22nd March 2016
Monkeys saved from brutal trade
Trade in long-tailed macaques from Laos suspended
We’re delighted to report that CITES (The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has recommended that all country members suspend trade in long-tailed macaque monkeys from Laos.
This move effectively stops Laos from exporting these monkeys for animal research. The ban will be in place until Laos complies with CITES regulations.
We have spent many years working to protect long-tailed macaque monkeys. They are the most widely traded primate species used in research.
Our efforts to raise concerns surrounding the trade in these animals from South East Asia and to place this primate species on the CITES agenda have been successful. With the support of the Species Survival Network (SSN) we have submitted reports containing the findings from our field investigations, and attended international meetings to present the case for action to be taken.
Our work has also been supported by primatologists and other experts from across the world.
Our numerous investigations have exposed the inherent cruelties involved in the global trade in primates for research. And they have highlighted concerns about the impact the trade is having on wild populations of long-tailed macaques in countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia as well the existence of an illegal trade.
We have also raised concerns about the lack of population data, the misuse of CITES source codes by exporting countries, and lack of validity for captive breeding claims.
This suspension is an important breakthrough because long-tailed macaque monkeys are traded in their thousands from South-East Asia to be used in animal experiments in the UK, Europe and the U.S.
Laos has been a major player in the trade supplying monkeys to farms in Vietnam and China as well as directly to research laboratories, so we’re delighted that our concerns have been actioned.
CITES has also recognised there are serious issues surrounding an illegal trade in long-tailed macaques in Cambodia and Vietnam and is scheduled to agree action to address these concerns soon.
We welcome the action taken by CITES in relation to Laos, but we remain disappointed that similar suspensions have not also been taken against Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
We will continue to work towards a day when there is a wild future ahead for the monkeys of South East Asia, not a life of captivity in laboratories.