On Tuesday 20th June 2023, the UK government set out the next steps in banning the keeping of primates as pets. It’s estimated by the RSPCA that between 4,000 and 5,000 primates – including marmosets, squirrel monkeys, lemurs and capuchins – are currently kept as pets in the UK.
The government proposals, which aim to ensure that all privately kept primates in England are kept to zoo-level standards are subject to a four-week long public consultation. Until 18th July 2023, Defra is seeking views on the proposed specialist primate keeper licensing regime, as well as the new primate-keeping welfare standards.
The current consultation follows the 2020 consultation that sought views on the circumstances in which a specialist primate keeper licence would be required and the proposed licensing regime more generally. Of the 4,516 responses received, over 98% expressed support for the introduction of a new prohibition on keeping primates privately in England without a relevant licence.
You now have until the 18th July 2023 to share your views and help shape the final drafting of the provisions and standards.
A report will then be published summarising the feedback once the consultation has closed. Its findings will help determine and finalise the new specialist primate keeping measures and the welfare standards underpinning the new regulations. Once confirmed, the new measures will be implemented under the powers of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
To view the consultation and have your say on the government proposals, visit: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/kept-wild-animals/licensing-of-specialist-private-primate-keepers-in/