Target: Members of the United States House of Representatives
Goal: Stop interstate commerce of primates
Two members of the US House of Representatives—Michael Fitzpatrick (Republican) of Pennsylvania and Earl Blumenauer (Democrat) of Oregon—have co-sponsored an important animal welfare bill. Entitled “Captive Primate Safety Act,” this bill has drawn praise from animal advocate groups like the Humane Society of the United States, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If passed, the piece of legislation will amend an existing law to prohibit interstate commerce in monkeys, apes and other primates for purposes of the exotic pet trade. Moreover, the bill will step up penalties for these offenses to ensure a proper deterrent to violations.
Half of states have laws prohibiting the private possession of primates, but illegal Internet dealers, black market auctions, and purchases across state lines are common. Given this fact, a federal law is needed to ensure that primates are not subjected to such ordeals; previous attempts at federal legislation have hitherto failed. Primates used as pets are usually stolen away from their mothers shortly after birth. Without the necessary upbringing by their mothers, the primates typically grow up to be volatile, messy, and sometimes even violent. Because of the inability of owners to take care of such animals, these primates often end up being abandoned or even killed.
Primates are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, and they should not be shipped around from state to state to be domesticated pets. In the words of one co-sponsor of the bill, Representative Blumenauer: “Allowing primates to be held as pets for individuals can result in nothing but tragedy. Time and again we have seen that it is dangerous and unhealthy for both humans and captive primates and is cruel to the animals. In the 21st Century, there is no place for keeping primates as pets. This legislation will protect our families, and ensure the humane treatment of these animals.” Please sign the petition below to show your support for this bill and demand that your elected officials pass it in the House of Representatives.
Dear members of the House of Representatives:
The recently proposed bipartisan Captive Primate Safety Act, upon which you will soon have the opportunity to vote, is a crucial piece of legislation that will protect some of the world’s most intelligent animals from becoming exotic pets. Torn away from their mothers in infancy, many of these unfortunate primates become volatile and dangerous—owners often abandon or neglect these animals.
In the modern day and age, there is no valid or civilized reason to keep a highly intelligent primate as an exotic pet. Please support this legislation, explain it to your constituents, and vote for it when the time comes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Meneer Zjeroen via Flickr