Press Release: The Primate Trade in Jakarta and Palembang Remains High

A siamang traded in 16 Ilir market, Palembang(07/04/2012) The illegal primate trade in Indonesia remains high in two big cities in the country: Jakarta and Palembang (South Sumatera). The investigation 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. The species which is mostly consumed is the long-tailed macaque/ monkey (Macaca fascicularis). Besides being cruelly slaughtered for the brain, the primates are also sold as pet animals, especially the protected ones like the slow loris (Nycticebus sp) and the siamang (Hylobates syndactylus).

The primate trade in Palembang is centered at the 16 Ilir market. Despite the small size, the market rampantly sells many protected animals like the slow loris, siamang, pangolin, mouse deer, eagle, langur, long-tailed macaque, and many more. Traders in 16 Ilir market also frequently smuggle wildlife to other cities in Java Island like Jakarta and Yogyakarta (Central Java). In a month, the market can sell 50 slow lorises fetching 150,000 IDR (15 USD, 1 USD = 10,000 IDR) each. The slow lorises are sold not only in Palembang but also smuggled to Jakarta.

The trade of monkey brain in Palembang is horrifying because there are at least 10 monkeys are slaughtered in one week. The buyers are mostly foreign sailors from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Korea who dock their ships at the sea ports in Palembang. Meanwhile, the trade of monkey meat is centered in Jakarta on Mangga Besar street. A dish of monkey brain in Palembang costs 350,000 IDR while a dish of monkey satay in Jakarta is 40,000 IDR. The consumers of monkey meat and brain believe that the delicacies have energy sources and even as 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 ones or the by-products, violates the law and ethic, 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 poached from conservation area which should have been the safe place for the wildlife.

According to the Law Number 5 year 1990 concerning the Conservation of the Natural Resources and the Ecosystem, the trade of the protected animals (like slow loris, langur, and siamang) is prohibited and offenders are liable to a five-year prison term and a 100-million Rupiah fine. Meanwhile, even thought the long-tailed macaque/monkey is not protected by the law, according to the Law Number 41 year 1999 of Forestry: any one is prohibited to export, carry, and transport the unprotected wildlife from the Forestry areas without permit.

For further information, please contact:

  • Swasti Prawidya Mukti

    (International Affairs Officer, ProFauna Indonesia)
    Mobile: +62 856 369 3611

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ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats