Cruel pet trade condemned
We're renewing our plea for a ban on primates as pets after a man admitted to neglecting two pet marmosets.
On Tuesday, 24 July Peter Powell from Plymouth pleaded guilty to failing to provide for the needs of Tya, a six-month-old, female marmoset and Rattler, a two-year-old male.
Sentencing will be heard at the end of August.
Marmosets suffering in appalling conditions
An RSPCA inspector and primate experts from Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset visited the marmosets in October after receiving reports that Powell had been seen carrying the small exotic pets in his pocket as he drove his mobility scooter around town.
A razor blade, cigarette butts and faeces were scattered across the floor and there was no evidence of the specialised food or perching room necessary for their care.
RSPCA Inspector Becky Wadey said:
It was heartbreaking to see these poor little marmosets like this – their fur was sticky with faeces and urine and they were clearly underweight and in a bad state of health.
Tya, the little one, was just crouched inside a dirty tube set up beneath the curtain rail while Rattler was balanced precariously on top of it. There was so little room for both of them that at one point Rattler knocked Tya off the perch – she had quite a fall to the hard floor.
It is hard to understand how anyone could think this was an acceptable way to keep an animal.
Tya and Rattler doing well
Tya and Rattler were removed and taken to Monkey World where it was found they were suffering from the early stages of rickets, or metabolic bone disease.
After being given specialist care and lessons in how to feed, talk and socialise from fellow marmoset Gabi, they are now growing and doing well.
Growing UK trade for primates and pets
This our third major case involving neglect or cruelty to a marmoset since January and highlights the problems involved with the growing UK trade in keeping primates as pets.
Dr Lisa Riley, primatologist for the RSPCA, said:
Marmosets are seen as small and easy to keep but this is far from the truth – they are very hard to look after and totally unsuitable as pets.
We must stop this growing trade. Breeders and dealers charge large sums of money, and it has become far too easy to pick up a marmoset over the internet, especially since you don’t need a licence to have one.
Campaign against primates as pets
Monkey world are campaigning to change laws that govern the keeping of primates as pets in Britain.
Dr Alison Cronin MBE, director of Monkey World, said:
We are an international primate rescue and rehabilitation centre, but more and more we find ourselves being called to rescue and rehabilitate monkeys being kept as pets legally in Britain today.
For more information on the campaign visit: www.monkeyworld.org.uk