Monkeys snatched from the wild are being forced to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day for their water and milk which is sold in UK stores, an investigation has discovered.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals found eight farms in Thailand using pigtailed macaques as slave labour for products which are exported globally.
Many British supermarkets have now removed some coconut water and oil from their shelves after it was found they were made with fruit picked by monkeys.
Peta said it discovered “monkey schools”, where the animals were trained to pick fruit, ride bikes or play basketball to entertain tourists.
The charity said: “The animals at these facilities – many of whom are illegally captured as babies – displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress.”
Investigators found monkeys were chained to tyres, surrounded by rubbish, or confined to unsheltered cages.
To avoid handlers being bitten, the animals’ teeth are often pulled out.
Elisa Allen, Peta director, said: “These curious, highly intelligent animals are denied psychological stimulation, companionship, freedom and everything that makes lives worth living.
“Peta is calling on decent people never to support the use of enslaved monkeys by shunning coconut products from Thailand.
“One monkey was seen frantically shaking the cage bars in a futile attempt to escape.”
Waitrose and Tesco have pledged never to sell items which use monkey labour.
Morrisons has removed the Thai brands and Boots, Co-op and Ocado vowed not to sell them.
Activist and the Prime Minister’s fiancee Carrie Symonds said yesterday: “Time for ALL supermarkets to do the same.”
Sainsbury’s said it was “actively reviewing our ranges”. Asda said: “We will not tolerate any forms of animal abuse in our supply chain.”