Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Coffee trade ‘kills civets’




Coffee trade ‘kills civets’

Authorities and Wildlife Alliance staff attempt to free a civet from a snare. The organisation has called for a boycott on civet coffee, which it says drives the illegal and inhumane civet trade. Photo supplied
Authorities and Wildlife Alliance staff attempt to free a civet from a snare. The organisation has called for a boycott on civet coffee, which it says drives the illegal and inhumane civet trade. Photo supplied

Coffee trade ‘kills civets’

A wildlife protection group has called for a boycott of luxury civet coffee, maintaining that heightened demand was to blame for the gruesome deaths of hundreds of the mostly nocturnal mammals in Cambodia’s Koh Kong province last year.

In a call to arms on Facebook earlier this month, the Wildlife Alliance detailed how “atrocious” practices saw palm civets barbarically hunted in protected forests, caged and force-fed coffee berries to meet a recent spike in demand.

The highly sought-after product, also known as Kopi Luwak, involves collecting coffee cherry pips from the faeces of the palm civet to grind into coffee.

Rangers in the Koh Kong Conservation Corridor extracted more than 28,000 snares, designed to entrap civets and other wildlife, from the Cardamom Mountains last year.

An officer from the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team said hunters trapped the mammals by tempting them with fresh pineapple, but the snares often had disastrous results.

“When we are able to save them from the hunter traps, we often have to amputate them for them to survive,” the officer said.

A live civet can prove a boon for hunters, with the creature retailing at $30 per kilogram, while dead civets are sold for meat, with a big market in Vietnam.

Wildlife Alliance appealed to consumers to stop buying the controversial brew.

“It causes the blood and suffering of hundreds of innocent creatures who get their arms torn off, bleed to death and die,” the NGO’s post read.

A previous version of this article understated the number of snares seized in the Koh Kong Conservation Corridor last year. It was more than 28,000, not 936, as previously stated. The Post apologises for any confusion caused.

MOST VIEWED

  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83