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Monkey World News

Bid to halt cruel monkey business

Daily Express

ANIMAL welfare orgimisations are hoping the Government will crack down on a legal trade that belies Britain's claim to be a nation of animal lovers. The multi-million pound "mon­key business" means thousands . of intelligent social animals· endure abuse and neglect, from a tiny monkey kept in a birdcage on a TV set, to apes cooped up in cold garden sheds. Baby marmosets, a tiny pri­mate from the South American jungle, are reared in back-street menageries and sold for £600 a time. Social creatures who live in family groups in Brazil's forests, they suffer solitary confinement. Many have broken limbs from rickets, a bone disease caused by vitamin deficiency. Animal welfare campaigners are calling for a stop to the trade. At Monkeyworld, Dorset, Dr Alison and Jim Cronin are nurs­ing seven cappucins, seven squirrel monkeys and 16 marmosets back to health after res­cue. ''Although there are laws governing ownership of danger­ous animals, the system is not operating effectively to protect these primates," said Dr Cronin. ED regulations advise mon­keys should be kept only by trained keepers but it is thought thousands are in private hands. "Sadly, unscrupulous dealers are selling highly complex ani­mals that should never be kept as pets to people who simply cannot cope," Dr Cronin added. "While many countries have excellent legislation, Britain lags behind and is fast becoming one of the worst places for the care and protection of primates." Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight said last night he was staging a consultation exercise on keeping endangered species and is also proposing that no pri­mates be sold by the pet trade He said the Government also proposed to apply the ED regula­tions to restrict private keeping of primates to keepers able to show they were properly equipped to house and care for them.

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