Malaysian animal rights NGOs on the hunt for man who sprayed caged monkey with red paint

MyAct says this is the fourth case in Malaysia concerning abuse towards monkeys using spray paint.  — Screengrab via Facebook/myactmalaysia
MyAct says this is the fourth case in Malaysia concerning abuse towards monkeys using spray paint. — Screengrab via Facebook/myactmalaysia

PETALING JAYA, Sept 25 — Malaysia Animal Crime Transparency (MyAct) has called on the public to share information about a man who was filmed using red spray paint on a macaque.

The video, which lasts just under a minute and a half, shows the caged animal crying in distress as it is sprayed with the aerosol paint..

It was posted on MyAct’s Facebook page on September 23 and has gotten over 200 shares so far from the public and other non-governmental organisations focusing on animal rights.

It’s unclear where the video was filmed but a car bearing what appears to be the Royal Malaysian Customs crest and a Johor-registered licence plate is seen in the clip.

An anonymous spokesperson from MyAct told Astro Awani that this is not the first case of animal abuse towards monkeys using spray paint.

“Spray painting monkeys, long-tailed macaques, and pig-tailed macaques who were caught by locals for causing disturbances is a crime and it’s not the first time this has happened.

“There have been four cases so far this year, and the latest appears to have taken place in Johor.

“This video shows a horrible and unethical act (towards animals),” the MyAct spokesperson said.

The clip has ignited a debate between Facebook users, with some saying it’s a common practice for farmers to spray paint monkeys as a “punishment” for destroying crops and to warn other monkeys to stay away.

“I think those who are getting angry over this video are people who have never lived in a village close to the jungle.

“It is better to use spray paint instead of poisoning them. The monkey will survive and in time, the red paint will fade,” said one user.

However, other users said that wasn't a good enough reason to justify putting an animal through suffering and exposing it to toxic substances like spray paint.

“He’s spraying it so close to the macaque’s face, won’t it get into its eyes? Humans can be so cruel,” wrote another user.

A similar case occurred in April this year when a Pahang man was arrested for shooting and spray painting a monkey in Taman Astaka Village, Kuantan.

Section 86 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 states that those found guilty of cruelty towards wildlife will be slapped with a fine between RM5,000 and RM50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.

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