Yesterday, Action for Primates released disturbing video footage of Indonesian trappers inflicting pain and violence on wild monkeys during their capture, including the beating and killing of unwanted individuals. Such brutal and inhumane treatment is a breach of international animal welfare guidelines.
Action for Primates and Lady Freethinker are calling on the U.S. government to ban all imports of monkeys from Indonesia. They are also urging the Indonesian government to stop the capture and export of wild monkeys for use in experiments and to enact legislation that offers protection to the indigenous long-tailed macaque population.
In the footage, monkeys trapped inside large nets are seen being forcibly removed by hand, often dragged out by their tails. Others are pinned to the ground by a trapper’s foot with their front limbs forcibly pulled behind their backs. They are then shown being either stuffed headfirst into sacks or crammed into wooden crates with others.
In 2021, the government of Indonesia allowed the capture and export of wild long-tailed macaques to resume. This is despite widespread global concerns about the inherent inhumanity of trapping wild monkeys and increasing awareness of the vulnerability of this species. Hundreds of wild monkeys have subsequently been captured, torn from their natural habitat, family, and social groups.
“This distressing footage is shocking proof of the brutality and inhumanity to which these sentient animals are subjected to in the name of research,” Sarah Kite, co-founder of Action for Primates said in a statement sent to WAN. “The resumption of the capture and export of long-tailed macaques by Indonesia is an alarming development, especially at a time when there is widespread global concern over and condemnation of the capture of wild non-human primates.”
A callous and indifferent attitude was displayed towards the monkeys in this footage. Upon capture, infants were separated from their mothers, causing distress to both. Trappers laughed and joked while handling monkeys. The most brutal incident involved the killing of one captured male. Beaten down with a pole, the dazed and injured animal was dragged by his tail, held down and his throat was cut with a machete.
Monkeys exported from Indonesia are mainly destined for laboratories in the U.S. and China. Export data submitted by Indonesia shows that in 2020, Indonesia exported 2,793 long-tailed macaques to China and 120 to the United States. Export figures for 2021 are expected to be much higher and there are fears that wild-caught monkeys and their offspring are being exported to the U.S.
“The grisly and highly disturbing footage of cruelty towards macaques should be cause for alarm in both Indonesia, as well as the United States, which imports monkeys from Indonesia for brutal experimentation,” stated Nina Jackel, Founder and President of Lady Freethinker.
Long-tailed macaques are the primary non-human primate species used in regulatory toxicity tests. Authorities claim that the capture of monkeys is due to conflict between the animals and local residents and farmers.
Rather than allowing macaques to be trapped and exported for research or be killed, Action for Primates and Lady Freethinker are urging authorities to adopt humane methods of resolution that address the issues that are causing these conflicts, such as deforestation and disposal of food waste, that result in monkeys being attracted to human settlements.
The following are ways people can help urge the Indonesian government to stop the capture and export of wild monkeys for experiments and to enact legislation that offers protection to the indigenous long-tailed macaque population:
Sign and share Action for Primates petition urging the government of Indonesia to end the cruel capture and export of wild monkeys for research, HERE!
Send an e-mail to Dr. Ir. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia: firstname.lastname@example.org – clicking on the e-mail address will create a sample message you can edit, with a cc to email@example.com, an additional contact for the Minister.
Send an e-mail to the Indonesian Embassy in your country: https://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/indonesia/
Please sign and share Lady Freethinker’s petition to the U.S. government urging it to take a stand against this brutal treatment by immediately halting all shipment of monkeys from Indonesia, HERE!
Please sign and share this petition written in Bahasa Indonesian, HERE!