Target: Joko Widodo, Governor of Jakarta
Goal: Thank the Governor for rescuing street-performing monkeys from an inhumane and abusive industry.
The governor of Jakarta, Indonesia has called for the seizure and rescue of all macaques and other monkeys currently being used in street performances. The raids will not only keep these animals from a life of cruelty, they will also improve public health by reducing the diseases monkeys can spread, including tuberculosis and hepatitis. For protecting both the citizens of Jakarta and its animals, Governor Widodo deserves our gratitude.
The roadside monkey performances, known as topeng monyet, will be eliminated by next year. The handlers won’t have their livelihoods taken from them, however. The city government plans to buy back all of the monkeys they seize. They will then shelter them at a 2.5 acre preserve at Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo. The handlers and caretakers will also be given vocational training to help them find new jobs.
The training that street performing macaques are forced to endure is painful and cruel. They are often hung from chains for extended periods so they walk on their hind legs, their teeth are removed to prevent bites, and they are beaten and tortured so that they remain obedient to their handlers. After training, the remainder of their lives are spent wearing costumes and masks and being forced to dance and perform.
It is estimated that 350 monkeys are currently working on the streets, and security forces have already rescued 22 within a few weeks. The news has also begun to spread to other parts of the country. The mayor of Bandung, West Java recently decided to pursue banning monkey shows there as well.
Please take a moment to thank Governor Widodo and the city of Jakarta for keeping hundreds of macaques free from a life of cruelty.
Dear Governor Widodo,
You recently called for the seizure and rescue of all macaques and other monkeys that are being used by handlers as street performers. These animals are often tortured as part of their training, and are forced perform against their will for their entire lives. You have set a good precedent by rescuing these monkeys, and by ensuring that the handlers whose monkeys are taken from them will be reimbursed and provided free vocational training so they can work toward a life off of the streets.
Thank you for this powerful decision. Not only will you be rescuing hundreds of monkeys from a life of cruelty, you will also be improving public health by preventing the spread of disease.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Austronesian Expeditions via Flickr