Early this morning, AfA Network Member Organization Japan Anti-Vivisection Association (JAVA) gave us the welcome news that Oita City's plans to capture wild macaques and send them as a diplomatic gift to Uruguay have been cancelled. Oita City's website states that Uruguay's Dulazno Province refused the gift "for technical and economic reasons.
While we will never know the details behind Dulazno Province's decision to refuse, it follows international scrutiny of Japan's proposed gift, including an appeal sent by the Asia for Animals Coalition and the Macaque Coalition, supported by over 160 AfA organizations earlier this month. That letter is available in both English and Japanese HERE.
Japanese macaques are charismatic, emblematic animals who deserve respect. To remove them from the wild is to break up families and cause lifelong trauma. This is at great odds with the generous and unifying spirit that a diplomatic gift should encompass. We're so glad that plans to do so have been dropped and hope that Oita is able to extend their generosity through a more appropriate choice.