Professor Anna Nekaris, programme lead for MSc Primate Conservation, has recently returned from Japan discussing policies regarding the illegal trade of slow lorises. The discussions were held with the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, working in collaboration with the Japan Wildlife Conservation Society. Professor Nekaris presented evidence that she hopes will influence the Japanese government to vote to change pet trade legislation.
International trading of slow lorises has been banned since 2007 under the Washington Convention, and any slow lorises that were imported before the ban do not fall under its legislation. Japan is known to be the world’s largest market for slow lorises as pets, and in a report published earlier this year in the Asian Primates Journal, a Oxford Brookes University research group found loopholes and inadequacies in Japan’s enforcement of the ban. Evidence was found of falsified registration certificates for slow lorises, which registered their import date before the ban came into effect.
Professor Nekaris gave five public presentations to audiences of over 200 made up of the public,scientific, and government institutions. A press release led to the work being featured in 13 national newspapers including The Huffington Post Japan and Kyoto News, who featured major spreads in which Professor Nekaris spoke out against the illegal pet trade in slow lorises. Professor Nekaris also commented on the stress that slow lorises suffer being kept as pets.
More information on the MSc in Primate Conservation and Professor Nekaris’ work to protect the slow loris can be found here.