Every year, the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) holds a conference. The program is not limited to issues directly impacting farm animals, however, but also includes discussions of experimentation, the civil rights of activists, and many other topics. IPPL has been a sponsor of this important conference for a number of years and once again had a booth that kept the IPPL team busy.
This time I gave four presentations, three of them PowerPoints about IPPL’s work fighting the international trade in monkeys, the smuggling of apes, cruelty to primates, and related themes. In addition, on Thursday July 10, representatives of the sponsoring organizations were invited to give welcoming remarks during the opening plenary session. (Many thanks to FARM for posting the video on YouTube.) Of the 1,500 attendees, a show of hands revealed that well over half of them were first-timers.
I wanted to tell the audience about the success of IPPL’s petition that we had circulated during the previous year’s conference. Our 2013 petition had had been directed at Malaysian authorities and requested an end to the ongoing slaughter of wild monkeys which had already taken the lives of nearly 200,000 free-living long-tailed macaques. Many conference attendees signed.
Among those to whom we sent the petition signatures was Malaysia’s former chief of wildlife, who had been critical of the massive “cull.” Encik Khan delivered the petitions for us to the office of Malaysia’s new Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. The incoming minister is a member of the Hindu religion, which reveres monkeys. The new minister quickly ordered an end to the slaughter!
Those present were thrilled that petitions are not always thrown into the trash but can lead to positive change! And many of them signed IPPL’s 2014 petition, which was directed at Chinese authorities and sought an end to the illegal importation of chimpanzees and their abuse in captive settings. Let’s hope for similar good news from that quarter in the future.