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Monkey World News

TIME TO STOP THE MONKEY MISERY

Western Daily Press

Two West conservationists were yesterday helping spearhead a campaign to end the suffering of countless helpless pet monkeys being kept in horrific conditions throughout the UK. DrAlison Cronin and her husband Jim, who founded Monkey World in Dorset nearly 20 years ago, this weekend helped launch a Government consultation over plans to tighten legislation on the keeping of endangered species in this country. Presented by South Dorset MP Jim Knight, it contains several proposals to restrict, and in some cases ban, the keeping of endangered species and related products in the UK. They relate to animals covered by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) legislation, from tigers to bullfrogs. And a key proposal is the application of EU rules which restrict the private ownership of primates to specialist keepers who can prove they are equipped to take care of them. Mr and Mrs Cronin were able to give Mr Knight, the Government's Biodiversity Minister, some chilling first-hand accounts of the pain and suffering the illegal trade and lax legislation. "In most cases it is a case of naivety rather than deliberate cruelty, " said Dr Cronin from their park in Wool, which is home to 160 monkeys and apes from 16 species. "People are misguided and don't understand how to keep these animals but the breeders and people selling them don't care because they are making money. In the past few years we have spent a lot of time and money travelling up and down this country rescuing monkeys from the pet trade. "In Britain it seems to be getting worse, we are getting more and more monkeys every year. "Britain is a nation of animal-lovers, but at the same time it seems to have one of the worst problems of illegal pet trade." Three of the worst-affected species are the relatively small marmoset, capuchin and squirrel monkeys. Monkey World's residents include Gizmo. He was rescued from 15 years solitary confinement in an unheated garden shed in Ipswich with only a blanket on the floor for comfort.

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