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New law to restrict keeping of pet monkeys in England
When the law is enacted, pet primates will only be allowed under licence from 30 April 2026.
RSPCA calls for details on fate of existing kept monkeys.

A new law is set to make it illegal to keep a monkey at home, unless the owner meets specific standards.

However the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has called for further details of the fate of monkeys currently kept in homes, ahead of the rules being introduced in 2026.

The Animal Welfare (Primate Licences) (England) Regulations 2023 was passed on 27 February. It will mean it is illegal to keep a primate in a home in England, unless the owner meets licensing conditions enforced by the local authority.

When the law is enacted, pet primates will only be allowed under licence from 30 April 2026. The government has said that these licensing requirements will be equivalent to those required by zoos.

Bans on the keeping of primates had previously been included in the government’s Kept Animals Bill, before it was scrapped in May last year.

The new legislation has been welcomed by the RSPCA, which says it has long campaigned for a ban on keeping and selling primates as pets. The welfare charity believes that it is ‘practically impossible’ to fulfil a monkey’s needs at home.

The charity reports that its welfare officers have often encountered situations where monkeys have been kept in inappropriate conditions in private homes. It says that this legislation, which formed part of the Conservative Party’s manifesto, has the potential to improve the wellbeing of primates.

However, while the RSPCA has welcomed the newly passed legislation, it has expressed concerns for the welfare of pet primates that are currently kept in homes ahead of the law being enacted.

Dr Ros Clubb, RSPCA’s head of wildlife, said: “While this new law is an important step forward, we need a clear plan from the UK government about the potentially thousands of pet monkeys living in households across England.

“We need ministers to clearly set out how the welfare needs of these monkeys will be met once the new law comes into force.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

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News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.