Mark Pritchard has brought a Bill before the House of Commons. It seeks to ban the breeding, selling, purchasing and keeping of primates as pets in the UK. He assured members:
"The Bill is about serious monkey business. It is estimated that up to 3,000 primates are currently being kept as pets in the United Kingdom. Many, although by no means all, are kept in cruel and cramped conditions. Whatever their captive conditions, these wild animals will always remain wild. These are animals that need large areas of vertical and horizontal space; they need certain room temperatures and humidity; they need long hours of natural sunlight; and they need a varied and balanced diet."
He went on to explain that this is a conservation issue too:
"[A]s long as primates are snatched from the wild, that particular lineage will never be replaced: the gene pool is running dry. Each year, according to “Animal Issues”, 32,000 wild caught primates are sold on the international market, and according to a recent global review of the world’s primates, 48 per cent. of species face extinction. The World Conservation Union—or the International Union for Conservation of Nature—red list of threatened species suggests that 70 per cent. of primates in Asia are now endangered. The figure is 90 per cent. in Cambodia; 86 per cent. in Vietnam, 79 per cent. in China, and 84 per cent. in Indonesia. The statistics are alarming."
ConservativeHome will keep a close eye on the progress of this primatey legislation.