This week, the BUAV is attending the 27th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in Mexico. The BUAV is a member organization of the Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of over eighty non-governmental organisations committed to the promotion, enhancement, and strict enforcement of the Convention.
At the 25th meeting of the Animals Committee the SSN was successful in securing the long-tailed macaque to be included in the Animals Committee’s Review of Significant Trade, after presenting a dossier of evidence based on the findings of the BUAV’s many investigations into the international trade in primates across Southeast Asia.
This year, we will continue to raise our concerns about the widespread exploitation of the long-tailed macaque in international trade, particularly in Indonesia, Laos PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia. In addition to concerns regarding the lack of population data, misuse of CITES source codes by exporting countries, and lack of validity for captive breeding claims. The long-tailed macaque is also being threatened by human activity and domestic trade levels (an issue which is currently outside the purview of CITES), that is prevalent across Southeast Asia.
The BUAV has actively campaigned for many years to highlight the plight of the long-tailed macaque, the most heavily traded mammal currently listed on the CITES appendices. During the period between 2007 and 2011 the UNEP-WCMC CITES trade dashboard shows that 309,728 macaques were traded worldwide, with more than 30,000 animals traded annually. In recent years, exports of the long-tailed macaque from Southeast Asia have risen significantly. Exports from three countries, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have increased more than 220% between 2000 and 2011.
BUAV field investigations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia raised not only significant welfare concerns, but revealed the breeding and supply of the long-tailed macaque has developed into a large scale business, and we urge CITES to recognise that the trade in the long-tailed macaque should be considered an issue of urgent concern.