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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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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.