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Malaysia Primate Trade

Malaysia Primate Trade

Revealed: Evidence of monkey suffering at a holding facility in Pontian, South Western Malaysia.


In July 2007 Malaysia announced it had lifted its long standing ban on the export of primates for laboratory research. The ban on export had reportedly been lifted because of increasing ‘conflicts’ between the monkeys and people in urban areas. At the same time, a BUAV investigation revealed new evidence of monkey suffering at a holding facility in Malaysia where captured wild monkeys were kept in poor conditions.

The investigator's film shows a rundown facility containing hundreds of wild monkeys packed into wire mesh cages. The investigation revealed the monkeys had been caught using crudely made traps that were found on site. These cruel and unnatural conditions are extremely stressful for wild animals and lead to disease and injuries; indeed, dead monkeys were found on the cage floors.

International Campaign

Together with the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) and animals groups within Malaysia, the BUAV launched a campaign to oppose the lifting of the ban on the export of primates for research. The ECEAE led the efforts across Europe, resulting in letters of protest sent to Malaysian Embassies throughout Europe as well as to the Malaysian government and Members of Parliament. We also submitted a report to the responsible minister in Malaysia offering suggestions on effective, humane methods to control monkey-human conflicts.

Following pressure from around the world as well as within Malaysia, the government of Malaysia subsequently announced, in early 2008, its intention to reinstate its ban on the export of monkeys. Many thousands of monkeys’ lives will now be saved. The BUAV urgesthe government to protect its indigenous population of monkeys and look for humane ways to solve the 'conflict' issue.