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British Veterinary Association responds to ban on keeping primates as pets

15 Dec 2023


The British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomes the news that keeping primates as pets will be banned under new legislation.

British Veterinary Association responds to ban on keeping primates as pets Image

The changes, introduced via secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, will mean it is no longer possible to keep primates in domestic settings as household pets in environments that fail to provide for their needs. Only private keepers who can provide the highest welfare standards will be able to keep primates and then only if they abide by strict rules of a licensing scheme.

British Veterinary Association President Anna Judson said: “This ban on the keeping of primates as pets in England is good news, and I hope the devolved nations will quickly follow suit. The British Veterinary Association has been clear with the Government, that the needs of primates are so complex they can rarely be met in a domestic environment. It is therefore vital that the proposed licensing system goes far enough and the ban is able to be properly enforced. We urge the Government to work closely with veterinary and zoological organisations to get this right and ensure the welfare of these animals isn’t comprised.”

BVA outlined the need for a ban on keeping primates as pets in its recent policy position on non-traditional companion animals. Read the position at


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