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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 2,756
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

Apr 25, 2018 Gary Daudet
Apr 24, 2018 Julia Stark
Apr 24, 2018 Marcia Richardson
Apr 24, 2018 Paul Dunne
Apr 23, 2018 C. Scott
Apr 22, 2018 suzanne caruso
Apr 22, 2018 Kathy Sawdy
Apr 22, 2018 Rita Willis
Apr 22, 2018 Bob Willis
Apr 22, 2018 Bob Hickford
Apr 22, 2018 Rose Hickford
Apr 22, 2018 Gina Lippa
Apr 22, 2018 MARY cowen
Apr 21, 2018 Rita Council
Apr 20, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 20, 2018 Victoria Apodaca
Apr 19, 2018 Debbie Foster
Apr 19, 2018 Marion Barbour
Apr 19, 2018 Lily Wong
Apr 18, 2018 Lisa Crawford
Apr 15, 2018 Alma Anderson
Apr 15, 2018 Beverly Mustaine
Apr 14, 2018 Fawn Mcconnell
Apr 14, 2018 Susan Ryan
Apr 14, 2018 leigh barry
Apr 14, 2018 Debbie Marquess
Apr 14, 2018 George Mertz
Apr 14, 2018 Nicole Hadjieva
Apr 14, 2018 Ankita Jain Gupta
Apr 13, 2018 Danuta Baziuk
Apr 13, 2018 Brenda Choi
Apr 13, 2018 kristin sullivan
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Apr 13, 2018 Racquel Colinares
Apr 13, 2018 Theresa Simpson
Apr 13, 2018 Sheryl Precopia
Apr 13, 2018 Dawn Wait
Apr 13, 2018 Marie Horan
Apr 13, 2018 Sheri Spain
Apr 13, 2018 Mercedes dotter
Apr 13, 2018 Maria Farkas
Apr 13, 2018 Kara Dorsey
Apr 13, 2018 Sharon Walker
Apr 13, 2018 Mary Hurley
Apr 13, 2018 Carla Beck
Apr 13, 2018 anthony roberts
Apr 13, 2018 Andreas Papapanagiotou
Apr 13, 2018 Kathy Monaco
Apr 12, 2018 Donna Campbell
Apr 12, 2018 Richard Bosboom

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