Cuddly primate trade banned
June 11, 2007
CITES delegates agreed to a total ban on trade in the slow loris, a Southeast Asian primate commonly trafficked for the pet trade. Environmental groups welcomed the move.
“ProFauna Indonesia is delighted with the outcome of the protection of the slow lorises (Nycticebus spp),” said ProFauna, an NGO that campaigns against the illegal trade in wildlife in Indonesia.
The proposal to move the slow loris from CITES Appendix II to the more restrictive Appendix I was put forth by Cambodia and won wide support at the meeting in The Hague. Appendix I bans all trade in the slow loris, a nocturnal prosimian found in south and southeast Asia.
Captive slow loris. Photo courtesy of ProFauna Indonesia
ProFauna Indonesia said the primate is threatened by deforestation an trafficking. In extensive surveys of markets in Indonesia, ProFauna Indonesia found that slow loris are sold for around $20 each in animal markets and shopping malls in major cities. The animal’s teeth are usually removed using pliers prior to sale and slow loris suffer high mortality in captivity due to infection, poor handling and animal cruelty.
Under the new CITES ruling, three species of slow loris–Nycticebus coucang, Nycticebus bengalensis and Nycticebus pygmaeus–are now also listed in Appendix I.
While trade in slow loris has been long prohibited in Indonesia, it was poorly monitored. ProFauna Indonesia estimated that 7,000 lorises were caught and traded between 2000 and 2007.