Four Paws UK Is Calling on the Government to Ban the Keeping of Primates as Pets in the UK
An estimated 5000 primates are being kept as pets in the UK, a figure that many people will no doubt find shocking. The most popular primates that are kept and traded as pets are Marmosets, Capuchins and Squirrel Monkeys.
Primates are highly intelligent, complex and sociable wild animals that do not adapt well to being kept as pets. The essential bonds that are formed through grooming, playing, fighting and foraging with their own kind to establish social groups, the right diet, husbandry and enrichment are all essential for the primates physical and mental welfare.
It Is Impossible to Meet These Needs in a Household Environment.
A primate cannot engage with its natural instincts as a pet and although owners may have good intentions their welfare needs cannot be met. No primate should be kept alone, yet the RSPCA has found that in 60% of the cases they have investigated the primate is being kept alone in isolation. The lack of vitamin D from natural sunlight and the right diet can result in skeletal diseases and there is a risk of certain diseases spreading between owner, other house pets and primates.
Neither Marmosets or Squirrel monkeys require any kind of licencing so it is impossible to keep track of numbers in the UK accurately. A DWA (Dangerous Wild Animal) licence is required for selected primates like Capuchins. However, the licence is non species specific and are issued by officials who have little or no understanding of primates.
15 Countries in the EU Have Already Introduced a Ban on All or at Least Most Primates Being Kept as Pets. It’s Time for the UK to Catch Up
FOUR PAWS UK has submitted a response to the recent Government enquiry on banning primates as pets, calling for a complete ban on the keeping and trade of primates as pets.
How You Can Help
We want to see a complete ban on all primates as pets in the UK. If you support this, please tell the Government today. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a change to UK legislation, so please respond to the Government public consultation on the pet primate ban before 17th January 2020 and make your voice heard!
To help we have drafted our own response that you can use to help fill in your own. You can view it here.