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End the Private Trade of Nonhuman Primates

End the Private Trade of Nonhuman Primates 

Name: Captive Primate Safety Act

Bill Number: HR 1776

The Captive Primate Safety Act amends the Lacey Act by adding nonhuman primates to the list of animals who cannot be transported across state lines by private owners. It does for primates what the Captive Wildlife Safety Act – which Congress passed unanimously in late 2003 – did for lions, tigers and other big cats. This bill will also stop commerce in nonhuman primates for the exotic pet trade in order to save them from inadequate and inhumane living conditions.

Keeping nonhuman primates as pets threatens public health and safety, as well as animal welfare, and commercial trafficking in nonhuman primates as pets is extremely dangerous. While chimpanzees, monkeys, gorillas and orangutans may be appealing as babies, some of these animals grow to be much stronger than humans. Aside from being able to inflict serious injury with bites and scratches, nonhuman primates can also carry deadly diseases like Herpes B, salmonella, tuberculosis and Ebola. Over the past decade, more than 100 individuals, 29 of them children, have been injured by captive wild primates.

Today, there are an estimated 15,000 primates living in captivity in the United States. These captive primates, just like their wild counterparts, need room to swing and climb, the companionship of other nonhuman primates and special diets. Most owners cannot meet these needs, and, as a result, the animals in their care are kept confined in cages or locked in bedrooms or basements, developing behavioral abnormalities that present a real risk to their owners and to the community. Many states now regulate the keeping of primates as pets. Because many of these animals move in interstate commerce, federal legislation is needed to complement state laws. Passage of this bill would offer essential protections not only to nonhuman primates, but also to public security and welfare.

 

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Please support efforts to end the harmful trade in nonhuman primates as pets

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for the Captive Primate Safety Act, HR 1776, which would prohibit the interstate and foreign sale and trade of all types of non-human primates. This bill would do for nonhuman primates what the Captive Wildlife Safety Act which Congress passed unanimously in late 2003 did for lions, tigers and other big cats.

Primates pose serious health risks to humans because many carry deadly diseases. Aside from being able to inflict serious injury with bites and scratches, nonhuman primates can also carry deadly diseases like Herpes B, salmonella, tuberculosis and Ebola. Over the past decade, more than 100 individuals, 29 of them children, have been injured by captive wild primates.

Even bred in captivity, they are wild, unpredictable animals who cannot safely be kept as domestic pets. Primates also require a specialized diet, the companionship of other primates, and housing in adequate enclosures--needs the average pet owner cannot meet.

There are few options for placing these animals. They may end up confined to small cages, sold to substandard roadside menageries or sold for research. These wild animals belong in the wild, not in interstate commerce.

The continued interstate and foreign commerce in nonhuman primates for the exotic pet trade has no justifiable benefit to the public. This bill would not affect trade or transportation of animals for zoos, research facilities or other federally licensed and regulated entities.

Thank you for your consideration. I hope that you will give your support to this measure and ensure that nonhuman primates receive the protection they deserve, while protecting humans from potential risks to their safety and health.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]