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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 2,400
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

Jan 15, 2018 Olga Culebras
Jan 15, 2018 catia mariani
Jan 14, 2018 Sieglinda Preez
Jan 14, 2018 Debra Glass
Jan 14, 2018 norma graciela varrone cancio
Jan 13, 2018 Dena Shelangoski
Jan 13, 2018 TUSHAR SEN
Jan 13, 2018 ANA ALEMAN
Jan 13, 2018 Joan Maynard
Jan 13, 2018 Cathy Saunders
Jan 13, 2018 Nancy Paskowitz
Jan 13, 2018 Sheri Nolen
Jan 13, 2018 Mary Hatzigiannis
Jan 13, 2018 Gerianne Hayden
Jan 12, 2018 Juanice Burroughs
Jan 11, 2018 Olivia Barry
Jan 11, 2018 Katie Morgan
Jan 11, 2018 Victoria Bustamante
Jan 11, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 9, 2018 Mary Sier
Jan 7, 2018 Randall Bong
Jan 6, 2018 Linda Gordon Wild animals should never be kept as pets except in cases where it's vital to their survival in which case a sanctuary is the best place for them.
Jan 6, 2018 Davina Lee
Jan 4, 2018 bob petermann
Jan 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 4, 2018 Stacey Cannon
Jan 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 1, 2018 Regina Powell
Dec 30, 2017 Janice Vakili
Dec 29, 2017 Judy Budge
Dec 29, 2017 barbara gale
Dec 27, 2017 Chalien Noir
Dec 27, 2017 Linda Diers
Dec 27, 2017 frederique dizy
Dec 25, 2017 Sharmila Perera
Dec 25, 2017 Michael Frye no wild animal should be legal to own as a pet
Dec 23, 2017 Annie Hatzakorzian
Dec 23, 2017 Cindy Shoaf
Dec 23, 2017 Mafalda Cordeiro de Miranda
Dec 22, 2017 Diane Chavez
Dec 22, 2017 michelle smith
Dec 22, 2017 Iris Sinai
Dec 22, 2017 Jessie Bowen
Dec 21, 2017 Dalca Carvalho
Dec 21, 2017 T.J. Pitts
Dec 20, 2017 Angelina Coriandoli
Dec 19, 2017 Beverly Scott
Dec 18, 2017 Rachel Lanza

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