Ministry To Establish Export Quota for Monkeys Exports

A firm quota for the export of long-tailed macaque monkeys bred in Cambodia’s four primate farms will soon be established by the Min­istry of Agriculture, an environmental official said Wednesday.

Trade or sale of the endangered mon­keys is permitted under the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species’ regulations, although the trade must be highly regulated.

“The quota will be set for the four companies the ministry has is­sued li­censes to,” said CITES Sec­re­tariat official Suon Phalla, who stressed that the primarily Chinese and Viet­na­mese companies in­volved must not purchase wild ma­caques from protected areas for breeding.

According to the NGO WildAid, the four farms are located in Takeo, Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Thom and Kandal provinces.

Some officials have voiced concern that trade in the monkeys—ship­ped overseas to medical re­search centers that use them for ex­­per­imentation because of their genetic likeness to humans—is not monitored as closely as ministry of­fi­cials have claimed.

Sub Ra, director general of technical affairs for the Commerce Min­is­try, voiced his doubts that the ma­jority of Cambodia’s farm-reared mon­keys are bred for export to medical research facilities.

“The catch from the forest is also a way to export to the international animal market,” he said.

Neou Bonher, permanent dep­uty head of the Tonle Sap Bio­sphere Reserve secretariat at the Min­istry of Environment, said no one knows for sure what percentage of ma­ca­ques on the farms are from the wild.

“We are concerned because the more [macaque] farming there is the more local people will go to the pro­tected wild and illegally catch and poach monkeys,” he said.

“We would like to have a clearer pic­ture of what is going on, how they catch the monkeys and where they sell them,” Neou Bonher said. “It’s unclear how much the businesses are being monitored.”

 

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.