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Many primates still being openly traded in markets in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities

18/07/2012 21:35:05

A siamang for sale in 16 Ilir market, Palembang

The primate trade in Jakarta and Palembang - Courtesy of  Profauna  
July 2012. The illegal primate trade in Indonesia remains high in two big cities in the country: Jakarta and Palembang (South Sumatra). The investigative report of ProFauna Indonesia and the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) shows that dozens of primates are killed for the meat and brain as delicacies every month in both cities.

Long-tailed macaque most targeted
The species which is mostly consumed is the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). The primates are also sold as pet animals, especially the protected species such as the slow loris (Nycticebus sp) and the siamang (Hylobates syndactylus).

The primate trade in Palembang is centred at the 16 Ilir market. Despite the small size, the market blatantly sells many protected animals including slow loris, siamang, pangolin, mouse deer, eagle, langur, long-tailed macaque and many more. Traders from the market also frequently smuggle wildlife to other cities in Java Island including Jakarta and Yogyakarta. In a month, the market can sell 50 slow loris for just 15 USD each.

The trade for monkey brains in Palembang is horrifying and at least 10 monkeys are slaughtered every week. The buyers are mostly foreign sailors from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Korea. Meanwhile, the trade in monkey meat is centred in Jakarta on Mangga Besar street. A dish of monkey brain in Palembang costs U$ 35 and a dish of monkey satay in Jakarta costs U$4. The consumers of monkey meat and brain believe that the delicacies have energy sources including as a male impotence cure.

ProFauna strongly protests against the rampant trade of primate in Palembang and Jakarta. Irma Hermawati, ProFauna Jakarta's coordinator stated "The trade of primates, whether alive or the by-products, violates the law and ethics, especially the species protected by the law."

For these reasons, Profauna urges the government to curb the trade because ProFauna believes that the traded primates are wild caught, including many that have been poached from conservation areas which should be a safe haven for wildlife.

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