Defra calls for evidence on primates as pets

Monkey World is delighted that after years of campaigning, Defra has announced a call for evidence about the primate pet trade in England.

Dr Alison Cronin MBE is the director of Monkey World, and hosted Animal Welfare Minister Zac Goldsmith at the park recently to show him the victims of the trade, and the damage it can cause. A shocking example is the deformed skeleton of Betty-Boo, a common marmoset kept as a pet before rescue, who suffered life inside, cramped in a birdcage with an inappropriate diet, leaving her crippled with severe rickets which bent her spine and femur bones.

For many years Monkey World has campaigned for a change in the law to protect the 85 species of monkey which can be bought, sold and kept legally in England, without needing a license, register or welfare checks of any kind.

The call for evidence marks a step in the right direction and is welcomed by all at Monkey World. Defra wishes to hear opinions and views on the welfare of primates kept as pets, and the sale and breeding of them. Dr Cronin explained the abuse and neglect many primates suffer in the pet trade, and implored the public to help during a video appeal with Defra to launch the call for evidence.

Monkey World has rescued 122 primates of 16 species from the UK pet trade, with the most common subject of the trade being the marmoset. Due to the internet and social media, the unregulated trade has grown exponentially with over 70 rescues in the last 10 years alone, and shockingly, over 100 individuals on a waiting list. The rescue centre has now filled two purpose-built houses with victims of the pet trade, and has called upon the government numerous times to help.

Finally it seems as though a change in the law could be imminent – so Monkey World is appealing for everyone to speak up for those primates who don’t have a voice, and have your say on whether monkeys and apes should be kept as pets.

Please respond to this call for evidence here and help us protect primates as pets:


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