritius to refuse an application for the construction of a massive monkey farm. The proposal from Hammerhead International Ltd is to capture 40-50 wild long-tailed macaques every day, for over 300 days in the year (up to 15,000 monkeys), and to build a facility that will eventually hold up to 12,000 macaques (1). The company claims that it will initially export around 4,000 wild-caught monkeys per year to testing laboratories worldwide.

The organisations include Action for Primates, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, One Voice, Abolición Vivisección, Cheshire Animal Rights Campaigns and Monkey Massacre in Mauritius.

Objections to the Hammerhead International Ltd application will be submitted by the groups, and a petition to The Hon Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius; The Hon Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment; and The Hon Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Minister of Agro Industry and Food Security has been launched: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/811/636/984/

Mauritius is already one of the world's greatest exporters of monkeys for the global research and toxicity (poisoning) testing industry, primarily to the USA, the EU and the UK, and the world's greatest exporter of wild-caught monkeys. If granted, this proposal would inflict even further suffering upon long-tailed macaques. The capture of wild monkeys is an inhumane practice, universally recognised as cruel because of the forced removal of the monkeys from their habitat and families. Several official bodies and organisations, including the European Union (2) and the International Primatological Society (3), recognise the suffering involved in this practice and, since 2013, the EU has prohibited the use of wild-caught primates in experiments. Therefore, any proposal to export wild-caught macaques to European laboratories would be of great concern, and at odds with current legislation.

Hammerhead International Ltd made headline news when it was discovered to be operating an illegal farm in 2023. Four hundred and forty-six long-tailed macaques – found to be kept in deplorable conditions – were seized by the authorities. A case has subsequently been brought by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security for the ill-treatment of animals and for the illegal possession of macaques (4).

Sarah Kite, spokesperson for Action for Primates, stated: A proposal of any size, but especially one so large, and one that involves the widespread capture of many thousands of wild monkeys is alarming and, if granted, would increase the misery long-tailed macaques in Mauritius experience as a result of extreme persecution. Equally alarming is that Hammerhead International Ltd, the company behind the proposal, stands accused of the ill-treatment and illegal possession of macaques. We urge the Mauritius Government to refuse this application.

Over the past 18 months, tuberculosis (TB) has been ravaging the monkey facilities in Mauritius, and animals have been exported while infected with TB, says primate scientist and PETA Senior Science Advisor, Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel. Combining a TB outbreak with a company that has already shown that they have no regard for animal or public safety is a recipe for disaster.

NOTES: Further information and photographs of long-tailed macaques in Mauritius available on request: info@actionforprimates.org

References:

  1. Mauritius Business Licensing Platform; Select "Setting up and Operation of Non-Human Primate Breeding and Holding Farm" from the menu
  2. European Union 2010-09-22 Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes European Union accessed 2023-09-25
  3. International Primatological Society 2021-01-01 Trade in Primates Captured in the Wild International Primatological Society accessed 2023-09-25
  4. Seventh National Assembly, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) No. 29 of 2023. Page 69, Tuesday 14 November 2023

14 February 2024: Animal Protection Groups Welcome Arrest of Indonesian Suspect for Torturing and Killing Baby Monkeys and Selling the Videos Online

Infant long-tailed macaque abused for 'entertainment' on social media; Action for Primates
Infant long-tailed macaque abused on social media
Action for Primates

Animal advocacy groups Action for Primates (UK) and Lady Freethinker (US) welcome action taken by West Kalimantan Police in Indonesia in the arrest of an individual suspected of torturing and killing baby monkeys on camera and selling the videos to buyers in the U.S. and abroad for $50-$100 USD per video.

Police reportedly found a dead, mutilated monkey wrapped in plastic outside the suspect's home; torture apparatus inside the home, including a gas stove, soldering iron, hammer and slingshot; and 58 videos depicting sadistic torture of baby, long-tailed macaques on his mobile device. The suspect's name has not yet been released publicly.

Lady Freethinker and Action for Primates, together with other animal groups such as Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), have been investigating the disturbing world of online monkey torture rings for over two years to end the horrifying violence inflicted upon baby monkeys for online circulation.

Their work began with an investigation in 2021 that uncovered the disturbing escalation of private online groups on platforms like Telegram, in which people in Indonesia created custom monkey torture videos for an audience of monkey "haters" in the US, UK, and elsewhere. Members of the group paid for and dictated what method of torture they wanted inflicted on the monkeys.

These underground rings were the topic of the recent BBC documentary "The Monkey Haters", for which Lady Freethinker, Action for Primates and JAAN provided information and intelligence.

In the last 18 months, two other individuals in Indonesia have been convicted and imprisoned for their part in torturing and killing baby monkeys; one individual in the US has been jailed with two others charged for their roles in online monkey torture gangs, and there have been several arrests in the UK.

Shockingly, many of these graphic videos – depicting mutilation, burning, beating, and more – have also been posted on Facebook and YouTube, making them easily available for others, including children, to access and view. Lady Freethinker and Action for Primates are calling on social media and video sharing platforms to take immediate action to stop the proliferation of animal torture content that is being posted online.

Sarah Kite, co-founder of Action for Primates, stated: We welcome the action taken by the Indonesian Police. Filming the torture and killing of baby monkeys for 'entertainment' is abhorrent and must never be tolerated. We hope this will deter other people from becoming involved in these perverted and sadistic activities.

Nina Jackel, Founder of Lady Freethinker, stated: I'm thankful to West Kalimantan Police for arresting the person thought to be responsible for horrific violence against dozens of innocent monkeys for profit. Such crimes must be taken seriously, especially as evidence shows time and time again the link between animal cruelty and violence against humans.

For further information: E-mail: info@actionforprimates.org or info@ladyfreethinker.org