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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.

Sign Here

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.


Petition Signatures

Feb 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2018 Jade Kiran Stewardship, in the Christian tradition, implies protection. [Hu]Man should exist in harmony with the Earth, not work against it as is noted in Colossians 1:16-17
Feb 17, 2018 Brigitte Smith
Feb 17, 2018 David Young
Feb 14, 2018 Adina Lesperance
Feb 14, 2018 aya oda
Feb 13, 2018 Karen Carson
Feb 12, 2018 Maryse Patrignani
Feb 11, 2018 Adrien soutter
Feb 11, 2018 Pascale Prudhomme
Feb 11, 2018 carole MASSENET
Feb 11, 2018 micheline armande hélène STEIGNER
Feb 11, 2018 Fabienne Stoudmann
Feb 11, 2018 brigitte vanbekbergen
Feb 11, 2018 Marie cécile diakite
Feb 11, 2018 marie-christine Pil
Feb 11, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 11, 2018 eliane peltier
Feb 11, 2018 Kati Sonnenburg
Feb 10, 2018 David Blanco
Feb 10, 2018 Jessica Vandeville
Feb 10, 2018 dagmar grabsch
Feb 10, 2018 valérie RAYNAUD
Feb 10, 2018 Victoria Braido
Feb 10, 2018 simone maes
Feb 10, 2018 Ruth Pilgrim
Feb 10, 2018 Scaramella Valeria
Feb 10, 2018 Mia Van de loo
Feb 10, 2018 tom rooze
Feb 10, 2018 Petra Egging
Feb 1, 2018 Rob Carter
Jan 28, 2018 Glenn Odagawa
Jan 26, 2018 Gloria Navan These poor creatures are usually discarded after their novelty fades ... only selfish people would get a “pet” primate.
Jan 26, 2018 Fiona Harris
Jan 22, 2018 Carol Dibbens Primates should never be allowed to be sold as pets They belong in the wild
Jan 20, 2018 susan shawket
Jan 19, 2018 Soheyla Azizi
Jan 18, 2018 Jasmine Bho
Jan 18, 2018 Sheila Lussier
Jan 18, 2018 Donna Tichenor
Jan 17, 2018 Ann-Marie Tripodi
Jan 17, 2018 Anne M
Jan 17, 2018 Sandra Roberts
Jan 17, 2018 Deneisa York
Jan 17, 2018 Sophie Therosiet
Jan 17, 2018 ingrid berger
Jan 17, 2018 aya nova
Jan 17, 2018 Nancy Gilstrap
Jan 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)

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