Bangkok – Going back to Thailand one year after PETA exposed the use of forced monkey labour on Thai coconut farms – prompting over 26,000 retailers around the world to cut ties with Thai coconut milk brands – PETA investigators have now found that manufacturers and the Thai government are lying to the public and importers about monkey use, which continues despite false claims and empty promises.
PETA’s new video, available here, includes interviews with industry insiders who discuss how farms simply hide monkeys until auditors leave or buy monkeys without registering them, even though registration is legally required. Of the 14 coconut farms that PETA’s investigators visited in 2020, half were still confirmed to be using monkeys, including two farms visited the previous year. As for the rest, because farmers can hire contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time, it’s nearly impossible to know whether they’re monkey-free.
PETA found that any audits or visits by inspectors were announced to farmers in advance, giving them time to conceal monkeys. PETA’s investigators spoke with one farmer who uses monkey labour and said that Chaokoh representatives didn’t tell farmers to stop using monkeys.
“Thailand’s coconut industry is attempting to cover up the fact that chained monkeys are still being forced to pick coconuts for coconut milk, and its fake audits and empty promises will only see the industry continue to crumble,” says PETA Senior Vice President Jason Baker. “PETA is calling on the Thai government to ban monkey labour in the coconut industry.”
With this new intelligence, PETA is also turning up the pressure on the Thai government to hold the coconut industry accountable. PETA will continue to push retailers to reconsider their relationship with Chaokoh, too. More than 26,000 international stores – including chains Costco, Walgreens, and Tesco – have banned coconut milk brands that use coconuts picked by monkeys.
Monkeys exploited in the coconut industry are taken from their natural habitat as babies and tethered by the neck, and their teeth may be removed if they try to defend themselves. (PETA’s video shows one monkey whose canines have been extracted.) They are deprived of any semblance of a natural life.
Photos and broadcast-quality footage from PETA’s investigation in Thailand are available upon request.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAAsia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.