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by December 23, 2013
For the good of the animals, Federal Government should require all states to unilaterally ban the breeding and ownership of apes and monkeys by private citizens
Monkeys living with humans as pets or surrogate children in the United States are on the rise Referred to as “monkids”, young monkeys are purchased by a human just a few days or even hours after they are seperated from their mother, making these vulnerable and baby-like animals ...seemingly devoted. But when the monkey reaches sexual maturity, the romance ends. All monkeys become temperamental as they grow older. Keepers must be extremely sensitive to their moods, for primates will attack even their primary caretakers -- often with no warning. As they grow older, most primates refuse to allow themselves to be dressed. Those purchased as surrogate children are quickly dumped when they don't live up to expectations. The average life-spans of well tended captive primates is 20-40 years. Monkeys don't adapt well to new situations -- especially the addition of a new spouse or children. Most monkey sanctuaries are at full capacity.
When someone inevitably tires of keeping a pet monkey, there are few viable options for relocating that animal: local shelters aren’t equipped to keep primates, and most sanctuaries are filled to capacity. As a result, the animals are ignored in their basement or garage cages, causing them even more physical or psychological stress, or in some cases even let loose to fend for themselves. It’s a problem costly to both the monkey and humans.
As monkeys are often kept in indoor cages, their plight goes unregulated and even worse, unnoticed and undocumented by the outside world. Because the conditions in which animals are kept are usually not monitored by federal or local officials, they are often subjected to neglect, mistreatment, cruelty, and even death. Monkeys are social by nature, but pet owners often keep their animals caged alone, subjecting them to profound and psychologically damaging loneliness. Most domestic primates have their canine teeth permanently removed to avoid debilitating wounds to humans, which has been well documented in emergency rooms across the country. Canine removal surgery subjects them to great pain and making it impossible for them to ever again eat a normal diet. And teeth removal is not only harmful and cruel, it doesn't remove the danger: a toothless monkey can still cause painful injuries.
The United States has a hodgepodge of laws regarding the private ownership of nonhuman primates: some states outlaw it entirely, while others have no restrictions (although individual counties or municipalities in those states may limit or prohibit private ownership). Other states require possession permits but never inspect the properties. It’s up to us to protect these creatures and stop the rampant breeding and resulting overcrowded sanctuaries.
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