When is a ban not a ban?
The new legislation pertaining to the keeping of primates has been touted as a ban by many of the media channels covering the story. However, it’s important to point out that the legislation does not ban the keeping of primates, but instead, regulates the practice to ensure high welfare standards.
Let’s put aside the fact that the Animal Welfare Act already adequately regulated the welfare of captive primates. Instead let’s look at how the new legislation will affect keepers.
The new legislation stipulates that primate owners, whether private keepers or zoo collections, must be licenced and thereby provide facilities of comparable quality to a zoo. This can be applauded, as all animal welfare advocates will welcome regulations of this kind, including the responsible keepers who make up the vast majority of private primate owners. The private facilities I have visited have at least been equal to, if not exceeding, the standards offered at most zoos.
The situation gets sticky at the sharp end, at the point at which licences are issued. If the Dangerous Wild Animals Licence situation is anything to go by, the local authorities issuing the licences are unlikely to have sufficient training or resources to administer the process sensibly and consistently. The DWA act is a fabulous piece of legislation, but the manner in which it is currently administered leaves a lot to be desired, with some local authorities applying conditions and costs that are unjustifiably prohibitive.
Let’s hope the new primate licensing legislation is administered more sensibly. And then let’s hope that such unnecessary licensing legislation isn’t rolled out to other pet animal taxa. That would be not only unnecessary and unjustified, but a damning blow to the flourishing scientific advancements achieved by private keepers.
The end of an era
Reptile industry pioneers Tim Green and Dave Perry have officially retired from Peregrine Livefoods, the reptile wholesale business the pair launched in 1986. I’ve often teased Dave about his tendency to write long, wordy content for press releases and annual reports, but the heartfelt statement he released on his social media channels tells the story far better than I could ever do.
Dave said: “From the tiny beginnings in the spare bedroom of our houses to employing 170 people and turning over £22m, there have been highs and lows and twists that we could never have foreseen.
“I know it’s a cliché but there really are too many people to mention, and if I tried to list all the individuals then I would be bound to miss some out. But, to everyone in the team at Peregrine, our amazing suppliers, our fabulous customers, and everyone else with whom it has been my pleasure to work with I want to say thank you for being part of my journey. I have made friends who will be friends for always and memories that will be with me forever.”