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While there's no denying how adorable a baby chimpanzee or spider monkey may be, efforts to contain these animals as pets are as shortsighted as they are costly.

The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science has stood behind research that categorically labels nonhuman primates as unsuitable for private ownership since 2008 [1]. The American Bar Association supports even more sweeping standards, adopting a resolution in 2015 supporting laws prohibiting the "possession, sale, breeding, import, or transfer of dangerous wild animals, such as big cats, bears, wolves, primates, and dangerous reptiles" [2].

Yet, the primate trade continues to operate in the United States. According to National Geographic, anything from macaques to marmosets, and even endangered species, can be procured for upwards of $50,000 [3]. But no matter how cute or clever, keeping a primate a a pet can set that animal up for serious frustrations in life.

"If you try to keep them as pets you're creating a mentally disturbed animal in 99.9 percent of the cases," said Veterinarian Kevin Wright, director of conservation, science and sanctuary at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona. "The animal will never be able to fit in any other home. Never learn how to get along with other monkeys. And, more often than not, will end up with a lot of behavioral traits that are self-destructive."

Beyond primate personality problems, the bacteria these animals are capable of carrying can prove deadly to humans, and vice versa. Some monkeys are capable of transmitting the Herpes B virus, which can lead to severe brain damage or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [4].

"By definition, a pet is an animal we touch and play with in our homes and in no way is it in a primate's best interest to be constantly touched and played with by people. They need their own social groups, are extremely hard to care for and often grow up to be aggressive and impossible to control," said veterinary surgeon and CEO of Twycross Zoo, Warwicks, Dr Sharon Redrobe to The Guardian [5]. "Owners then take them to a vet, expecting them to be magically 'fixed'. They're wild animals and, in that respect, no different to tigers. You wouldn't keep a tiger at home, so don't keep a monkey."

The legislated protections for primates in the U.S. come primarily from the Animal Welfare Act, which merely requires enclosures be of a certain size [6], but place no restrictions on the sales or transport of the animals.

The dangers of keeping a primate warrant a nationwide ban on the ownership of any primate as a pet, no matter the species. Sign below to demand the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Agriculture work together to put a full ban on owning primates as pets in the U.S.

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Dear U.S. Department of Agriculture, Senate Committee on Agriculture, and House Committee on Agriculture,

The practice of taking in primates as pets, apart from posing serious threats to the health of both the animals and their owners alike, is foolish and irresponsible, and deserves to be prohibited within the United States.

Apart from the high costs and unexpected damages that come with primate ownership, humans with such pets are at a greater risk of catching the deadly Herpes B virus, and leaving the animals they intend to care for with long-lasting psychological issues.

No matter the species, whether a capuchin, spider monkey, macaque or marmoset, primates are wild animals, and belong in a wild habitat. They simply cannot flourish in a human home, yet the unscrupulous trade and transportation of these animals continues in our country to this day.

According to National Geographic, it's anything but difficult to find a primate for sale online, even some of the more endangered species can be procured for upwards of $50,000. And the Animal Welfare Act, the U.S. clearing house of animal protection rules, lends hardly any sense of security to primates, only dictating the minimum enclosure size.

People who take in primates as pets often wind up wishing they hadn't, with nothing but a pet in poor health and a home in disrepair. The dangers of keeping a monkey are more than enough to warrant a nationwide ban on the ownership of any primate as a pet, no matter the species. I urge you to put this ban before a congressional committee immediately, and help us prevent any more needless suffering.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Jul 23, 2018 Jennifer Rusak
Jul 22, 2018 Andrew Green
Jul 22, 2018 Paul A
Jul 21, 2018 Elif Yildiz
Jul 21, 2018 Hope Wessel
Jul 20, 2018 Kathleen Shabi
Jul 20, 2018 MCarmen Diaz
Jul 20, 2018 Sally Sharp
Jul 19, 2018 Jessica Denis
Jul 19, 2018 Maria Monteiro
Jul 19, 2018 Valerie Gorin
Jul 19, 2018 Beau Ryba
Jul 19, 2018 Vanessa Bäßler
Jul 19, 2018 Laura Link
Jul 19, 2018 Peggy Dimitrakopoulou
Jul 18, 2018 Nancy Weiss
Jul 18, 2018 Zoe Quinn
Jul 18, 2018 Anna Astarkina
Jul 17, 2018 yola ileen gitter Wild animals belong in the wild and not as pet in homes. They will not live confined indoors not in their natural habitat. DO NOT allow these fine animals to be locked up in homes.
Jul 17, 2018 Dragana Mirkovic
Jul 17, 2018 Sue&Tim Scholl
Jul 17, 2018 Carla L
Jul 17, 2018 Peggy Reyes
Jul 17, 2018 Patricia Brown
Jul 17, 2018 catherine shaw
Jul 17, 2018 Troy & Cindy Hansen
Jul 17, 2018 marie blanche brabant
Jul 16, 2018 Margarita Politte
Jul 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 16, 2018 Diamond Giatzoglou
Jul 16, 2018 Cynthia Riedl
Jul 16, 2018 Tracey Mangus
Jul 16, 2018 Jessica Taliaferro
Jul 16, 2018 Jeanette Glossick
Jul 16, 2018 Barbara Charron
Jul 16, 2018 Matthew McWhirr
Jul 16, 2018 carol king
Jul 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 16, 2018 Mary Schmotzer
Jul 16, 2018 Marlene Grobbelaar
Jul 16, 2018 Andries Grobbelaar
Jul 16, 2018 Gail Grobbelaar
Jul 16, 2018 Shane Dean
Jul 16, 2018 Trevor Cooper
Jul 16, 2018 Andries Grobbelaar
Jul 16, 2018 Barbara Johnson
Jul 16, 2018 Carol Allaire Keep all primates where they are suppose to be.. They cannot live as pets in your house, your town will not allow it.. They may carry disease. and you don't want to catch it, so leave them to people who know all about them, and you & they will be safe..
Jul 15, 2018 paris karali
Jul 15, 2018 Sabrina Hurd
Jul 15, 2018 Flora Psarianos

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