An animal rights group on Thursday called for a ban on raising or trading Formosan rock macaques, after releasing a video showing captive primates being abused, including one incident of a monkey chained along a hiking trail as entertainment for tourists.
In the video released at a news conference in Taipei hosted by the Environmental and Animal Society of Taiwan, Taiwan Macaque Coexistence Promotion Association and Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, among others, a man is heard talking about how he keeps a captive macaque a manageable size.
“An older man advised me that it’s better not to give it water,” he says. “It would otherwise get bigger. See it is still small? This is because I never give it water.”
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Advocates said the man in the video had kept the monkey captive for eight or nine years since it was an infant.
In most cases, the Formosan rock macaques, the nation’s only endemic primates, are poached as babies in incidents that “involve the deaths of their mothers,” two women interviewed in the video say.
Because Formosan rock macaques and their babies usually hold each other tightly, some poachers kill the mothers and set off fireworks to scare the infants to loosen their grasp so they can take them, the women say.
In one scene, a man is shown putting a macaque’s paw into a miniature guillotine and feigning triggering the device. In another, a monkey is shown chained along a hiking trail for the purpose of entertaining tourists.
The video also documented a Formosan rock macaque, which had reportedly been held in captivity for 12 years and had hair loss on its tail, walking continuously in a circle in a small cage.
Another monkey, allegedly confined to a cage for eight years, is seen covering itself with a blanket and kowtowing repeatedly.
The groups said that abuse similar to that shown in the video had “run rampant” since 2019, when the Council of Agriculture’s Forestry Bureau removed the Formosan rock macaque from its “protected species” list and categorized them as “general wildlife” under the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法).
At the time, the council said that Formosan rock macaque numbers had “stabilized” and their habitats were “well maintained.”
The move was seen by animal rights advocates as bowing to the demands of farmers who wanted to legally remove monkeys that had damaged their crops.
Since the reclassification, animal rights groups have set up hotlines for the public to report incidents of Formosan rock macaques being held in captivity illegally, and have since received 151 reports.
Under the Wildlife Conservation Act, hunting, raising or trading “protected species” is prohibited, with contraveners facing fines of NT$300,000 to NT$1.5 million (US$10,303 to US$51,515) along with a maximum jail sentence of five years.
People convicted of poaching animals categorized as “general wildlife” face a more lenient fine of NT$60,000 to NT$300,000, with no criminal penalty.
Raising, trading or hunting animals in the category is permitted in certain circumstances, including for example for farmers seeking to protect their crops.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬), who also spoke at the news conference, demanded the Forestry Bureau draw up new rules to crack down on the poaching, breeding and trading of Formosan rock macaques.
The heads of three major US banks on Wednesday pledged that they would withdraw from the Chinese market if Washington imposed sanctions on Beijing in response to an invasion of Taiwan. JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan and Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser told lawmakers at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services in Washington that the three banks would follow the guidance of the US government to exit China if necessary. The three bankers made the pledge after US Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer asked the three if they
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners
Taiwanese on average first use pornographic material at the age of 14, an international survey found on Wednesday. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University, who conducted the survey in the nation, said 50.2 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they used pornographic material two to three times per month over the past year. Lin Chung-ying (林宗瑩), an associate professor at the university’s Institute of Allied Health Sciences, said the results indicate that Taiwanese are less sexually active than people in other countries, especially in the West. Taiwanese on average masturbate 10 percent less often than respondents from other nations in the survey, Lin said. The