Monkey Business

Measures have been signed into law this week to ban the keeping of primates as pets.

The new regulations bring in a licensing scheme setting strict rules to ensure that only private keepers who meet new welfare and licensing standards will be able to keep primates, delivering on a government manifesto commitment and Action Plan for Animal Welfare pledge to provide greater legal protection for pet primates.

The measures come into force on 6 April 2025, when all primates in England will need to be kept to these zoo-level standards, in effect banning the practice of keeping primates as pets.

It is estimated that up to 5,000 primates are currently kept in domestic settings as pets in the UK. These wild animals have complex welfare and social needs and, according to most experts, cannot be adequately cared for in these environments. The new measures will improve the welfare of potentially thousands of these intelligent animals.


Penalties for non-compliance

There are two potential offences to be considered under The Animal Welfare Act 2006.

In addition, the new regulations create an offence of not complying with a licence condition which carries a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine.


How can we help?

We ensure we are up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we can give our clients the best possible advice. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your criminal case with us, please contact Tarsem Salhan on 0121 605 6000 or at