Calls about pet monkeys increased threefold over five years as Devon is placed in the top ten of the country’s hot spot for primates in trouble
Animal welfare charities are concerned the number of primates being kept as pets in ‘backyard Britain’ is on the rise as welfare complaints have increased three-fold in five years. An estimated 5,000 primates* are being kept as pets up and down the UK – but new data suggests that many are suffering and not having vital social, dietary and environmental needs met.
Marmosets, capuchins and squirrel monkeys are just some of the primates being kept as pets and rescue groups such as the RSPCA and Wild Futures receive approximately one call every three days relating to the welfare of a monkey.
With dozens of calls over the last five years Greater Manchester has been named as the country’s hotspot for calls about primate welfare concerns, swiftly followed by Greater London in second place and Devon in seventh.
RSPCA senior scientific officer Dr Ros Clubb, said: “The level of calls we are getting to the RSPCA just shows the number of primates that are out there are increasing – and at an alarming level. The spread of calls across the country is real cause for concern too.
“Sadly our inspectors have seen situations where monkeys have been cooped up in bird cages, fed fast food and sugary drinks, deprived of friends of their own kind, living in dirt squalor and suffering from disease.
“We fear there are hundreds more that are suffering behind closed doors because people do not know how to look after these animals properly. That is why we have joined forces with Born Free Foundation, British Veterinary Association (BVA), Captive Animal Protection Society, Four Paws, One Kind and Wild Futures to push for a ban on keeping primates as pets. We are all so concerned about the situation of primates being kept as pets in the UK.
“The trend for keeping primates is on the up – but because of the specific needs of these animals their level of suffering is extreme. As well as dietary and environmental needs primates are highly social animals and they have extremely complex behavioural and social needs – but sadly in many cases they are being kept as lone primates.”
To sign the petition to #ProtectPrimates visit www.protectprimates.org