Indonesia accused of
violating CITES

An international animal protection group has accused Indonesia of excessive trade in the long-tailed macaque for research, which it says violates the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which the country is a party.

The London-based British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) said its recent in-depth investigation, which was published on Tuesday, found a staggering 15,100 or threefold increase in the number of the primates allowed to be trapped in 2009 for research.

"In addition to the unacceptable cruelty and suffering that is inflicted on Indonesia'sindigenous primate populations in the name of research, the BUAV investigation has uncovered serious concerns regarding the implementation and enforcement of both Indonesian law and CITES regulations," BUAV chief executive Michelle Thew said.

BUAV called on CITES to suspend Indonesia's membership while carrying out its own investigation.

During its investigation, BUAV activists followed the chain of the practice starting from the monkeys' capture, their holding and transportation within Indonesia, their export overseas to their eventual fate in the research laboratory.

Each year, thousands of monkeys, packed into small wooden crates, are shipped as cargo by several Asian airline companies to research facilities around the world, including the United States, China and Japan.

"The fate for many of the monkeys at their final destination - the research laboratory - is one of pain, suffering and usually death. For example, in the US, monkeys origi-nating from Indonesia were forced to consume alcohol. This was often combined with the surgical mutilation of female monkeys or deliberately feeding the animals a diet that would cause atherosclerosis *placque buildup in arteries*," the report said.

The group called the official Indonesian "ban" on the export of wild primates for research a sham.

Post Your Say

Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.