Name: Captive Primate Safety Act
Number: S 1463 and HR 2856
The Captive Primate Safety Act, which would stop commerce in primates for the exotic pet trade, has been reintroduced this year in both chambers of Congress, in order to save primates from inadequate and inhumane living conditions. It will also protect people from serious injury and deadly disease. Although previous versions of the bill have passed the House by wide margins, it has never been voted on in the Senate. This year, with your help, the bill will hopefully have a more positive outcome.
Commercial trafficking in primates as pets is extremely dangerous. While chimpanzees, monkeys, and other primates appear small and sweet as babies, these animals grow to be much stronger than humans. Aside from being able to inflict serious injury with bites and scratches, primates can also carry deadly diseases like Herpes B, salmonella, tuberculosis, and Ebola. Over the past decade, more than 100 individuals, 29 of them children, have been injured by captive primates. People such as Charla Nash—who was left blind, disfigured, and without the use of her hands following an attack by a chimpanzee owned in residential Pennsylvania—know too well how devastating an attack by a chimpanzee can be.
Today there are an estimated 15,000 primates living in captivity in the United States. These captive primates, just like their wild counterparts, need room to swing and climb, the companionship of other nonhuman primates, as well as special diets. Most primate owners cannot meet these needs, and so the primates in their care are kept confined in cages, or locked in bedrooms or basements.
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