Responding to news that the The Animal Welfare (Primate Licences) (England) Regulations 2023 has passed its Committee Stage in the House of Commons, Sonul Badiani-Hamment, Country Director, FOUR PAWS UK said:
FOUR PAWS UK is pleased that this important change to legislation is progressing through Parliament. Keeping a primate as a pet is irresponsible, inappropriate, and cruel. The conditions of domestic set ups cannot match those that a wild animal should be able to access, and it is the animal that suffers.
This legislation, a Conservative manifesto commitment, could be game changing, but it will only be as good as its enforcement mechanisms. A ban on the keeping of primates as pets could have become law much sooner if the Government had been able to champion the Kept Animals Bill through to its conclusion. However, that Bill was disappointingly unceremoniously dropped last year.
As it stands this Statutory Instrument, which will amend the Animal Welfare Act (2006), is currently not set to be implemented until 2026, which means that the many primates kept as pets across the country will continue to suffer in poor conditions until then. We hope that the regulations will be robustly enforced when introduced, and that a clear road map will be laid out for how to ensure protection for those primates already kept as pets.
We urge the Government to use its powers and influence to get this secondary legislation over the line at the earliest opportunity and make good on their manifesto pledge. Thousands of primates across the UK have suffered long enough. The sooner these regulations are adopted, the sooner we can put an end to the ludicrous notion that primates can be pets.