Nineteen Core Members of the Asia for Animals Coalition, together with a 22 members of the AfA Macaque Coalition, have released a statement about the proposed export of up to 100,000 Endangered toque macaques (Macaca sinica) from Sri Lanka - the only nation in which the species is found - to China. While these monkeys are ostensibly to be placed in zoos, experts are dubious about this claim, and suspect that they may be bound, instead, for use by the biomedical research industry. Either way, such a move would be disastrous.
131 more organizations have also added their support to this statement.
The organizations that released the statement (which can be read in full HERE) fully support calls from Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO), and RARE Sri Lanka to abandon this proposal. The statement has been provided to Sri Lana’s president, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister of Wildlife, in addition to China’s Minister of State Forestry and Grassland Bureau and Chinese CITES officials.
Toque macaques are only found in Sri Lanka, and their populations have halved over the past 40 years, largely due to habitat loss. Because they are intelligent and adaptable, many have learned how to survive by foraging on crops grown for human consumption, which can result in substantial loss and hardship for the people involved. The Sri Lankan organizations in whose support the AfA statement was released emphasize that the resources that would be invested in the immense task of capturing and transporting a large number of monkeys would be better used to support the development of humane and sustainable deterrents which would benefit people, environment and monkeys. There are esteemed researchers already working in the country who are well-positioned to do this and AfA membership includes other poised and ready to assist.
Please read the full statement HERE.