Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Monkey business - Cruel treatment of primate pets may come to end

THE harrowing plight of thousands of monkeys kept in filth and squalor as trendy pets looks as if it is coming to an end.

PUBLISHED: 00:00, Thu, Dec 10, 2015 | UPDATED: 15:19, Thu, Dec 10, 2015

Heartbreaking scenes of marmosets and squirrel monkeys confined in bird cages and fed on sweets and sugary drinks have become a shocking reality for animal welfare workers.

Pictures of celebrities such as Justin Bieber with their pet primates have only heightened the cachet of owning an exotic animal adapted for life in a rainforest rather than a two-up-two-down in suburbia.

The Government now appears to be the brink of coming down on primate ownership after intensive campaigning by animal welfare charities who say as many 5,000 of these highly intelligent animals are being kept as pets in the UK Environment Minister George Eustice is reported as being "open to looking" into the introduction of measures such as a ban and licensing system, with a sunset clause for those currently keeping primates as pets.

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