UK supermarkets ban sale of coconut products picked by monkeys

Read Time:   |  6th July 2020

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Major UK supermarkets have ditched a number of coconut products after a PETA investigation revealed that the products were made using coconuts picked by monkeys


UK supermarkets and retailers including Morrisons, Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots have removed a number of coconut-based products from sale such as coconut water and oil following a PETA investigation.

PETA uncovered the cruel reality behind the harvesting of coconuts in Thailand and found that pigtailed macaques were treated like “coconut-picking machines”.

The monkeys were stolen from their homes in the wild and forcibly trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day.

Following the investigation, more than 15,000 stores have vowed to cease purchasing products from these brands, and the majority will no longer buy any coconut products sourced from monkey labour in Thailand.

In a statement, Waitrose said: “As part of our animal welfare policy, we have committed to never knowingly sell any products sourced from monkey labour.”

Co-op said: “As an ethical retailer, we do not permit the use of monkey labour to source ingredients for our products.”

Now, PETA is urging major retailers Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s to do the same.

A Tesco spokesperson told the BBC: “Our own-brand coconut milk and coconut water does not use monkey labour in its production and we don’t sell any of the branded products identified by Peta.

“We don’t tolerate these practices and would remove any product from sale that is known to have used monkey labour during its production.”

Extreme stress

PETA uncovered eight farms in Thailand where enslaved monkeys were forced to pick coconuts in cruel and inhumane conditions for export around the world.

Shockingly, PETA even heard disturbing reports of monkies having their canine teeth forcibly removed if they bit handlers at one farm.

According to PETA: “The animals at these facilities – many of whom are illegally captured as babies – displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress.

“Monkeys were chained to old tyres or confined to cages that were barely large enough for them to turn around in.”

“One monkey in a cage on a lorry bed was seen frantically shaking the cage bars in a futile attempt to escape, and a screaming monkey on a rope desperately tried to run away from a handler.”

‘Highly intelligent animals

“These curious, highly intelligent animals are denied psychological stimulation, companionship, freedom, and everything else that would make their lives worth living, all so that they can be used to gather coconuts,” said Peta director Elisa Allen.

“Peta is calling on decent people never to support the use of monkey labour by shunning coconut products from Thailand.”

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