U.S. retailer Target is pulling out all of the products made by Thailand-based Chaokoh from its shelves after it was alleged that some of the company's items were produced using forced monkey labor.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Tuesday that an investigation into the company's operations found that it had used monkeys bound in chains to pick coconuts all day. PETA said that Target is now the latest retailer to drop the company's coconut milk products to protest its treatment of monkeys.
"By dropping Chaokoh, Target is joining thousands of stores that refuse to profit from chained monkeys' misery. PETA exposés have confirmed that Thai coconut producers are exploiting monkeys and lying about it, so there's no excuse for any grocery store to keep Chaokoh on its shelves," PETA's executive vice president, Tracy Reiman, said in a statement.
Target said in a statement that it is fully against the inhumane treatment of animals. The company said that it refuses to work with businesses that do not practice the same values.
"We take seriously the claims made against Chaokoh, and given they were unable to sufficiently address the concerns raised, we made the decision to remove their product from our assortment," Target said. Comment from Chaokoh was not immediately available.
PETA said its investigators witnessed "cruelty" against the primates inside farms and training facilities. Some monkeys were reportedly forced to perform in coconut picking contest and circus-style shows for tourists. PETA said that when the monkeys weren't working, they were chained or confined to cages that they were "barely larger than their bodies."