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Monkey World is continuing to appeal for signatures on their petition against the UK primate pet trade, after a marmoset owner pleaded guilty of four counts of neglect at Plymouth Magistrates Court.
On October 26th 2011, Monkey World was called by the RSPCA to check on the welfare of two young marmosets that were being kept as pets in Plymouth.
Dr Alison Cronin MBE, Director of Monkey World, went to the house to find Tya, a six-month-old female, and Rattler, a one-year-old male, running loose across a short branch tied to the curtain rail in the sitting room.
The youngsters did not have a cage, but were left loose in the sitting room. They were living in filthy and dangerous conditions and did not have an accessible water supply, appropriate food or vitamins. Both marmosets should have been living with their family groups but Tya, in particular, should have still been suckling and being carried a lot of the time by her mother and father.
Rattler and Tya were seized and brought back to Monkey World for intensive care. Sadly both marmosets showed the early signs of rickets, a condition where their bones bend and break as a result of inappropriate diet and living conditions.
Rattler's tail is bent in two places and Tya seems to have some stiffness in her hips and legs.
For many years, Monkey World has been rescuing monkeys from the growing legal trade in keeping primates as pets in Britain. This year alone, the centre has rescued 10 marmosets from private homes and a UK pet shop.
"Monkey World is 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," says Dr Alison Cronin MBE.
"Sadly most of these primates are kept by unqualified people who do not know what the needs of their monkeys are. I believe in the case of Rattler and Tya, the owner was incapable of giving two such tiny, young marmosets the specialist care that they needed and deserved. We are very pleased that he has pleaded guilty to the charges of neglect, but remain concerned and saddened that the law allows this trade to continue in Britain today."
Rattler and Tya are now being given specialist care and have even been adopted by one of Monkey World's adult female common marmosets, Gabi. She is now teaching them to feed, communicate and socialise. They are lucky to have been rescued, but there are many more primates in this country being inappropriately kept as pets.
To sign the petition against the UK primates pet trade please download a copy at www.monkeyworld.org/primates-as-pets-petition, visit the rescue centre in Wareham, or call 01929 462537 for details.