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Thailand says monkey labour 'almost non-existent' after UK shop ban


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Thailand says monkey labour 'almost non-existent' after UK shop ban

By Juarawee Kittisilpa and Orathai Sriring

 

2020-07-06T153910Z_1_LYNXMPEG65172_RTROPTP_4_BRITAIN-RETAIL-MONKEY-LABOUR-THAILAND.JPG

A woman shops coconut products at a supermarket in Bangkok, Thailand, July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Monkey labour to harvest coconuts for commercial products "is almost non-existent" in Thailand, the commerce minister said on Monday, after British retailers announced bans on products campaigners say use the animals in their production.

 

Waitrose, Co-op and Ocado vowed not to sell products that used monkeylabour, while Morrisons has already removed Thai products amid an appeal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's fiancée Carrie Symonds.

 

Symonds on Friday backed a call to supermarkets to stop selling Thai coconut products over accusations of monkey "slaves" by the rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) published in the Telegraph newspaper.

 

"Using monkeys for the coconut industry is almost non-existent," Thai Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told reporters, saying human labour had long ago replaced monkeys.

 

"But there may still be the pictures of monkey collecting coconuts for tourism on video clips, which created a misunderstanding," Jurin said.

 

Deputy agriculture minister, Mananya Thaiset, echoed his comments. "How do you even find that many monkeys to collect large amounts of coconuts to cater to the industry?" she said.

 

When asked by email about the minister's comments that the video may have been taken at tourist shows, rather than in an industrial plantation, PETA Senior Vice President Jason Baker said: "PETA’s investigation footage was captured recently on plantations and training schools."

 

"When the government tries to explain away extreme cruelty to monkeys, it only makes the public angrier," he added.

 

Reuters could not verify whether the monkeys in the PETA video were being used in commercial coconut farming.

 

Thailand last year exported coconut milk worth 12.3 billion baht ($396 million), about 8% of it to Britain.

 

Walmart-owned <WMT.N> supermarket Asda also said it was removing products from Aroy-D and Chaokoh, Thai brands of coconut milk, while investigating the PETA report.

 

An Aroy-D spokeswoman disputed the report and said British retailers did not consult it before their announcements.

 

Chaokoh did not reply to queries on Monday.

 

Edwin Wiek, of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand that tends to rescued wildlife, said he believed the practice was waning as farmers strived to meet European trade standards.

 

"I do believe that monkeys are still being used for the coconut picking. But in the last 15 years, it’s going down at a very big rate," he said.

 

(Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Alison Williams)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-07
 
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Monkeys not ‘coconut-picking machines’, insists trade dept chief

By THE NATION

 

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Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit

 

The Commerce Ministry has instructed its commercial counsellor at the Thai Trade Office in London to explain to foreign customers and retailers that getting coconuts picked by monkeys is not an exercise in cruelty, Somdet Susomboon, director general of the Department of International Trade Promotion, said on Sunday (July 5).

 

Last week, BBC had reported that several supermarkets in the UK had removed coconut products from Thailand in response to a report from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which said that pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like “coconut-picking machines”.

 

Somdet said the ministry will clarify the situation to all involved parties, especially those in Europe and the UK, so they will have a better understanding of the Thai way of life.

 

He will also invite foreign diplomats in Thailand to see how coconuts are picked and how coconut milk is produced.

 

Somdet went on to say that this is not the first time that this issue has come up, adding that he had provided explanations last year as well. He said that Thailand has strictly enforced laws related to the prevention of cruelty on animals and animal welfare.

 

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the Department of International Trade Promotion will call a meeting on Wednesday (July 8 ) with all parties involved in the production process to discuss the issue and seek solutions. He will also invite representatives of Peta to monitor the coconut-picking process as well as the making of coconut milk and oil.

 

Like last year, the ministry will maintain the target of coconut exports at Bt12.3 billion. Of the Bt12.3 billion worth exports last year, 13 per cent was shipped to the European Union, 8 per cent of which was sent to the UK.

 

Last year, Thailand produced 788,000 tonnes of coconut-based products, 113,000 tonnes of which was coconut milk. Of the total milk produced, 70 per cent was consumed locally and the rest exported. Thailand has also been importing coconuts from Indonesia.

