Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel
RSPCA calls for primate pet ban
Court case prompts calls for ban.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has called for a ban on keeping primates as pets after a court case in which a West Midlands couple who sold a severely  malformed marmoset rather than take it to a vet were disqualified from keeping animals for life. Mrs Sheryll Murray MP, the Member of Parliament for South East Cornwall, has also announced that she will push for a ban.

Disturbing film footage showing the marmoset named 'Mikey' attempting to walk on bent legs and being unable to climb was shown to Dudley Magistrates Court. The offence first came to light after the couple sold the baby monkey to a pensioner while it was in a hamster cage in the back of a car in a chip shop car park. The pensioner took it to a local exotic pet dealer, who alerted the RSPCA.

Lee Powell, 50, and Julie Ann Jones, 41, both of Sunderland Drive, Stourbridge, were found guilty of causing the animal unnecessary suffering. Both were ordered to pay more than £5,000 in costs and compensation and do 300 hours of unpaid work. The marmoset, who was found to have advanced bone disease, seven fractures and a broken tail, had to be put down.

RSPCA inspectors dealt with 315 incidents involving 645 pet primates between 2001 and 2010. "Welfare issues" were cited in half of the incidents and legal action was taken in six cases, resulting in two convictions. Complaints about primates are four to twelve times higher than those concerning more conventional pets.

“Primates are so complicated and have such complex needs and most primate owners, unless they have very specialist training, cannot look after them properly," said RSPCA Primatologist Lisa Riley.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) brought in a code of practice for primate keepers in 2010. However, the code is "non-binding" and animal charities have pointed out that it is largely unknown. Furthermore, many primates are illegally traded due to endangered species protection status.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Zoo announces birth of Western lowland gorilla

News Story 1
 A critically-endangered Western lowland gorilla has been born at London Zoo, the Zoological Society of London have announced.

Mum Effie (22) gave birth to a baby boy in the early hours of Wednesday, 25 November. Classed as critically endangered in the wild, Western lowland gorillas are threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Keepers say that they will leave Effie to bond with the infant, and allow the rest of the troop to familiarise themselves with the new arrival. Image (C) Glynn Hennessy/ZSL 

News Shorts
Major retailers raise their milk prices

Iceland has raised the cost of its milk to 1 for four pints. Lobby group Farmers For Action has revealed that a similar announcement will be made by another major retailer - reported to be Asda according to Farmer's Weekly Farmer's Weekly

. The move follows intense lobbying and protests to address falling milk prices, which have placed huge financial burdens on UK dairy farmers.