(Lynne also backed a parliamentary motion
calling on the Government to take action on this issue.)
Many people will be
shocked to learn that it is still legal in the UK to keep a primate as a pet for
some species you do not even need a licence.
launched its in-depth report Born to be wild at the parliamentary reception,
revealing that there may be as many as 1,500 to 3,000 monkeys and other primates being
kept as pets in this country.
report takes a close look at the animal welfare, conservation, and public health and
safety threats of this trade, and includes stories about monkeys and other primates
smuggled into Europe, or rescued from private owners.
is calling on the Government to ban private owners from keeping pet monkeys, lemurs and
other primates and to stop the trade in all primates for pets.
Jones said: Monkeys and other primates are wild animals which normally live in
tropical forests. Its almost impossible for private owners to care for them
adequately in captivity and the animals suffer as a result.
species of primate are threatened in the wild, and the pet trade is an added pressure on
their numbers. By allowing people in Britain to keep them as pets, we are sending the
wrong message to developing countries struggling to prevent illegal hunting and wildlife
more information, please contact:
Jones on 020 7219 4190
information about the report, contact:
Sanders Tel: 0207 587 6714, Mob: 07801 613524
Hill Tel: 0207 587 6715, Mob: 07801 613530.
www.ifaw.org to download a copy of the report.
findings of the report:
· Primates are
wild animals, whether captive bred or born in the wild, and do not make suitable pets in
· Primates are
highly intelligent, long-lived, and social tree-dwelling animals. It is virtually
impossible for a private keeper to meet their physical and psychological needs in
captivity. Boredom and frustration lead to aggression, repetitive behaviour (such as
rocking and over-grooming), and self-injury.
· All primates are
threatened in the wild. The keeping and trade in pet primates creates a demand for
threatened and endangered animals to be hunted illegally from the wild. Large numbers of
primates die during capture and transport.
· Keeping primates
as pets poses health risks to people. Because primates and humans are biologically
similar, there is particular risk of disease transfer. Primates also have the potential
inflict severe injuries.
· IFAW researchers
discovered how easy it is to obtain a pet primate in the UK. During one week in January
2005, more than 140 primates were advertised for sale on the Internet; From 1999 to 2002,
345 primates were advertised for sale in Cage and Aviary Bird magazine; one in
15 pet shops (from a sample of 750) offered to help source a pet primate.
main recommendations to the UK Government:
Phase out the keeping of primates in
Prohibit the trade in all primates
for commercial and personal purposes
Introduce a licensing system for
sanctuaries caring for primates
Increase resources for enforcement of