Animal welfare activists want Australian consumers to stop buying coconuts picked by slave monkeys in Thailand.
Protesters wearing monkey face masks and prison suits, holding placards and chained together, gathered outside Melbourne’s Thai consulate on Wednesday.
“It’s absurd that monkeys continue to be used to pick coconuts in Thailand in a day and age when consumers are compassionately avoiding products that contribute to animal abuse,” PETA representative Emily Rice said.
“Until monkeys are out of the coconut-picking industry in Thailand, PETA is calling on all Australians to buy coconut products that are sourced elsewhere.”
The global charity, which advocates for ethical treatment of animals, reported that the monkeys are fitted with metal collars, transported in small metal cages, and used to climb trees and harvest coconuts daily.
Earlier this year Thailand rejected claims its popular coconut-picking monkeys are treated cruelly.
The animals are mostly a tourist attraction and are not harmed, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said.
In 2019 Thailand exported more than $500 million worth of coconut milk.