Draft Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Automatic Enrolment) Regulations 2010 and three related instruments, etc - Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee Contents


Information from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Q1.  Are there going to be any more of these Codes?

A1.  We are working on a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes. No others are planned.

Q2.  Is there a list available of the primates requiring a licence under the 1976 Act and those which do not?

A2.  The Schedule to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 was recently amended and the list is now:

New-world monkeys (including capuchin, howler, saki, uacari, spider and woolly monkeys). Night monkeys (also known as owl monkeys), titi monkeys and squirrel monkeys are excepted. Old-world monkeys (including baboons, the drill, colobus monkeys, the gelada, guenons, langurs, leaf monkeys, macaques, the mandrill, mangabeys, the patas and proboscis monkeys and the talapoin). Anthropoid apes; chimpanzees, bonobos, orang-utans and gorillas. Gibbons and Siamangs. Leaping lemurs (including the indri and sifakas). The woolly lemur is excepted. Large lemurs. Bamboo or gentle lemurs are excepted.

Primates for which you do not need a DWAA licence are:

marmosets, tamarins, squirrel monkeys, night or owl monkeys, titi monkeys, woolly lemur, bamboo or gentle lemurs; plus loads of others available through the attached link:


Q3.  Have you any knowledge as to the make up of the private primate population? I assume that a small primate would have different welfare needs to one of the larger primates.

A4.  The most popular privately kept primates are: capuchins, marmosets, tamarins, squirrel monkeys, owl and titi monkeys. We have been told that there are very few if any great apes in private ownership (eg chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans). Different sorts of primates have different needs but the code aims to provide a general over-view of needs and prompt the owner to get further, more detailed advice, where necessary.

Q5.  Why does the Government see the Code as being necessary if there is no firm evidence that there is a widespread welfare problem (paragraph 8.2 of EM)?

A5.  MPs and Peers raised concerns about the availability of primates to non-specialists during the passage of the Animal Welfare Bill through Parliament. The Government agreed to look at the problem. The Government considered that there did not appear to be a large problem to warrant the introduction of a regulatory scheme. However the Government accepted that the de-listing of some primates from the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 meant that there was no longer a need to ensure to local authority inspectors, under that legislation, that those particular primates were provided with their necessary welfare needs. It was also accepted by the Government that primates are complex animals (humans closest animals) that require specialist attention. The Code of Practice is therefore intended to inform owners (or prospective owners) what is required to look after a primate, whether it is on the DWAA list or not.

Q6.  Has the Government any plans to fill the knowledge gaps around the private primate population as a basis for deciding whether there is a regulatory gap?

A6.  The impact assessment concludes that there is little evidence to support a regulatory regime but accepts that primates are complex creatures that require specialist attention. The code would be light touch and points out what owners should already be doing under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 - ie, providing for the welfare needs of their animals. We will need to review the code within the next 5 years which will show how effective it has been.

Ministerial Commitment

I can confirm that the government commitment was for a code of practice.

Quote by the then Animal Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw, MP (Standing Committee, Animal Welfare Bill, 19th Jan 2006):

"I can tell the hon. Member for Lewes and my hon. Friends the Members for Stroud and for Llanelli (Nia Griffith) that, as a priority, the Government intend to develop a code for the keeping of primates."

This was repeated in the Lords at Grand Committee stage by Baroness Farringdon on 24th May 2006.

January 2010

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