Caught on Camera: Wildlife Trafficking at Bali’s Satria Bird Market
PETA Asia recently captured video footage of illegal wildlife trafficking at Bali’s Satria Bird Market in Indonesia. Investigators filmed a shop owner trying to sell monkeys and slow lorises to tourists, even though slow lorises are a protected species in Indonesia and trafficking monkeys into Bali is illegal.
Bali Tourists Beware: Suffering for Sale
Obtaining animals in order to sell them is a horrific business. Baby monkeys are often illegally abducted from their jungle homes after hunters kill their mothers.
The bite of a slow loris is highly venomous and can be deadly to humans. For this reason, the “pet” and tourist industries often remove their teeth – without anaesthetic – using pliers or other tools. This excruciating procedure is torture and can lead to infection and even death.
The slow loris at this market was kept in a small, barren cage without access to water. These sensitive animals are nocturnal primates, which means the noisy, brightly lit environment would have been incredibly stressful for them. There was no official record of the animal, who was being sold “off the books”.
Many exotic animals who are sold to ill-informed buyers or acquired as novelties on a whim die prematurely or are abandoned when buyers are no longer able or willing to care for them.
Failing Law Enforcement
PETA Asia is calling on Indonesia’s law-enforcement authorities and Ministry of Environment and Forestry to investigate this illegal, violent trade and file appropriate charges against the perpetrators.
This is the third time in as many years that illegal wildlife trafficking has been exposed at this market. Just last year, the same shop was caught selling monkeys, who were confiscated. The shop was given a warning and agreed never to sell monkeys again. Yet it brazenly continues to sell illegally imported animals. The wildlife trafficker even compares his activities to those of the Mafia.
Authorities’ ineffectual warnings have clearly done nothing to deter vendors. Meaningful enforcement must be implemented without delay.
Threat to World Health
It’s estimated that 75% of all new infectious diseases originate from animals other than humans. Animal markets, like the one at which the novel coronavirus that led to the global pandemic is believed to have originated, are potential breeding grounds for viruses that cause zoonotic diseases, including COVID-19, SARS, and monkeypox.
Markets where there is direct contact between customers and live animals provide the ideal environment for viruses to jump from one host to another. Faeces and bodily fluids can easily and unknowingly be carried into restaurants, homes, and other places on the shoes and clothing of anyone who visits such markets. Rabies, which has a mortality rate of almost 100%, and herpes B virus, which is fatal to nearly 70% of humans who do not receive timely treatment, can be transferred from macaques to humans.
What You Can Do
Regardless of where you are in the world, never buy animals at markets, from dealers, or from pet shops. Animal shelters are filled with dogs and cats who need loving homes.
Animals such as slow lorises are not suitable animal companions. These fascinating individuals are nocturnal and like to travel long distances at night. Keeping them enclosed in brightly lit environments is cruel. They have highly complex nutritional needs and often become obese when guardians fail to meet them.
People who later realise that taking care of these animals is more work than they expected abandon thousands of “exotic pets” each year. Learn more about why you should never support the exotic-pet trade:
If you see animals for sale illegally, contact the local authorities immediately.
Help us close live-animal markets completely by sending a message to the World Health Organization now: