Primates as Pets - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Contents

6  Conclusion

85. Our inquiry set out to examine the issues around the keeping of primates as pets in the UK and whether or not a ban should be introduced. We found significant scope for improvement in some of the key elements of the regulatory framework governing the welfare of pet primates and the way in which it is being applied. Regulatory gaps and high levels of non-compliance also make it very difficult to produce reliable estimates of the extent of the trade and keeping of primates as pets in the UK.

86. Whilst some witnesses have argued that further research is unlikely to be a good use of resources, they accept that existing estimates are unreliable and use the evidence that they do have to justify very different positions. The Government, the pet industry and private keepers associations tend to argue that that the existing regulatory framework adequately protects the welfare of privately kept primates. Conversely, animal welfare organisations, animal sanctuaries and the veterinary profession tend to argue that a ban on the private keeping and trading of pet primates is the only acceptable solution.

87. Before key decisions are made about further regulatory change or the adoption of a ban on the keeping and trading of pet primates, additional research is needed to ensure that such decisions are based on sound evidence. In the meantime, we have recommended some more minor changes that the Government might wish to make and which should be possible without recourse to primary legislation.

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2014
Prepared 10 June 2014