 

Niran Wongvanit, a trainer at the Klong Noi Monkey Training Centre in Muang district, Surat Thani, insists there is no cruelty involved in training the animals to pick coconuts. He said the trainers treat the monkeys like their own kids.

 

The venue has trained monkeys for agricultural purposes for over 100 years. It is also an agri-tourism venue.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30390852

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-07-07
 
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Thai defamation laws would make such a report impossible inland, even if it points out the truth and nothing but the truth.

Such laws are here only to protect the guilty and should be scrapped.

 

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1 hour ago, Laza 45 said:

...so will they ban lamb chops because they use dogs to round up the sheep?

Sheep dogs arnt beaten to round up sheep and chained up... get a clue.

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Whatever about the monkeys how about human rights. Lots of humans end up in chains too. And many of them die in Thailand and nothing is done by the UK government. 

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Almost unbelieveable this story is for real,, 

 

I love the statement where the Minister is going to explain "thailand way of life" to the UK. I could just hear the comment "farang don't understand Thailand". Or could the more likely situation be Thailand displays unacceptable behaviour regarding animal cruelty that has no place in the modern world. 

 

I also wonder when they are going to be pressured to finally stop exploiting animals like the elephants and tigers at a certain park I once frequented. 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, ezzra said:

That maybe very well so, but since when the true facts stood in a way of telling a good sensational story?...

what are the true facts that the UK is not understanding?

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16 minutes ago, GAZZPA said:

Almost unbelieveable this story is for real,, 

 

I love the statement where the Minister is going to explain "thailand way of life" to the UK. I could just hear the comment "farang don't understand Thailand". Or could the more likely situation be Thailand displays unacceptable behaviour regarding animal cruelty that has no place in the modern world. 

 

I also wonder when they are going to be pressured to finally stop exploiting animals like the elephants and tigers at a certain park I once frequented. 

Absolutely. 

 

The first article is clearly a lie. The practice of using monkeys is still evident as the second article confirms. 

 

Then the second article indicates they have no intention of stopping the practice and are simply too stupid and greedy to understand animal exploitation for profit is wrong. 

 

There's no exploitation of monkeys picking coconuts in Thailand like there is no prostitution in Pattaya. 

 

This lot couldn't lie straight in bed. 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Morrisons has already removed Thai products amid an appeal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's fiancée Carrie Symonds.

Is Carrie a vegan? 

 

Safer for monkeys do it than human. Burmese people will die now. Sure. Carrie should think. 

I think she low knowledge. The old tree is to high for the stick.

 

And

“On 4 April 2020, Symonds announced on Twitter that she was in recovery after experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and spending a week in bed. She was not tested for the disease.” 

Boris positive, why not test Carrie? Carrie spread coronavirus?

 

 

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3 hours ago, scubascuba3 said:

So now we have mass monkey unemployment here too

No problem, they can get jobs in Prayut Government.😆

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Thailand says monkey labour 'almost non-existent'

 

Kind of ironic (and more than a little sad) that Thailand’s extensive human exploitation and long-standing use of virtual slave labor…is only critically examined when monkeys are reputed to be a part of the work force.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Yinn said:

Is Carrie a vegan? 

 

Safer for monkeys do it than human. Burmese people will die now. Sure. Carrie should think. 

I think she low knowledge. The old tree is to high for the stick.

 

And

“On 4 April 2020, Symonds announced on Twitter that she was in recovery after experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and spending a week in bed. She was not tested for the disease.” 

Boris positive, why not test Carrie? Carrie spread coronavirus?

 

 

Is that the extent of Thailands agriculture technology "a big stick"? I am imagining the Thai farmers approaching the dilema,, "stick not big enough, how about we make the monkeys do it". Is another solution beyond Thai comprehension? Or is it I just don't understand the Thai way of life? 😆

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3 minutes ago, Hayduke said:

 

Kind of ironic (and more than a little sad) that Thailand’s extensive human exploitation and long-stading use of virtual slave labor…is only criticized when monkeys are reputed to be a part of the work force.

 

 

Not sure about that fella, I think Thailand has been under the spotlight more then once for human exploitation as well. 

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2 hours ago, Laza 45 said:

...so will they ban lamb chops because they use dogs to round up the sheep?

