Following years of campaigning by ourselves and other organisations, the Department for Food and Rural Affairs is proposing to ban the keeping and trading of primates as pets in England. The proposed ban would 'restrict breeding, acquiring, buying, gifting, selling, or otherwise transferring primates'.

Make sure your voice for a ban is heard - respond to the consultation here.

In October 2020, Freedom for Animals filmed inside a Manchester pet shop selling marmoset monkeys. The six individuals were crammed into two cages just 3m³ in size. Two babies had already been sold to a private owner, destined for a life of deprivation and captivity.

Marmosets make up the majority of the thousands of primates currently languishing as pets throughout the UK, but capuchins, lemurs and squirrel monkeys are also held.

Defra's recent call for evidence on the issue found that many primates are 'fed inappropriate diets, especially ‘junk’ food',  'kept in cramped and inappropriate conditions such as garden sheds or small bird cages' and are often held in 'social isolation due to being kept singularly or in pairs, when most species of primates commonly held as pets should be in large social groups.'

Zac Goldsmith, the government minister heading animal welfare said:

Primates are hugely intelligent and socially complex animals. When they are confined in tiny cages, often alone and with little stimulation, their lives are a misery. It’s important we take action to prevent the suffering caused to them when they are kept as pets.

It is great news that keeping these highly intelligent and social animals confined within the domestic setting, that can in no way provide an adequate envirnonment, is close to being banned. However, Freedom for Animals is concerned about Defra's proposal to exclude private owners who keep primates to 'zoo-level standards' from the new ban. We believe that this ban should cover every person who privately holds a primate in captivity and are committed to the eventual ending of captivity and exploitation of animals.

These animals deserve a better a life. Please add your voice to the consultation to ban primate pets!

You can view the summary of reponses to Defra's call for evidence here.

Can you take one more action to help primates?

Freedom for Animals is taking action right NOW to ban this cruel trade. But as a small animal rights charity, we need your help.

By making a donation today you will fuel the campaign to free primates from the pet trade and keep them wild and free. Thank you.