Amire Khan, 38, of Earls Court, south-west London, kept Charlie the monkey in the cage in his office with no UV light, heat or access to the outdoors.
A man who kept his pet squirrel monkey in his office in a bird cage has been banned from keeping all animals for two years.
Meanwhile, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has renewed its calls for a ban on primates as pets.
Amire Khan, 38, of Eardley Crescent, Earls Court, south-west London, was yesterday (June 5, 2013) found guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court of failing to meet the needs of Charlie, a three-year-old male squirrel monkey.
The animal welfare charity visited Khan’s office last year with police and primate experts from Monkey World Ape Rescue. Inside, they found the monkey living alone in a small, barren cage with no access to heat, UV light or the outdoors – aspects described as pivotal to the care of the exotic creatures, which are native to central and south America.
RSPCA inspector Vicky England, who visited the office, said: “This is the reason I became an RSPCA inspector. From first catching sight of Charlie, in his little dark cage, all by himself, to seeing him rescued and going to Monkey World for rehabilitation and a happy life, it is the most amazing feeling to know you have played a part in making this animal’s life better.
“Khan was able to buy this monkey from a pet shop and clearly did not understand the complex needs and requirements of keeping a primate.
“Squirrel monkeys may be seen as small and easy to keep, but this is far from the truth – they are very hard to look after and totally unsuitable as pets.”
RSPCA senior wildlife scientist Ros Clubb said: “We must stop this growing trade. It has become far too easy to pick up a monkey over the internet, especially since you don’t need a licence to keep many of them.
“Cases like this demonstrate why we’re calling for a ban on primates kept as pets.”
Charlie is now living at Monkey World in Dorset in a large outside enclosure in the company of a female.
As well as a two-year ban on keeping all animals, Khan was also made to pay costs of more than £500.
Images © RSPCA