Yes and Rice will be next because they use Buffalo to plough the fields.

The same people kicking up a fuss probably enjoy Polo, horse racing, dog racing with the same amount of animal exploitation.

Salmon farms will be next because the fish are stressed. Then the Shrimps farms because they are fed antibiotics and hormones and someone will feel sorry for the shrimp.

In the meantime the British Prime Ministers squeeze who made all the fuss about the PETA video is happy tweeting away on her iPhone whilst wearing her branded running shoes (both made by people earning $5 per day), and trying to decide which designer hand bag she will buy next. Save the animals but forget peoples human rights.

I don't condone animal exploitation but I'm sure there is a smarter way around this like the Dolphin free tuna or however they market it.

Just have an auditing system in place to ensure as best possible that animal (Monkey) cruelty is eliminated on these farms. I'm sure that threatened with losing their export licence they will soon change their ways. 

 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

British retailers announced bans on products campaigners say use the animals in their production.

Looks like no more milk, cheese and eggs then. Will all farmers rearing sheep and cows be charged under the 'Meat is murder' label?

 

I'd guess extending the thinking logically, McDonalds will have to close.

 

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1 minute ago, b2bme said:

Yes and Rice will be next because they use Buffalo to plough the fields.

The same people kicking up a fuss probably enjoy Polo, horse racing, dog racing with the same amount of animal exploitation.

Salmon farms will be next because the fish are stressed. Then the Shrimps farms because they are fed antibiotics and hormones and someone will feel sorry for the shrimp.

In the meantime the British Prime Ministers squeeze who made all the fuss about the PETA video is happy tweeting away on her iPhone whilst wearing her branded running shoes (both made by people earning $5 per day), and trying to decide which designer hand bag she will buy next. Save the animals but forget peoples human rights.

I don't condone animal exploitation but I'm sure there is a smarter way around this like the Dolphin free tuna or however they market it.

Just have an auditing system in place to ensure as best possible that animal (Monkey) cruelty is eliminated on these farms. I'm sure that threatened with losing their export licence they will soon change their ways. 

 

Im confused, if you don't condone animal cruelty then what point are you making? Are you just a class warrior having a winge? 

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19 minutes ago, bluesofa said:

Looks like no more milk, cheese and eggs then. Will all farmers rearing sheep and cows be charged under the 'Meat is murder' label?

 

I'd guess extending the thinking logically, McDonalds will have to close.

 

Sustainable Soylent Green burgers coming soon! 

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23 minutes ago, GAZZPA said:

Is that the extent of Thailands agriculture technology "a big stick"? I am imagining the Thai farmers approaching the dilema,, "stick not big enough, how about we make the monkeys do it". Is another solution beyond Thai comprehension? Or is it I just don't understand the Thai way of life? 😆

Ok Mr Superiority.

 

How you get the coconut from the tall old tree? 

 

Burmese kids?

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3 minutes ago, Yinn said:

Ok Mr Superiority.

 

How you get the coconut from the tall old tree? 

 

Burmese kids?

Dead easy: Everyone harvesting coconuts will have to buy a cherry picker so they can collect the coconuts safely.

I'm sure everyone will be happy to pay ten or twenty times the price for coconuts to cover the massive investment and running costs.

 

<For the hard-of-learning: The text above may contain traces of sarcasm>

 

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32 minutes ago, GAZZPA said:

Just have an auditing system in place to ensure as best possible that animal (Monkey) cruelty is eliminated on these farms.

Is there irrefutable evidence that the coconut harvesters are cruel to their monkeys? We may have seen captive monkeys but were they simply village or local pets or actually working monkeys? 

One can see captive monkeys in Asia without a coconut in sight.

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Just now, VocalNeal said:

Is there irrefutable evidence that the coconut harvesters are cruel to their monkeys? We may have seen captive monkeys but were they simply village or local pets or actually working monkeys? 

One can see captive monkeys in Asia without a coconut in sight.

Monkeys are WILD animals, and not pets . Some that are abandoned from a mother's death are raised as pets, and nothing wrong with that if they are treated well. Chaining a wild animal up and forcing them to work for you is abuse. Same thing for keeping wild birds in cages.

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