A Labour government would introduce a ‘total ban’ on keeping or selling monkeys as pets, the party says.
There are an estimated 5,000 primates currently kept as pets in the UK, according to Labour. The new plans would mean that having marmosets, capuchins, squirrel monkeys and lemurs as domestic animals would be made illegal.
The proposed move, already in force in other European countries, forms part of Labour’s animal welfare manifesto due to be published later this month, iNews reports.
Shadow environment minister Luke Pollard said: “It is astonishing that it is still entirely legal to keep primates as pets, regardless of how endangered or dangerous the animal is. Anyone can browse the internet and buy a primate with little or no checks and inspections.
“We know that primates are very intelligent, social animals with complex needs that simply cannot be met in a home environment.
“Labour will ban people from keeping pet primates as part of our plans to bring Britain’s animal welfare laws into the 21st century.”