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Supermarkets snub coconut goods picked by monkeys

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A number of supermarkets have removed some coconut water and oil from their shelves after it emerged the products were made with fruit picked by monkeys. The monkeys are snatched from the wild and trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said.

The animal rights group said pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like “coconut-picking machines”. In response Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots vowed to stop selling some goods. Meanwhile, Morrisons said it had already removed products made with monkey-picked coconuts from its shelves.

In a statement, Waitrose said: “As part of our animal welfare policy, we have committed to never knowingly sell any products sourced from monkey labour.” Co-op said: “As an ethical retailer, we do not permit the use of monkey labour to source ingredients for our products.”

In a tweet earlier on Friday, the prime minister’s fiancée Carrie Symonds, a conservationist, called on all supermarkets to boycott the products.

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