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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 4,266
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

Jul 19, 2018 Susan Peck
Jul 19, 2018 Dubrava Elena
Jul 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 19, 2018 Virginia Masterson They sure Don't need to own primates. This is awful the way they treat them when they can get one. They are not pets.
Jul 19, 2018 Holly Chisholm
Jul 19, 2018 Melissa Suarez
Jul 19, 2018 Lane Page
Jul 19, 2018 Joyce Ramirez
Jul 19, 2018 Diane Hoyle
Jul 19, 2018 taraneh monfared
Jul 19, 2018 taraneh monfared
Jul 19, 2018 Marie-Claire Godry
Jul 19, 2018 julie matewicz
Jul 19, 2018 Olga Proshina
Jul 19, 2018 karen reedy
Jul 19, 2018 Hera Gerber
Jul 19, 2018 Borioni Lucio
Jul 19, 2018 Octavia Salerno
Jul 19, 2018 olya evseeva
Jul 19, 2018 Mariana Heymans
Jul 19, 2018 Summer Patterson
Jul 19, 2018 Lola Schiefelbein
Jul 19, 2018 Ann Harvey
Jul 19, 2018 Sue Balk
Jul 18, 2018 Monique van der Peet
Jul 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 18, 2018 Daniela Vogt
Jul 18, 2018 Helen Malinauskas
Jul 18, 2018 Lori Simons
Jul 18, 2018 Larry Spizzirri
Jul 18, 2018 Renee Roberts
Jul 18, 2018 Lisa Allred
Jul 18, 2018 Magdalena Saltzman
Jul 18, 2018 Diane Lilly
Jul 18, 2018 Wayne Langley
Jul 18, 2018 Teri Stone
Jul 18, 2018 Katherine Von Rodeck
Jul 18, 2018 Jill Madsen
Jul 18, 2018 Mariana Galán
Jul 18, 2018 P MONTGOMERY
Jul 18, 2018 Regina Milione
Jul 18, 2018 Dobi Dobroslawa
Jul 18, 2018 Alba Perdomo
Jul 18, 2018 Lorna Greer
Jul 18, 2018 Dixie Fulton
Jul 18, 2018 Lisa Robinson
Jul 18, 2018 Carmen Gallegos
Jul 18, 2018 Kadie Barsotti
Jul 18, 2018 Keiko Barrett

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