The slow loris pet trade is a horrific example of unintentional cruelty, exacerbated by a proliferation of YouTube videos.
Slow lorises are primates, closely related to monkeys, lemurs and us. However, their habits are more like a sloth. This animal doesn’t go in for speed. When it is scared, it doesn’t run or fight, it becomes passive.
A craze for keeping them as pets began recently, with YouTube videos apparently being a key cause. In these videos, the terrified, maimed lorises look cute, because they do not show fear like other animals, and this drives the demand.
The animals are torn from the wild, badly mutilated (teeth are pulled and elbow patches ripped off) and illegally sold in Indonesian markets. They don’t live very long.
Aside from its immense cruelty, the trade threatens the survival of the 5 species of slow loris.
Tell YouTube to show a modicum of responsibility and compassion by adding a warning to these videos or removing them entirely.
We the undersigned ask that you either add a warning about the conservation, legal and very serious animal welfare problems associated with the trade in slow lorises to all the videos of “pet” ones you currently hold on your site or else remove them completely.
Aside from being immensely cruel, the trade is one of the main reasons that all 5 species of slow loris are at in serious danger. YouTube videos allegedly play a key part in fuelling the demand for these animals.
The videos, which might look cute to the untrained eye, actually show terrified, mutilated animals and are highly inappropriate. We understand that YouTube does not want to appear to be censoring material but allowing something that only encourages a cruel and illegal trade is taking this much too far. We doubt that you would allow videos demonstrating how to inject heroin.
Furthermore, YouTube’s Community Guidelines clearly state that videos showing animal abuse are not allowed, and experts agree that this is exactly what these videos are.
We ask that you take action on this immediately since YouTube clearly has some responsibility in this matter.
Thank you for your attention.
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