POLL: Should primates be protected from the exotic pet trade?

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Monkeys and other primates, like lemurs and lorises, might not be the most common pets we find in households across the U.S., but the trade widespread and it’s causing both suffering for them, and posing dangers to us.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute, it’s conservatively estimated that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 primates being kept as household pets across the nation.

Photo credit: Getty Images

While a number of states have laws banning or regulating the private possession of primates, animal advocates point out that they’re still easy to buy from dealers, online or at out-of-state auctions.

Unfortunately, that’s causing big problems for these intelligent and social animals who don’t belong in our homes. Issues range from infants being torn from their mothers, mutilating them to make them less dangerous to keeping them in conditions that either don’t meet their needs or are blatantly abusive. Even more trouble can come when those cute little babies get too expensive, active, destructive, large or difficult to handle and there are few places for them to go.

Concerns have also been raised about how keeping them as pets is hurting conservation efforts to protect them in the wild where they belong by creating the illusion that wild populations are doing fine when they aren’t.

There’s no shortage of reasons to protect them from suffering as pets, but adding to the problem is also the risks they post to our health and safety. According to Born Free USA, since 1990, approximately 300 people – including dozens of children – have been injured by primates, while many more incidents go unreported, and they also pose disease risks to us, including Ebola, tuberculosis and herpes-B.

“The trade in primates as ‘pets’ is inherently cruel and dangerous for both the animals and humans. Primates are wild animals who are wholly unable to be domesticated or tamed, and as such will always be a risk to their owners and the general public – as we have seen through numerous tragic, needless incidents.

Apes, monkeys, and other primates have needs and instincts that are impossible to meet in captivity, yet as ‘pets’ they are forced to eke out a cruel half-existence in basements, bedrooms, or backyards. While many states have taken action on this issue, it is clear that a federal solution is needed to protect both primates and the public,” said Angela Grimes, acting CEO of Born Free USA.

Now, however, there’s a chance to address this issue and protect both us and them from this inhumane trade.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Brian Fitzpatrick have just reintroduced the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would amend the Lacey Act to include primates in the list of animals who can’t be bought or moved across state lines as pets.

“Primates have no place as domestic pets,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “It’s dangerous to humans, inhumane to animals and a potential threat to public health. I’m happy to work with Congressman Fitzpatrick and the Animal Protection Caucus to gather support for this bill and bring awareness to this issue so the senseless practice of keeping primates as pets comes to an end.”

Monkeys and other primates, like lemurs and lorises, might not be the most common pets we find in households across the U.S., but the trade widespread and it’s causing both suffering for them, and posing dangers to us.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute, it’s conservatively estimated that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 primates being kept as household pets across the nation.

While a number of states have laws banning or regulating the private possession of primates, animal advocates point out that they’re still easy to buy from dealers, online or at out-of-state auctions.

Unfortunately, that’s causing big problems for these intelligent and social animals who don’t belong in our homes. Issues range from infants being torn from their mothers, mutilating them to make them less dangerous to keeping them in conditions that either don’t meet their needs or are blatantly abusive. Even more trouble can come when those cute little babies get too expensive, active, destructive, large or difficult to handle and there are few places for them to go.

Concerns have also been raised about how keeping them as pets is hurting conservation efforts to protect them in the wild where they belong by creating the illusion that wild populations are doing fine when they aren’t.

There’s no shortage of reasons to protect them from suffering as pets, but adding to the problem is also the risks they post to our health and safety. According to Born Free USA, since 1990, approximately 300 people – including dozens of children – have been injured by primates, while many more incidents go unreported, and they also pose disease risks to us, including Ebola, tuberculosis and herpes-B.

“The trade in primates as ‘pets’ is inherently cruel and dangerous for both the animals and humans. Primates are wild animals who are wholly unable to be domesticated or tamed, and as such will always be a risk to their owners and the general public – as we have seen through numerous tragic, needless incidents. Apes, monkeys, and other primates have needs and instincts that are impossible to meet in captivity, yet as ‘pets’ they are forced to eke out a cruel half-existence in basements, bedrooms, or backyards. While many states have taken action on this issue, it is clear that a federal solution is needed to protect both primates and the public,” said Angela Grimes, acting CEO of Born Free USA.

Now, however, there’s a chance to address this issue and protect both us and them from this inhumane trade.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Brian Fitzpatrick have just reintroduced the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would amend the Lacey Act to include primates in the list of animals who can’t be bought or moved across state lines as pets.

“Primates have no place as domestic pets,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “It’s dangerous to humans, inhumane to animals and a potential threat to public health. I’m happy to work with Congressman Fitzpatrick and the Animal Protection Caucus to gather support for this bill and bring awareness to this issue so the senseless practice of keeping primates as pets comes to an end.”

TAKE ACTION!

You can show your support for primates by signing and sharing the petition urging Congress to pass the Captive Primate Safety Act.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 09 Mar 2019.


We invite you to share your opinion whether primates should be protected from the exotic pet trade? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should primates be protected from the exotic pet trade?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.

 

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Supertrooper

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Karen Lyons Kalmenson

NOT pets…repeat NOT pets!!!