Primates: Pets

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy PPS (Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State), Department for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) wild-caught and (b) captive-bred primates have been imported into the UK as pets since 2000.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

Since 2000, the UK CITES Management Authority has issued one import permit to allow the importation of one wild primate for the purpose of keeping as a pet. The animal had been hand reared after it had been rejected by its mother and could not be returned to the wild. The Government's scientific authorities advised that in this particular case there would be no detriment to the conservation status of the species in the wild. A permit was issued with the condition that the animal must be kept in adequate housing and could only be relinquished to a zoo or specialised keeper after ensuring that the intended recipient had been adequately informed of the accommodation, practices and equipment required to ensure the animal would be properly cared for.

There have been no permits issued in the same period to allow captive bred primates to be imported as pets.

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