Target: Hiroyuki Nagahama, Minister of the Environment of Japan
Goal: Prosecute pet stores that openly advertise endangered slow lorises for sale as pets
With their large eyes and unusual features, slow lorises are prime targets for illegal sale on the exotic pet trade. But while they may appeal to pet owners, lorises just aren’t cut out for domestic life. Their highly specialized diet can only be found in their natural habitat, and their social tendencies lead them to become depressed when isolated in captivity. As a result, many slow lorises die soon after they’re taken home by human owners.
Slow lorises have long appeared for sale illegally in pet stores around Asia, but a newly discovered species of the animal now gives extra cause for concern. This new loris, discovered in Borneo, is estimated to be rapidly disappearing due to poaching. It hasn’t even been studied long enough to earn an official protected species designation. Without increased protections, this new Bornean loris risks extinction before it can be understood fully by scientists.
While the purchase of exotic mammals like the slow loris is illegal in most developed countries, some governments take an increasingly lax approach to regulating the pet trade. Shops in Japan are able to advertise their lorises openly without fear of repercussion. As a result, loris ownership is normalized within society, leading people who want a unique pet to believe that buying a loris is legal and safe for the animal.
The Japanese government needs to take a stand on the illegal pet trade. The lives of too many creatures–many of them near extinction–are at stake. Sign the petition below to demand the Japanese government crack down on pet stores advertising and selling slow lorises.
Dear Hiroyuki Nagahama,
Slow lorises may appear to be friendly, adorable pets, but the sale of the species inflicts immeasurable suffering upon the animal. Naturally social creatures, slow lorises become depressed and listless while in solitary captivity. They are not domesticated enough to enjoy the human companionship that is forced upon them. And without their natural diet, which can be found only in their native habitat, they soon wither and die from malnourishment.
Despite all this, many shops in Japan continue to advertise openly slow lorises as available pets. People are free to walk into a pet store and take home a loris without even knowing that what they have done is illegal. The sale of this exotic animal might be against the law on the books, but in practice, it’s as easy as purchasing a dog or a cat.
The slow loris deserves better protection from the government of Japan. Newly discovered species of the creature are already dwindling down to alarmingly low numbers as poachers abduct them for sale in the exotic pet trade. I urge you to enforce Japan’s existing laws on the sale of exotic animals more strictly for the sake of this rare and enigmatic species.
[Your Name Here]