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Animale Welfare Issues

Animal Welfare Issues

BUAV investigators traveled to various locations in Indonesia where wild macaques were trapped as well as visited a number of dealers' premises, and supply companies that export primates for the research industry. The investigation has revealed a) the cruelty inflicted on macaques during their capture, transportation and confinement and b) the poor conditions in which primates are kept at primate supply companies. Monkeys were housed in barren concrete pens that were inappropriate for their complex behavioral and psychological needs. Such treatment and conditions breached the International Primatological Society guidelines for the acquisition, care and breeding of nonhuman primates.

International Primatology Society (IPS) international guidelines aim "to promote good practice in the acquisition, care and breeding of primates, and the enhancement of animal welfare." The findings of the BUAV investigation, however, raises major concerns regarding animal welfare and reveal a disturbing picture of suffering that has been inflicted on Indonesia's population of macaques during trapping and holding and in breeding and supplying facilities. Evidence obtained from the BUAV's investigation found numerous violations of these internationally recognized animal welfare guidelines.

A veterinarian and primate expert who watched the BUAV video commented:

"As a veterinarian with over 35 years of experience, I have serious concerns for the monkeys seen in these videos. There is little doubt that the well-being of these animals was being compromised by the manner in which they were being housed.

The concrete and chain link enclosures with concrete floors that were being used to hold many of the monkeys were essentially barren. There were no high level platforms that would be important for monkeys to climb away from perceived threats. As a result, the monkeys climbed as high as they could along the chain link and hung there, sometimes from the wire ceiling. No hiding places were present, something also important to reduce stress and distress in these clearly frightened individuals. Although I could not see a source of water, it was not being supplied through means that would allow immersion.

The barren cages holding monkeys at the dealers' premises were even worse with regards to animal welfare. The cages were overcrowded. Not only were climbing and hiding impossible, some of the cages were too small for normal postural adjustments.

The pens and cages were totally inappropriate for monkeys. There should be an earthen floor with vegetation, branches or other climbable structures that extend as high as possible in the enclosure, sources of water that allow for immersion of the monkeys, places to hide from either aggressors or human observers."