Blumenauer, Fitzpatrick Introduce Captive Primate Safety Act

July 31, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-08) introduced the Captive Primate Safety Act (CPSA) of 2013. The CPSA would add nonhuman primates to the list of animals that cannot be purchased or transported across state lines by individuals for use as pets.

This legislation, which passed the House of Representatives in 2009 with strong bipartisan support, protects public health and safety by prohibiting the interstate commerce in primates for pets. Twenty-five states have banned or significantly restricted the ownership of primates as pets, and CPSA complements these existing state laws.

“Allowing primates to be held as pets for individuals can result in nothing but tragedy,” said Blumenauer. “Time and again we have seen that it is dangerous and unhealthy for both humans and captive primates and is cruel to the animals.”

While most incidents go unreported, records show that scores of children are among the more than 275 people injured by captive primates in 43 states since 1990. Law enforcement agencies expend countless hours and resources addressing the escapes, attacks, and cruelty cases that inevitably arise when these wild animals are kept as pets. Along with the risk of attack, primates can carry life-threatening diseases. The importation of nonhuman primates into the U.S. for the pet trade has been prohibited by Federal health regulations since 1975. Still, these animals are bred in the U.S. and are readily available for purchase from exotic animal dealers and over the Internet. 

“In the 21st Century, there is no place for keeping primates as pets,” continued Blumenauer. “This legislation will protect our families, and ensure the humane treatment of these animals. We will continue to gather support for this bill and educate as many members as we can until it passes and this unacceptable practice is ended.”