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BUAV call to Indonesia to ban the capture and trade in wild monkeys


The BUAV, is calling on the Government of Indonesia to end the trade in wild long-tailed macaques. The call comes following shocking secret video footage of monkeys openly for sale at markets and during the capture of hundreds of other wild macaques for a company that exports primates to the international research industry. In addition to the cruel and brutal treatment of these animals, the international and domestic trade of the long-tailed macaque in Indonesia is raising concerns about the survival of the species.

Harrowing footage obtained by BUAV investigators in Yogyakarta shows terrified monkeys ripped from their jungle homes and families. The animals were trapped in netting, roughly handled and bundled into sacks before being forced into transit crates. The monkeys were bewildered and can be seen on film frantically trying to escape their captivity; some injuring themselves in the process. 

Other disturbing footage obtained by BUAV investigators shows wild monkeys crammed in appalling overcrowded cages at markets. In other locations, young macaques whose fur had been bleached in an effort to make them more attractive to buyers were found in small wire cages hanging on poles alongside roads. Macaques are frequently used in roadside entertainment such as the Topeng Monyet, or ‘dancing monkeys’ which is a particularly cruel practice where juvenile macaques are forced to perform. 

The international trade in long-tailed macaques has expanded significantly in the past ten years. The species is the most heavily traded mammal currently listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) appendices. The species is classified under Appendix II of CITES, which means there is concern that it will become threatened with extinction unless trade is subject to strict regulation. In fact, the long-tailed macaque is currently under consideration for inclusion in a major review by the CITES Animal Committee (Review of Significant Trade) in all Range states, including Indonesia. The CITES meeting will take place in March 2012.  

Indonesia claims to have a ban on the export of wild-caught primates for research. Yet, the BUAV believes this ban to be a sham. Indonesia has supposedly had primate captive-breeding programmes in operation since 1994, yet 18 years later, large numbers of wild monkeys continue to be trapped by companies exporting primates for research. Furthermore, monkeys living freely on so-called ‘breeding islands’ are incorrectly labeled as born in captivity on export permits. The BUAV believes these animals are wild-caught and should be labeled as such.

Sarah Kite, BUAV Director of Special Projects stated: This footage is a shocking confirmation of the cruelty and suffering that Indonesia allows to be inflicted on its wild populations of macaques. We urge the international community to voice its objections not only to this cruelty but to also raise concerns about the conservation status of this species.”

Please write to the Indonesia Embassy in London (or the Embassy in your country) calling for an end to the suffering and exploitation of the long-tailed macaque in Indonesia. In particular, stating your objection to the recent trapping of wild monkeys and their transportation to a primate supply company and uncertain future. Call for the government to place an immediate ban on the capture, breeding and export of long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques destined for the research industry. Find out the contact details of Indonesian embassies around the world

In the UK, please write to:

His Excellency Yuri Octavian Thamrin

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

38 Grosvenor Square



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