The government in Jakarta, Indonesia is cracking down on the inhuman use of monkeys as street performers, a practice that has proliferated wildly in the last decade.
Locally called topang monyet, meaning “masked monkeys,” the animals are forced to wear doll masks and beg for money. Their training is based on pain and hunger and they are kept in horrible conditions, chained on short leashes in tiny cages or small dark boxes. Many are infected with tuberculosis and hepatitis which are passed back and forth between monkeys and handlers.
Jakarta governor Joko Widodo has announced plans to get the animals off the streets by 2014.
An estimated 200 to 350 topany monyet handlers were thought to be operating in Jakarta. Since the crackdown, which involves confiscation of the animals, many have been moved to other cities.
The growing proliferation of dancing monkeys is blamed on three big ‘monkey bosses’ who rent out the monkeys to street children who turn over their profits and often become indentured.
As inducement to surrender their animals to wildlife officials, handlers are being given compensation and pledges of job training.
Source: ANIMAL PEOPLE.