To mark Primate Day, which falls on Jan.30, Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ), together with around 20 animal lovers and Yogyakarta-based ska band Shaggydog, staged on Tuesday an art performance entitled “Air Mata Topeng Monyet (The Tears of Topeng Monyet) in front of the Yogyakarta administration complex.
They urged Yogyakarta to immediately issue a regulation to ban topeng monyet (masked monkey) shows.
“Since 2015, we have asked the Yogyakarta administration to ban topeng monyet but no action has been taken as of today,” said AFJ program manager Angelina Pane on Tuesday.
Angelina said topeng monyet must be banned because long-tailed macaques used in the shows could spread zoonotic diseases to humans.
“The result of a health assessment conducted by the Jakarta Animal Aid Network [JAAN] shows that 11.3 percent of long-tailed macaques used in topeng monyet shows suffer from tuberculosis,” she said.
Angelina said topeng monyet shows had led to the rampant illegal hunting of long-tailed macaques in their habitat. Topeng monyet owners are also known for their poor treatment of the animals.
“Our investigation reveals that the long-tailed macaques undergo three to six months of training in a process that is very cruel,” she said.
After being prohibited in Jakarta and West Java in 2014 and 2016, respectively, topeng monyet owners have moved their businesses to Yogyakarta.