Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Time to ban monkeys from UK pet trade

Why is it still legal to import monkeys as pets in the UK?
March 2013. Wild Futures, the leading primate charity that runs The Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall, the only GFAS-accredited primate sanctuary in Europe, was very grateful last week when Michaela Strachan took some time out during her present tour (The Really Wild Adventures) to find out about the charity's current campaign to end the primate pet trade.

5000 primates privately owned in the UK!
Wild Futures has been campaigning heavily to end the primate pet trade due to it being a huge problem in the UK and legislation not being enforced. Wild Futures along with the RSPCA estimate that there are at least 5,000 privately owned primates in the UK.

Wild Futures was instrumental in the creation of Defra's Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-Human Primates, which came into force in 2010. The Code is a guide to the steps that must be taken by primate keepers in order to ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWAA) 1976, owners of most primate species must obtain a licence from their local authority. However, non-compliance with the DWAA is rife, and there is little awareness or consideration of the Code on the part of keepers or the relevant authorities. Subsequently, the situation is mess, with monkeys suffering in inappropriate environments all around the UK. Wild Futures believes that the only enforceable option is to ban the trade in primates as pets.

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