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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 2,259
Sponsored by: The Animal Rescue Site

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

Nov 23, 2017 Chantal Brand
Nov 23, 2017 Michalla Sutton
Nov 22, 2017 Natalia Drzewicka
Nov 22, 2017 Tadzio Kowalczyk
Nov 22, 2017 dolores kitney
Nov 22, 2017 DWAYNE KNIRK
Nov 22, 2017 sue grange
Nov 22, 2017 Marguerite Panzica
Nov 22, 2017 Siara Lara
Nov 21, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 20, 2017 Hannah Weil
Nov 19, 2017 aya oda
Nov 19, 2017 Anne Havard
Nov 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 19, 2017 Grant Sorrell
Nov 18, 2017 Jose Manuel Bargueño
Nov 18, 2017 Emma Brooks
Nov 18, 2017 Patty Brothag
Nov 17, 2017 Chris Macy
Nov 17, 2017 Kelly Cerbone
Nov 17, 2017 Michael Crowden
Nov 17, 2017 Anna Maria Sergi
Nov 17, 2017 Jeanette Desmond
Nov 17, 2017 Andrea Eisenberg
Nov 16, 2017 Angela Kleis
Nov 16, 2017 Maryanne Thompson
Nov 16, 2017 Kelly Erwin
Nov 16, 2017 Rudolf Filip
Nov 16, 2017 Elena Bollati di Saint Pierre
Nov 16, 2017 Gillian Shults
Nov 16, 2017 Sandra Herrera
Nov 16, 2017 Minerva Krueger
Nov 16, 2017 Gina Arens
Nov 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 16, 2017 Robin Blakesley
Nov 16, 2017 Rick Vaccaro PLEASE STOP THIS NOW....
Nov 16, 2017 Carleen Rosenau
Nov 16, 2017 tracy britton humans are so cruel to God's creatures
Nov 16, 2017 Wendy Ladd
Nov 16, 2017 Charlotte Jensen
Nov 15, 2017 (Name not displayed) Really?! Aren't there enough adoptable dogs & cats needing homes? Primates are NOT pets.
Nov 15, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 14, 2017 Kailtin McGonigle
Nov 14, 2017 valery allison
Nov 14, 2017 Jan Allen
Nov 14, 2017 J.W.M. Boeser
Nov 14, 2017 Sandra Larsen
Nov 14, 2017 Graham Gove
Nov 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 14, 2017 (Name not displayed)

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