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PRIMATES, MONKEYS AND SIMILAR SPECIES AS PETS


This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Primates, monkeys and similar species are not suitable pets for the average person to keep. They have specialist requirements, and are a potential health hazard.

If you look at this photograph of a small, appealing animal :

(a squirrel monkey) 

you would be forgiven for thinking

that they would  make good pets BUT .....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

appearances can be deceptive ! 

What you can't see on the photograph sequence is a finger just out of shot !!

In general, primates, monkeys and other similar species are not good animals to choose as pets. There are several reasons why Provet does not recommend them to be kept in the average household :

  • They are wild animals that should be left in the wild
  • They do not fit in well with human households - eg they are not easy to housetrain
  • Their behaviour is unpredictable
  • They can be aggressive and even dangerous
  • Primates share infectious diseases (called zoonoses) with humans so two-way transmission is possible
  • Primates carry some very serious diseases which can affect humans

Primates, monkeys and similar species  should only be kept in specialist facilities by people who are trained, qualified and licensed to look after them.

Primates are our nearest evolutionary relatives on Earth, and so it is not surprising that humans are highly susceptible to infectious diseases that they may carry, and they are also susceptible to many infectious diseases that we may contract. So the potential for zoonotic spread of infection is very serious.

Anyone handling primates should be very wary. Hopefully the source of the animal will be known. They should be kept in isolation for a period to allow any disease that they might be carrying to show signs. Assume that they are infectious and barrier handle them using protective gloves and other clothing.

 

 

 

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