Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The primate pet trade

Reading these blogs I have to admit I've been surprised and saddened week after week - that "dancing" bears haven't disappeared from the streets, that foxes are still being hunted, that it's still legal to shoot lions for "sport"... I also find it difficult to understand in the twenty-first century that there's no outright ban on keeping monkeys as pets in the UK. The UK government agrees it's inappropriate to keep a primate as a pet so perhaps after the election we should write to our MPs. It would be a start, but of course it's a highly lucrative, global, trade.

For now, animal welfare agencies in the UK have worked hard to establish a primate code of conduct but that's all it is, a code. The hotelkeepers in my story who have a monkey in the garden were just ignorant but even people who love their pets don't always bother to find out what the animals' real needs are. The real needs of a capuchin are to live in trees with others of their kind.

Further, if taken too early from their mothers, whether in the wild or captive born, the infants demonstrate needy behaviour that makes some humans want to treat them as babies. This is Jessy from the US, adopted by a couple suffering from empty nest syndrome.

Jessy, seven weeks old when they got her, stayed latched on to her adopter's arm 24 hours a day for the first six months, and for months after that had panic attacks every time the adopter left the room. There was a bit of a problem when Jessy started to nip at the adopters but they sorted that one out by having her teeth removed.

There are apparently around 15,000 like Jessy, some with a wardrobe of clothes, their own bedroom and sitting up at the table to eat. Some people argue that these animals are lucky to be leading such a pampered life but Ben and Emma in my story certainly didn't see this as an alternative for Pepito, the monkey in the garden who they were clear needed to be with others of his kind, and in trees.

We need something lighter tomorrow so a bit about monkey symbolism.

(And thanks today to Graham Bailey for permission to use his photos taken in Ecuador, more at


  1. What is wrong with these people? Would they have all their child's teeth removed if it bit? How could they do this to a 'child substitute'? I think these people need to see councellors. If that doesn't work then perhaps the only option would be to have a lobotomy procedure. It would be for the best in the long run, they'd feel calmer. A bit extreme perhaps but it makes me so angry!

  2. Yeah, bit extreme, and I'm sort of against lobotomy as well! but I can see why it makes you angry. The trend of primate keeping is a problem for Born Free USA as well because so many are abandoned when they reach puberty and become difficult to control that there aren't enough places in sanctuaries for them.

  3. Hi Gail,
    I thought I must clear up my comments! I meant a lobotomy for the adopters NOT the monkey...just my quirky wry sense of humour!