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Chain of Suffering

Chain Of Suffering

Uncovered: The shocking trade in monkeys that violates international animal welfare guidelines and breaches Indonesia’s own legislation.

Indonesia in breach of animal welfare rules

An investigation carried out by the BUAV has revealed a shocking trade in monkeys from Indonesia for the international research industry. The BUAV believes that the findings show that not only are international animal welfare guidelines being violated, but that Indonesia is also breaching its own legislation as well as failing to comply with CITES (The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations. BUAV's investigation has further revealed the appalling fate that awaits many of these monkeys at their final destination - the research laboratory.

Conservation issues

Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. It is covered by thick tropical rainforests, the most extensive rainforest cover in all of Asia, and is home to between 30-40 species of non-human primates, including orangutans, gibbons, macaques, leaf monkeys and tarsiers. Macaca fascicularis (long-tailed macaques; also known as crab-eating macaques and cynomolgus monkeys) and Macaca nemestrina (pig-tailed macaques) are both classified as Appendix II under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This means that these species, "although not necessarily now threatened with extinction may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival."

Threats to both primate species in Indonesia include habitat destruction through commercial timber removal or conversion of land for agricultural use and human settlement, hunting and persecution as a "pest." Therefore, any trade in these primates for research, the pet or food industry will further exacerbates these losses.

How Indonesia Is Failing To Comply With CITES Regulations

The BUAV investigation has found that Indonesia is failing to fulfill certain obligations under CITES, which as a member state, it is required to do. Although Indonesia "officially" banned the export of wild-caught primates for research in 1994 and claims to only allow captive-bred monkeys to be exported, the BUAV investigation has shown that this ban is a sham. Through a combination of a lack of enforcement by the Indonesian authorities and the misuse of the correct source code definitions for CITES export permits, the BUAV believes that wild-caught long-tailed macaques continue to end up in the international research industry.

Indonesia is, therefore, not only in breach of its own legislation, it is also failing to comply with CITES regulations by not providing scientifically valid data and export quotas for wild-caught animals of an Appendix II species.