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Labour announces plans to ban pet primates
An estimated 5,000 primates are being kept as pets in the UK.
Measure forms part of party’s new Animal Welfare Manifesto

The Labour Party has announced plans to ban the keeping and trading of pet primates if it forms the next government.

Labour said it would implement a “total ban” on the keeping of marmosets, capuchins, squirrel monkeys and lemurs as part of its new Animal Welfare Manifesto, to be published later this month.

Figures published by the party show an estimated 5,000 primates are being kept as pets in the UK. Labour said they are often kept in cages and “denied proper lighting and nutrition causing painful and debilitating diseases such as metabolic bone disease”.

Labour also said that monkeys are “regularly taken away from their mothers at a young age and kept in isolation, becoming depressed and displaying behaviour such as self-mutilation, hair pulling and rocking back and forth.”

The proposed legislation is already in place in Belgium and several other European countries.

Labour’s Shadow environment minister, Luke Pollard said: “It is astonishing that it is still entirely legal to keep primates as pets, regardless of how endangered or dangerous the animal is. Anyone can browse the internet and buy a primate with little or no checks and inspections.

“We know that primates are very intelligent, social animals with complex needs that simply cannot be met in a home environment. Labour will ban people from keeping pet primates as part of our plans to bring Britain’s animal welfare laws into the 21st Century.”

Labour added that rescue groups such as the RSPCA and Wild Futures receive approximately one call a week relating to the welfare of a captive monkey.

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.