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Wild meat trade

While the wild meat trade is not the greatest threat faced by most macaque species, it does present welfare problems, and for some species, such as the Celebes macaque (Macaca nigra), it presents a significant conservation problem.

In some parts of Asia macaques have been customarily venerated. In others, they have traditionally been hunted for food. In some areas, over the past century, hunting methods and motivations have largely changed. Modern firearms allow for more efficient killing. Roads opened up by logging interests and human expansion allow for increased access to remote animal populations, and for wild meat to be transported in large quantities to urban areas where it is a lucrative luxury product. Macaque meat also continues to be consumed locally, at a subsistence level in some regions.

Macaques are not always the specific target; in Vietnam, macaques frequently caught in snares set for other animals and may wind up as pets or meat. A survey of wild meat markets in Laos found that while other animals were traded far more frequently, primates, including macaques, were traded about once a week.

The trade in body parts for traditional medicine is not wholly separate from the meat trade; many foods, including macaque meat, are considered to be medicinal.  Please see macaques used in traditional medicine for more. 

Mitigating the wild meat trade

Projects like Selamatkan Yaki, dedicated to protecting the crested black macaque (locally known as the Yaki; Macaca nigra),use a Community Conservation approach. This means that local people are central to the effort, assisted by scientists and advocates. Selamatkan Yaki’s work is multifaceted and includes educational programmes, field research, and the promotion of alternative sources of food and income to hunters. Simple activities like holding an educational stall at a local festival can promote macaque-positive attitudes, and reduce the likelihood of future hunting. Read more HERE

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