Pet trade:

Welfare in rescue centers

Welfare in rescue centers

When laws against the keeping of macaques are enforced, or the monkeys are given up voluntarily by their owners, options for their future are limited.  Release into the wild is sometimes a possibility but can also be a poor solution that causes more problems than it solves (see release of ex-pets).  Euthanasia may be culturally unacceptable, and also can raise issues when a species of conservation concern is involved.  For these reasons, surrendered macaques are often sent to rescue centers.  

 

Rescue centers that house primates may be run by governments, local or international NGOs, or privately. There is a great variety in the quality of care that animals receive in such facilities; they may be run by highly qualified and experienced professionals, or by poorly trained and unmotivated staff with high levels of turnaround. There may be licensing or minimum welfare regulations that must be adhered to.  Resident macaques may or may not receive adequate veterinary care.  Enclosures may or may not be suitable for long-term residents.  

 

In many places, rescue centers are overrun with macaques and unable to take in more.  This problem can be exacerbated by the birth of further macaques within the centers; rescued individuals are housed in groups without contraceptive measures in place.  Expansion of a rescue center’s capacity depends on access to resources, yet cannot solve overcrowding issues unless the flow of macaques headed into the centers is stemmed.  

 

When rescue centers are full, and can neither take no more macaques in, nor provide them with an adequate quality of life, the enforcement of laws prohibiting the keeping of macaques becomes more difficult. The public may be hesitant to report pet keeping to the authorities (or to hand over their pets themselves)  if the conditions in the rescue centers are poorer than those in people’s homes, regardless of the law.  This can lead to meaningless legislation, to the continuation of the trade in pet macaques, and to the inappropriate release of pet macaques by either owners or the authorities.   

 

Pet Trade:

 

Mitigating welfare issues in rescue centers

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