The cruel and dangerous trade in primates as pets brings misery to thousands of animals in the United States. To combat this problem, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced the Captive Primate Safety Act (CPSA; HR 3135/S 1588). Nonhuman primates are highly intelligent wild animals with complex social structures whose basic needs cannot be met when kept as pets. They can also injure or spread disease to the people around them.
This legislation would ban private possession of nonhuman primates. It is narrowly focused on primates kept as pets and exempts zoos, research labs, and sanctuaries. Current owners would be grandfathered in and would need to register their animals to ensure that first responders and animal control officers are aware of the presence of wild animals in their communities. The bill also restricts direct contact between the public and primates.