Farms which do enclosed civets are cruel, 'confining civet cats for years' – as they go mad and lose their fur from the stress – for an expensive coffee.
Lying injured in tiny, filthy cages: Distressing pictures show 'wild' civet cats being which produce £60 cups of coffee
Animals which produce sought-after Kopi Luwak kept in appalling conditions
Footage shows them with infections and going 'insane' from boredom
Beans are sold in Harrods and can fetch more than £300 a kilo
Confined to tiny, filthy cages and suffering from skin infections, this is how farmers are treating Asian civet cats which produce one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
The shocking conditions were discovered by animal investigators on farms in Indonesia and the Philippines which produce the much sought-after Kopi Luwak, sold in Harrods and which can cost up to £60 a cup in some restaurants.
Locals pick the ‘coffee beans’ from the faeces the cats which eat the ripe coffee berries as part of their diet. Once they are cleaned they are roasted. The coffee they produce is described as filled with a deep, mellow flavour, not acidic, with a ‘unique, soft, sweet taste’.
However, undercover video footage shows civets exhibiting neurotic behaviour such as incessant pacing, spinning and head-bobbing – indications that the wild-caught animals are going insane from boredom and depression.
One farmer explained civets are generally kept caged for around three years. Another farmer compared civets eating too many coffee berries to humans smoking, as the civets' health deteriorates greatly during captivity because of a lack of vitamins and nutrition.
Despite the battery farm conditions, many farms sell the product as 'wild', sourced in the jungle from the droppings of free-roaming animals.
Tony Wild, former coffee trader and author of 'Coffee: A Dark History', told the BBC: 'The whole reason everybody regurgitates that story is that by being incredibly rare, you can keep a ridiculously high price.'
The coffee has surged in popularity, especially in the U.S. and Japan after featuring on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the film, The Bucket List.
In a separate investigation by the BBC, it was found one of the most popular products called Wahana Luwak, which is supplied to Harrods, was being produced by a company, Sari Makmur, which uses caged civets.