Keeping dangerous pets

21 Mar 2020

Loeb, J.

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At the last election, the three main political parties all included pledges to ban pet primates as part of their manifestos.

Since then, Defra has concluded its consultation into the welfare of pet primates and looks set to start the process of introducing a prohibition on keeping all primates (including marmoset monkeys, for which, amazingly, people do not need to obtain a licence to keep at home).

If written into law, such a ban would set a precedent. For the first time the UK would be banning a species or group of species from being kept as pets primarily because of welfare concerns. There are currently some legal restrictions on keeping certain species in private households – however, existing laws are based primarily on public safety or conservation reasons, not welfare grounds.

Moves towards this position, however, would surely prompt a question: which – if any – other wild...