PM's fiancée urges more shops to ban coconut products from monkey labour

Boris Johnson's fiancée Carrie Symonds on Friday welcomed pledges by four British retailers to stop selling coconut products that use monkey labour in their production, and urged others to do the same.

Symonds, a conservationist, was responding to a report in the Telegraph newspaper that highlighted the use of pigtailed macaques taken from the wild in Thailand and used on farms to scurry up trees and harvest coconuts.

The report cited an investigation by the animal rights organisation PETA Asia.

"Glad Waitrose, Co-op, Boots & Ocado have vowed not to sell products that use monkey labour, while Morrisons has already removed these from its stores," Symonds tweeted.

She called on all other supermarkets to stop selling the products, which include certain brands of coconut water and coconut milk, and named three major chains.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds and dog Dilyn arriving for the count for the Uxbridge & Ruislip South constituency in the 2019 General Election.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds attends the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive in Downing Street after the Conservative Party was returned to power in the General Election with an increased majority.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive in Downing Street after the Conservative Party was returned to power in the General Election with an increased majority.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with partner Carrie Symonds and dog Dilyn at the count for the Uxbridge & Ruislip South constituency in the 2019 General Election.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds and dog Dilyn arriving for the count for the Uxbridge & Ruislip South constituency in the 2019 General Election.
Carrie Symonds attending the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
File photo dated 274/07/19 of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds, who is expected to speak publicly for the first time since moving into Downing Street at an environmental event.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham, where she is due to give a speech.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham, where she is due to give a speech.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, gives a speech at Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham, where she is due to give a speech.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham, where she is due to give a speech.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, gives a speech at Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham.
Carrie Symonds, the partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends Birdfair, an environmental awareness conference, at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve in Egleton near Oakham, where she is due to give a speech.
Activist Carrie Symonds takes part in an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London.
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds waits for him to make a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government.
Stanley Johnson introduces himself to Carrie Symonds at an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London.
Stanley Johnson and Carrie Symonds at an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London.
Activist Carrie Symonds takes part in an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London.
Activist Carrie Symonds takes part in an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London.
Boris Johnsons Carrie Symonds leaves the Academy of Engineering after attending Boris Johnsons Conservative Party leadership campaign Launch on June 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson passes Carrie Symonds as he leaves the Conservative party Black and White Ball at Natural History Museum on February 7, 2018 in London, England. The ball is a fundraising event for the political party where donors pay to spend the evening with cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Environment Secretary, Michael Gove hugs Carrie Symonds as he leaves the Conservative party Black and White Ball at Natural History Museum on February 7, 2018 in London, England. The ball is a fundraising event for the political party where donors pay to spend the evening with cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds leave his home, following the results of the European Parliament elections, in Thame, Britain May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
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Walmart-owned Asda said it was removing Aroy-D and Chaokoh branded products from sale while it investigated the report with its suppliers.

"We expect our suppliers to uphold the highest production standards at all times and we will not tolerate any forms of animal abuse in our supply chain," it said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury's said it was actively reviewing its ranges and investigating the issue. "We are also in contact with PETA UK to support our investigations," she said.

Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, said its own-brand coconut milk and coconut water did not use monkey labour in its production and it did not sell any of the branded products identified by PETA.

"We don't tolerate these practices and would remove any product from sale that is known to have used monkey labour during its production," a spokesman said.

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