Animal Charity

Primates, not Pets

A growing number of primates are being kept as pets in horrid conditions, but we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to ban the breeding and sale of them as companions.


We recently asked our wonderful community about the keeping of primates as pets in the UK, asking them what they thought the most popular primate was, about the keeping conditions of these animals, the estimated number of them in captivity and finally if they supported a ban on the sale and breeding of them as pets in the UK.

We were delighted to see so many people engage with the questions and more importantly hear that 98% of people don’t believe that primates should be kept as pets. We agree! But, sadly there are around 5,000 primates kept as pets in the UK and this is why we’re calling for a ban on the sale and breeding of them as companions.

The current UK picture looks like:

  • The most popular pet is a marmoset (72% voted for this answer)
  • It is true that primates are kept in enclosures like birdcages, garden sheds, garages and even under stair cupboards. In fact, the smallest recorded enclosure was just 27cm2 and 60cm high (95% voted for this answer)
  • Primates are wild animals and as such cannot be truly tamed. They are instinctively afraid of dogs and cats as these are predator species and no advert should be trading on this (86% voted for this answer)

With this in mind, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a change to UK legislation. You can help us call on the UK Government to ban the keeping of primates as pets by responding to the Government public consultation. You can find out how to do that here. Keep in mind, though, that the deadline is 17th January 2020 so you will need to respond before then to make your voice heard!

Animal Charity

Aaron Lax

Digital Communications Officer

Aaron works as part of the communications team at FOUR PAWS UK, supporting the social media, SEO, and digital content mediums to spread the message of animal welfare far and wide.

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