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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 3,856
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

Jun 20, 2018 Chriss Wood
Jun 20, 2018 avis lyons
Jun 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 19, 2018 Angelique Mcclean
Jun 19, 2018 Julie Whitfield
Jun 19, 2018 Kathryn Summerfield
Jun 19, 2018 Richard Brigg
Jun 19, 2018 Amy Pfaffman
Jun 19, 2018 Christian Bitschene
Jun 19, 2018 Chris Arene
Jun 19, 2018 PEGGY MORRIS
Jun 19, 2018 Laura LaRocca
Jun 19, 2018 Donna Ennis
Jun 19, 2018 Meredith Knee
Jun 19, 2018 Hope Carl
Jun 18, 2018 Kathy Fraser
Jun 18, 2018 Rena Fafalios
Jun 18, 2018 Tamara Bacon
Jun 18, 2018 Aníta Einarsdóttir
Jun 17, 2018 Joyce McCollum
Jun 17, 2018 Magdalena Borkowska
Jun 16, 2018 Patricia Dangle
Jun 15, 2018 Eve Lee
Jun 12, 2018 Angie Hyde
Jun 12, 2018 Carolina Costa
Jun 10, 2018 Malva McIntosh
Jun 10, 2018 Sophie Avoustin
Jun 10, 2018 judith goldberg
Jun 10, 2018 Jill Tew
Jun 9, 2018 Fabiana Nogueira
Jun 8, 2018 Theresa Stasiw
Jun 7, 2018 Janice Murphy-Ellison
Jun 7, 2018 Anita Carter
Jun 5, 2018 Beatriz Pallanes
Jun 5, 2018 Paula Brungardt
Jun 5, 2018 DAWN Felton
Jun 5, 2018 Charlotte Wood
Jun 5, 2018 Jennifer Conway
Jun 4, 2018 Mollie Vreeland
Jun 4, 2018 Vanessa Walker
Jun 4, 2018 carole MASSENET
Jun 3, 2018 Pat Griffey
Jun 3, 2018 Cynthia Weiss
Jun 2, 2018 Kristie Prouse
Jun 1, 2018 Sherri Hickman
Jun 1, 2018 Megan Sykes Primates are very intelligent animals and have very complex needs. Keeping one as a pet is detrimental to a primate's health as they won't have the correct environment to flourish.
Jun 1, 2018 Annette Lebolo
May 31, 2018 Jennifer McDaniel

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