Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) endorses at present’s reintroduction in Congress of the Captive Primate Security Act (CPSA), which might finish the merciless and harmful pet primate commerce in the US. Nonhuman primates are very smart and usually social wild animals who can injure or unfold illness to the individuals round them, and whose fundamental wants can’t be met when saved as pets.

Sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), this invoice would amend the Lacey Act to ban non-public possession of nonhuman primates. This prohibition is narrowly centered on pet primates and exempts zoos, analysis labs, sanctuaries, and universities. Present homeowners could be grandfathered in and easily be required to register their animals to make sure that first responders and animal management officers are conscious of the presence of untamed animals of their communities. The invoice additionally restricts direct contact between the general public and primates.

“Primates are wild animals whose pure behaviors are incompatible with life as a pet in somebody’s dwelling,” mentioned Cathy Liss, president of AWI. “Moreover, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re witnessing firsthand the devastating penalties of how simply zoonotic illness can unfold when people have shut contact with wildlife. Primates can carry communicable illnesses which can be harmful and probably deadly to people — they don’t belong in houses. The Captive Primate Security Act would shield people from these pointless dangers and primates from mistreatment.”

Conservative estimates recommend that there are at the least 15,000 primates saved as pets in the US. About half of all states already prohibit non-public possession of some or all primate species. Nonetheless, a federal legislation is important as a result of primates are simply acquired by way of the web or by out-of-state sellers and auctions, and consumers don’t at all times perceive the dangers concerned or the struggling skilled by captive primates.

Within the wild, most primates stay in massive social teams, however almost all pet primates are disadvantaged of significant contact with different members of their species. Breeders usually forcibly take away infants from their moms quickly after beginning and promote them to individuals across the nation. Primates rapidly mature and specific aggression, usually prompting homeowners to take away some or all the animals’ tooth and consign them to lifelong isolation in cramped cages. Nonhuman primates expertise bodily and psychological struggling when confronted with unrealistic expectations that they’ll behave like completely educated pets and even “little people.”

Pet primates additionally pose a risk to public security. Even small primates can inflict critical accidents. Since 1990, almost 300 individuals have reported being injured by captive primates, though many extra incidents possible go unreported. One case that gained worldwide consideration occurred in 2009, when a Connecticut lady was blinded and misplaced most of her face and palms after being attacked by her neighbor’s pet chimpanzee. Moreover, nonhuman primates pose distinct dangers to public well being since they will simply transmit a variety of viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal illnesses to people.

“Holding primates as pets is each hazardous and inhumane. There isn’t a motive why these wild animals must be trapped inside houses away from their pure habitats,” mentioned Blumenauer. “Past hurt to animals, this reckless development places households and communities susceptible to bodily assaults and harmful viruses. It’s previous time to finish this dangerous apply and guarantee humane remedy of those animals. It’s what’s greatest for individuals and primates.”

“As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Safety Caucus, I’m dedicated to making sure our authorities is doing its half to advertise animal welfare. For too lengthy, primates have been mistreated, exploited, and abused whereas additionally carrying lethal illnesses that may be handed alongside to people,” mentioned Fitzpatrick. “Our bipartisan and bicameral Captive Primate Security Act would prohibit the unlicensed, non-public possession of apes, monkeys, and different primates, and put animal welfare and security first.”

“This commonsense laws cracks down on the damaging, exploitative pet primate commerce. Prohibiting the non-public possession, sale, and transportation of apes, chimps, and different primates will alleviate the struggling these clever, social animals endure in substandard captivity,” mentioned Blumenthal. “Lots of of individuals have been injured by privately owned primates. Passing the Captive Primate Security Act will shield each the animals and the general public.”

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