Black market with animals

 

Hunting wild animals, along with natural habitat loss, is the second most serious threat for wild fauna. The reasons for hunting have radically changed throughout the history. In the past people used to hunt animals to stay alive. Current hunters collect animals as profitable source of food or for the purpose of selling them as house pets, or for the use as an “active agent” in traditional medicine, magic, religion, and alternatively to be sold as decorations and so on. We see that the problem of illegal trading of wildlife is creating new issues in addition to the already troubling problems related to hunting. The increasing population density and a fast infrastructure development in general have allowed poachers an easier access to the forest areas. This created the well supplied and globally widespread animal black trade that has already caused extinction of several animal species and has brought more on the brink of extinction. Besides endangering the hunted species of animals by extermination, hunting has also a fundamental ecological impact. The vegetation can recover only very slowly, because the hunters prefer bigger species of vertebrates that maintain balanced species distribution of fauna and flora.

Wildlife animal market Jatinegara, Jakarta (Source: Příbrský, 2013)

Wildlife animal market Jatinegara, Jakarta (Source: Příbrský, 2013)


Even though most of the hunting is illegal in many areas it seems as though the application of law protection is unnoticeable. There are, however, a few examples of successful enforcement and implementation of laws into practice which show that the effects caused by hunting can be efficiently reduced where there is a will for it, namely a political will. Leading nature conservationists Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Dr. Chris R. Shepherd and others have stated that stopping illegal animal trafficking or trade of their body parts should be the main focus regional conservational priority, because hunting can potentially be controlled and solved much easier than most of other problems touching conservational activity in tropical rain forest areas.

The absence of rehabilitation facilities for confiscated lorises frequently leads to a situation that the enforcement agencies don´t confiscate the lorises at all (Source: Příbrský, 2013)

The absence of rehabilitation facilities for confiscated lorises frequently leads to a situation that the enforcement agencies don´t confiscate the lorises at all (Source: Příbrský, 2013)


Although slow lorises are an endangered species and they are protected under the national and international law, they are one of the most traded mammal species in Indonesia - sold and bought mostly as house „pets“. Illegal trade is the greatest threat for survival of wild slow loris populations. Thousands of slow lorises are being hunted from the wild and sold on the black markets in the streets. They are being transported in terrible conditions, in overfull and poorly ventilated cages. During the transportation 30-90 % of individuals die due to stress. Live animals are often found next to the dead bodies of others. To those who survive traders often pull out or tear the teeth with nail- or wire-scissors or pliers, usually without any anesthetic, so they cannot bite their future owners and thus become more „suitable“ house pets. This incredibly painful procedure is very often the cause of infections or even deaths from bleeding.

Greater slow lorises are being hidden from the public. The traders are aware that they are breaking the law by selling these animals. Jalan Bintang street, Medan (Source: Příbrský, 2013)

Greater slow lorises are being hidden from the public. The traders are aware that they are breaking the law by selling these animals. Jalan Bintang street, Medan (Source: Příbrský, 2013)


With recent development of technologies and expansion of internet another significant threat for wild slow lorises has appeared, namely videos on the youtube.com server or anywhere else on the internet. In these videos „domesticated“ slow lorises are presented as „cute“ house pets being tickled or eating rice balls. Without understanding the behaviour and physiology of slow lorises it is easy to think that these animals enjoy being tickled or fed rice. Unfortunately, it cannot be true for several reasons. All these reasons can be found on the link of „I Am Not Your Toy!“ campaign.

Drawing made by member of the ABUN group which support "I Am Not Your Toy!" campaign (Source: Marion Schön, 2016)

Drawing made by member of the ABUN group which support "I Am Not Your Toy!" campaign (Source: Marion Schön, 2016)


This expansion of black market is the reason why The Kukang Rescue Program was created. Its mission is to minimize the number of slow lorises occuring on animal black markets and prevent daily physical and mental suffering of these animals.