May 22, 2024

UK: Government tightens rules on pet monkeys

Anyone wanting to keep a pet monkey in Great Britain will have to comply with stricter regulations from April 2026. Photo: dpa/Felix Kästle

Significantly stricter rules for private monkey owners will soon apply in Great Britain. Regulations should be compared to zoo standards.

Anyone wanting to keep a monkey as a pet in Great Britain will have to comply with stricter rules in the future. From April 2026, private owners will need a permit to keep animals, the environment ministry announced on Tuesday. In England, the care of animals must correspond to the standard of zoos. This has been decided by the British government.

Wild animals have complex welfare and social needs and, according to most experts, cannot be properly cared for in this environment, the report said. “These new measures will improve the welfare of thousands of these intelligent animals.”

Requirements should actually be banned

Secretary of State Robert Peter Douglas-Miller said failure to maintain the same standards as zoos would result in fines and the removal of primates from their care.

The government argues that the stringent requirements actually prohibit the keeping of animals. Animal rights activists at Humane Society International saw it differently: They welcomed the new rules, but were disappointed the rules weren't banned. They demanded that the government should strictly control the licensing system.

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It is estimated that up to 5,000 animals are currently kept as pets in the UK.