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Western Media’s Monkey Business

Happy Year of the Monkey everyone. Sadly the first monkey related blogpost on HH is about Western media’s on going monkey business when it comes to China reporting.

For 2016, the first salvo is about the shameless nouveau riche of China illegally owning endangered “thumb monkey” of Amazon:


However quick Google fact check revealed this story is, again, monkey business. Here are some facts about “thumb monkey”, aka “pocket monkey”, aka “pygmy marmoset”:

1) Contrary to condemnation, pygmy marmoset is not endangered or threatened. IUCN conservation status for pygmy marmoset is it’s not threatened in any major way:

Least Concern – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category

Seems some just noticed IUCN had a Red List publication for pygmy marmoset and assumed it is endangered, without scrutinizing what the Red List publication actually said:


2) Pygmy marmoset is available for sale in US and UK as pet. Google “pet pygmy marmoset” showed some very ordinary stuff on permitting, sales, and care of this creature. This one I’m most incredulous about – would an endangered spices be so readily available for sale in enlightened first world nations?

In contrast, Google pygmy marmoset with keyword “China” revealed a multitude of vitriol against the evil Chinese, on behalf of this suddenly poor, endangered species. Even worse when adding the keyword “endangered” (note the article count actually goes up):


3) Another fallacy is that pygmy marmoset is illegal in China. Actually importation of exotic mammals are legal in China, subject to quarantine and permitting regulations. It is illegal to circumvent quarantine (which unscrupulous vendors in China, as well as US, UK, do.) Here’s what China’s regulation on Wildlife Domestication and Rearing Permit says:

第三条 具备下列条件的单位和个人,可以申请《驯养繁殖许可证》:
(一) 有适宜驯养繁殖野生动物的固定场所和必需的设施;
(二) 具备与驯养繁殖野生动物种类、数量相适应的资金、人员的技术;
(三) 驯养繁殖野生动物的饲料来源有保证。

Article 3 Qualification For Business Entity and Individual To Apply “Wild Life Domesticaiton and Rearing Permit”:
(1) Having permanent location, appropriate and necessary facility, equipment for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(2) Possessing needed capital, expertise, for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(3) Gauranteed food supply for domestication and rearing the wild animal.

Here’s a very recent coverage about a company in Hangzhou importing small monkeys, and monkeys passing their 30-day quarantine.

Monkey business, or business as usual? You decide.

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,
  1. N.M.Cheung
    February 20th, 2016 at 09:15 | #1

    I would not worry too much about those politically correct exercises against rich Chinese, some may be deserved or not, but today there is a nationwide protest in U.S. by Chinese community against scapegoating of former police officer from NYPD whom happens to be Chinese-American. Given all those video tapes of police shootings of unarmed minorities, most were not prosecuted, where in Chicago they were forced to prosecute when a video tape was suppressed for over a year showing clearly the shooting, it’s ironic a bumbling, accidental ricocheted bullet that killed an innocent in a dark stairwell was fully prosecuted with all the law can muster when Diablo was gunned down with more than 50 bullets fired by NYPD when he reached for his wallet a few years ago and no one was prosecuted.

  2. pug_ster
    February 22nd, 2016 at 07:30 | #2

    Western propaganda has its way to make fun at the Chinese but really have to take a look in the mirror when it comes to exotic pets. Last week I saw news about Burmese Pythons plaguing South Florida because years back people thought it was cool to have them as pets. People released them and now they basically ate almost all the other creatures there and it is impossible to stop this invasive species.

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