On Thursday, June 21, the United States Senate moved forward on important legislation to protect the welfare of captive primates. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved the Captive Primate Safety Act (S. 1324), introduced by the committee’s Chair, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). The measure can now be considered by the full Senate.
The Captive Primate Safety Act would ban monkeys and other primates from the exotic pet trade. As we all know, no wild animal, especially a primate, should ever be kept as a pet.
Apes and monkeys are highly intelligent animals who need to live with their own kind in order to develop normally. In the wild, they inhabit large territories and enjoy companionship in organized social groups. Private owners have neither the knowledge nor the proper environments to provide the long-term, specialized care that captive primates require.
Many captive primates have attacked humans and other animals, or have escaped from their enclosures into the community. Bites and scratches from nonhuman primates can transmit viruses that can cause severe infections and even death to humans.
While we applaud Chairwoman Boxer and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for moving forward with this important legislation to protect primates, more work still needs to be done. Please call your two U.S. senators today and ask them to cosponsor S. 1324, the Captive Primate Safety Act. You can find your senators' names and numbers here.