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Press Release | 16 January 2008

ProFauna Demands For Wild Macaque Catching To Stop



Pig tail macaque on Wulandari mini zoo in Banda AcehPig tail macaque on Wulandari mini zoo in Banda Aceh

Over the last 3 years ProFauna Indonesia, a wildlife conservation society, has monitored an increase in the authorised catching quota for wild long tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in Indonesia. In 2006 the quota was 2,000 and in 2007 the number has increased to 4,100. It is estimated that 5,100 macaques will be caught from the wild in 2008 for breeding, research and bio medical purposes.

Pig tail macaque on Wulandari mini zoo in Banda AcehPig tail macaque on Wulandari mini zoo in Banda Aceh

The increase in the quota is not supported by accurate scientific research to ensure sustainability of the long tailed macaques' population in the wild. It is true that in certain places, the population of this particular species is large. However in other parts of Indonesia, the population has much decreased due to massive habitat loss as a result of forest clearance for agriculture, mining and illegal logging.

The long tailed Macaque is an unprotected species. However, the annual catch is regulated by government license and should not exceed the quota which is published by the General Director of Forest Conservation and Natural Resources Conversion (PHKA) of the Forestry Department. In reality, the trade for wild caught macaques is uncontrollable. In the bird markets all over east Java, at least 50 macaques on average are for sale every month.

In Kalimantan, 5000 macaques are slaughtered for disturbing the local residents per year. The primates are also consumed as delicacies for their meat and brain. In some cities like Jakarta, Medan, and Palembang, monkey meat is listed on restaurant menus. It is estimated that 3000 individuals are slaughtered for delicacies every year.

In Medan, North Sumatera, the monkey's skull is chopped in half while it is still alive so the restaurants' patrons can suck its brain. Some people believe that the monkey's meat and brain are a medicine or for vitality.

The capture of the wild monkeys must end. If it is for research purposes the animals must be captive-bred, instead of caught from the wild. The increasing quota for the last few years proves the failure of monkey breeding in Indonesia. The Forestry Department must evaluate and enforce the breeding of the species.

ProFauna believes that there is no valid reason to increase the macaque catching quota. The 2007 quota is considered too large. The Moratorium of animal catching from the wild must be reviewed in view of the vast habitat loss and the increasing illegal trade.

Pig tail macaque on Wulandari mini zoo in Banda AcehPig tail macaque on Wulandari mini zoo in Banda Aceh

ProFauna also speaks out against primate vivisection. Laboratory experiments are cruel and most are non-essential. Thousands of primates die in the most gruesome way for unnecessary business and medical experiments.

Editor's notes:

On 16 January 2006, ProFauna staged a demonstration campaign in front of the office of the Forestry Department of Indonesian, to protest about the increase of the macaque catching quota. If you need pictures of the demonstration or the macaques, please contact our officer below: