With today marking Chinese new year 2016 – the year of the monkey – animal health/welfare and veterinary organisations are reiterating their call for a ban on the keeping and trading of thousands of primates as pets.

squirrel monkeys
Squirrel monkeys are still kept as pets in the UK, although keeping a primate in a domestic setting is an offence. Image: Sean K / Fotolia.

An estimated 5,000 primates – such as marmosets and squirrel monkeys – are kept as pets in the UK, despite Defra’s view keeping a primate in a domestic setting is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

A lucky year for primates?

The year of the monkey is believed to be unlucky for those born in a “monkey” year; however, the coalition of organisations, which includes the BVA, RSPCA, Born Free Foundation, Captive Animals Protection Society, Four Paws, OneKind and Wild Futures, will be taking every opportunity to ensure 2016 is a lucky year for primates.

BVA president Sean Wensley said: “Primates are long living, intelligent and socially complex animals whose needs and welfare requirements are extraordinarily difficult to meet in captivity and when kept privately as pets.

“For the BVA, it would be fitting for governments to recognise and protect the well-being of monkeys during the year of the monkey and we will continue to call for change to protect the welfare of these intelligent animals by introducing a ban on the private pet ownership and trade of primates.”

Reviewing the situation

A total of 15 European countries have already introduced a ban on the keeping of all or some species of primate as pets.

Defra recently announced it will review its Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates in 2016 and the coalition hopes to use this opportunity to move towards the prohibition of keeping primates as pets in England.

To add your voice and help protect primates, sign the coalition’s petition at www.protectprimates.org

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

The difficulties faced by practices trying to recruit experienced vets has led an increasing number to turn to new graduates. Taking on inexperienced vets can be a challenge, but when it works, the rewards to both employer and employee are substantial, says Jenny Stuart.

10 mins

Calls to introduce screening of potential vet students to improve well-being in the profession have been debunked by mental health campaigners and veterinary associations.

5 mins

Veterinary surgeon Julian Peters has been honoured for decades of “unwavering dedication” to helping animals in need.

4 mins

Scottish CPD charity Vet Trust marked its 25th anniversary with lectures and special guests at its 2017 conference in Stirling.

4 mins

The RVC has received a gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest rating a university can receive.

5 mins

RCVS president Chris Tufnell has expressed sorrow at the results of a major survey showing a “significant proportion” of non-UK EU-trained vets working in the UK have experienced prejudice at work following the Brexit vote.

5 mins