Target, Costco drop coconut milk brand over allegations of forced monkey labor

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This photo taken on July 9, 2020 shows a macaque monkey with a chain around his neck reacting after climbing a palm tree to dislodge coconuts for a man to collect in Berapea village near Narathiwat in southern Thailand. – Animal rights campaigner PETA released videos in early July of monkey “slaves” picking coconuts in Thailand, which has led several British retailers to ban the products. Thai coconut farmers have denied mistreating the macaques. (Photo by Madaree TOHLALA / AFP) (Photo by MADAREE TOHLALA/AFP via Getty Images)

(WTVO) — Costco and Target are stopping sales of a brand of coconut milk over allegations of forced monkey labor, according to PETA.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the retailers will no longer carry Chaokoh coconut milk after CNN reported the company’s Thai supplier forces monkeys to pick coconuts from trees.

USA Today reported that Target removed the product in November.

“Many kind people choose coconut milk instead of cow’s milk because they don’t want to support cruelty to animals. But a disturbing PETA Asia investigation reveals that terrified young monkeys in Thailand are kept chained, abusively trained, and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts that are used to make coconut milk, meat, flour, oil, and other products,” said PETA on its website.

PETA says 26,000 stores have dropped the product.

Chaokoh has denied the allegations and said a third party audit of its plantations found no use of monkeys to harvest coconuts.

Animal rights activists, wearing monkey masks and dressed as prison inmates, demonstrate outside the Thai embassy in Jakarta on December 8, 2020, against what they claim is the exploitation of primates as labour in Thailand’s coconut industry. (Photo by BAY ISMOYO / AFP) (Photo by BAY ISMOYO/AFP via Getty Images)

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