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AfA opposes Malaysian TV stations’ endorsement of wild Macaques as pets

Jamil Kucing is the proud owner of two macaques – JK and Shaki. He has garnered fame in Malaysia due to Youtube and TV exposure for the fact that he dresses JK and Shaki up in human outfits, takes them out to restaurants and rides them precariously around on the back of his motorcycle.

(image: Jamil Kucing Facebook)

Added to this, Mr. Kucing is known to share his home with many other animals, mainly cats, which he ‘rescues’ locally, causing some to dub him an “animal rescuer extraordinaire”. However, AfA has seen no evidence that Mr. Kucing has any background or qualifications in animal welfare, and we find the images of the conditions his animals are living in distressing.

It was brought to our attention by our associates at Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia that the coverage given to Mr. Kucing’s ‘novel’ lifestyle is sending a terrible and misguiding message to those who watch it about animal welfare concepts. We have taken advice from primate specialist group Neotropical Primate Conservation in crafting our letter, addressed to 3 major TV stations in Malaysia to let them know that the needs of the macaques is certainly not being met in their current way of life. Not to mention the public health and safety risk posed by having two strong, adult wild primates regularly visiting public places such as restaurants and TV stations.

(image: Jamil Kucing Facebook)

AfA has authored a letter, signed by 203 expert animal welfare NGOs from around the world to highlight to senior decision makers at TV Alhijrah, Sinar TV and Buletin TV3 that showing features such as this can be seriously damaging to public perception of the acceptability of keeping wild animals as pets. These macaques are clearly not able to express any of their natural behaviours such as complex social interactions, and this is clearly harmful to their well-being, manifesting in abnormal behaviours such as foot biting.

Read our letter in full HERE.

(image: Jamil Kucing Facebook)

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