An amended Online Safety Bill before the United Kingdom’s Parliament would ratchet posted animal torture up to a priority offense — and social media sites that allow it could face fines of up to £18 million (USD $22 million) or 10 percent of their global income.

The amendment comes following a years-long investigation by Lady Freethinker (LFT) and Action for Primates (AfP) that led to the BBC launching their own investigation and creating a documentary titled “The Monkey Haters.” Dozens of people are also now under federal investigation in the US, UK, and abroad.

The joint investigation uncovered a sadistic ring of monkey torturers spanning the US, UK, and Indonesia who were brainstorming ways to kill baby monkeys, then paying for operators to torture and even kill the animals on camera.

Horrific acts included cutting off monkeys’ body parts, physically beating monkeys, piercing monkeys’ eyelids with hat pins, and swinging monkeys around while they were chained by the neck. 

LFT and AfP then worked relentlessly to expose the torturers and achieve justice for the animals.

The Online Safety Bill originally was pitched as a way to protect internet users from stumbling across horrific and traumatizing content online. The bill, which is currently being finalized in the House of Lords, now includes provisions that would require social media companies to proactively identify and remove animal torture content.

Under the amendment, animal torture would become a priority offense on the same level as child sexual abuse, revenge porn, and death threats.

“Social media sites must not be used as platforms to promote the sadistic and harrowing actions of some deeply depraved internet users,” Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said.

The bill could have needed, far-reaching consequences even outside of the UK.

“It also means even if the activity takes places outside the UK, tech companies will be made to take it (animal torture content) down as part of a zero-tolerance approach,” the UK government posted on its website.

The government website noted the amendment came following the untiring campaigning by Baroness Merro to include stronger laws regarding online animal torture as well as the BBC’s documentary.

So far, multiple suspects have been charged and many others are under investigation in the US, two men in Indonesia have been jailed, and three women in the UK have been arrested and released but remain under investigation.

We will continue to investigate this sadistic cruelty and advocate for the monkeys caught in its sinister web. You can help today by signing our petition to demand that social media companies remove animal cruelty content if you haven’t done so already.


SIGN: Hold Social Media Platforms Accountable for Animal Torture