|[September 13, 2013]
WSPA International: the Cruelty behind the World's Most Expensive Coffee
LONDON --(Business Wire)--
"Behind the world's most expensive coffee are huge animal welfare
issues", says the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA (http://www.wspa-international.org/)),
and consumers, retailers and governments need to help end the cruel
practices behind civet coffee production. A BBC report on this issue,
launched today, features WSPA wildlife experts highlighting animal
welfare concerns related to civet coffee, and now has retailers
questioning whether or not they should continue to sell this luxury
Selling for up to $100 USD per cup, civet coffee, or 'Kopi (News - Alert) Luwak' as it
is known in Indonesia is made from coffee beans that the small cat-like
mammal, known as a civet partially digests and excretes. The digestive
process is believed to ferment the beans and produce a coveted smooth
taste according to coffee aficionados.
Whilst some beans are still sourced harmlessly and traditionally by
local people gathering civet droppings in the wild-a method believed to
produce the most superior tasting civet coffee-disturbing evidence
presented to WSPA by the BBC shows that civets are increasingly caged in
cruel and inadequate conditions in South East Asia to increase the yield
of beans for this rare and highly coveted drink.
The evidence WSPA has been presented shows large numbers of civets
demonstrating signs of great stress and suffering. Confined to typically
tiny, barren cages with nothing to sleep or hide in, their basic needs
are completely neglected. Unable to cope with the frustration, fear and
stress of living in such unsuitable conditions, they demonstrate
abnormal and often harmful behaviours such as pacing and
self-mutilating. The civets are captured from the wild using cruel
methods and often suffer from injuries, infections, disease and
premature death. They are fed a restricted diet of coffee cerries to
meet the growing global demand for this luxury product.
There are also conservation concerns for civets, resulting from the
removal of these wild animals from their natural habitats. A variety of
different civet species are used to produce civet coffee including the
Binturong which is classified as 'vulnerable' by the International Union
for Conservation of Nature's red list, and its removal from the wild
puts the whole species at even greater risk. Other species such as the
Asian palm civet are more widespread, but as there is no specific data
on their numbers, farmed civet coffee production may already be
contributing to the extinction of local populations.
For many consumers wanting to source cage-free civet coffee it can be
difficult, as some producers are known to mix caged civet coffee beans
with the humane cage-free stock before selling it on. WSPA believes that
the products reaching the shelves do not consider the animal welfare
concerns and are not adequately labelled to support both responsible
retailers and consumers in their quest for animal-friendly products.
WSPA Wildlife campaign leader, Dr Neil D'Cruze says:
"The footage we have seen of these caged civet farms is shocking. These
animals belong in the wild and should not be needlessly captured and
"Choosing cage-free civet coffee is better for the civets, better for
conservation, better for coffee connoisseurs and better for rural
communities, who can still continue to generate a small income by
collecting and selling the partially digested beans.
"Consumers, retailers and the governments of producing countries need to
join with WSPA to help prevent this cruel practice. It is needless and
inhumane and together we can put that right."
What is WSPA (http://www.wspa-international.org/)
Check out the cage-free chain: Retailers to pledge to only source 'cage
free' civet coffee and remove inhumane products from their shelves.
Retailers believing their civet coffee already comes from wild,
'cage-free' sources are urged to scrutinise their supply chains and
obtain proof that this is the case.
Certification of wild sourcing: WSPA would like to see the introduction
of an accredited certification scheme as standard for humane 'cage-free'
civet coffee. We are urging retailers to lend their support and engage
with certification bodies as well their suppliers to push for the
development and enforcement of a humane chain.
Improved government oversight and enforcement: The governments of civet
coffee producing countries can support cage-free production initiatives
that protect civet welfare, the future of the species and the
livelihoods and well-being of local communities. Governments can also
take steps towards ending the caged production of civet coffee and take
urgent action to regulate and limit the removal of civets from the wild.
Choose cage-free civet coffee: Whether at home or abroad, only buy civet
coffee that has not involved the capture and containment of wild civets.
If a retailer cannot guarantee it is from a 100 per cent cage-free
source, then don't buy it.
Please refer your audiences to: www.wspa-international.org
if they want to know more.
This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com
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