Caged Primates Gone Astray

Why Congressional staffers should disable "reply all":

Really Reply All Is Bad

Mathews is the LD for Congressman Brad Sherman. It's not blogging about your sex life, but it won't get him a book deal, either.

Full exchange after the jump.

From: Mathews, Jim 
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:36 PM
To: Gokcigdem, Murat; Dear Colleague
Subject: RE: Dear Colleague; Environment; Animal Rights; Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 1329


Does this deal with those kids out in Ohio(?) who were being kept in cages?



From: Gokcigdem, Murat 
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 12:25 PM
To: Dear Colleague
Subject: Dear Colleague; Environment; Animal Rights; Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 1329



H.R. 1329

The following is a list of groups who endorse H.R. 1329:

The Humane Society of the U.S., Born Free USA,  American Zoo and Aquarium Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Earth, Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, and the Association of Sanctuaries


Current co-sponsors: Reps. Andrews (NJ), Bass (NH), Blumenauer (OR), Boswell, (IA), Brown (OH), Capps (CA), Everett (AL), DeFazio (OR), Farr (CA), Frank (MA), Nadler (NY), Grijalva (AZ), Honda (CA), Johnson (CT), Kennedy, Patrick (RI), Kildee (MI), Lee (CA), Payne (NJ), Maloney (NY), Menendez (NJ), (NY), McDermott (WA), McNulty (NY), Miller (CA), Moran (VA), Rangel (NY), Ross (AR), Schakowsky (IL), Serrano (NY), Stark (CA), Van Hollen (MD), Woolsey (CA), Wu (OR)


September 15, 2005



Dear Colleague:


We are writing to request that you cosponsor the Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 1329, bipartisan legislation to prohibit interstate commerce of non-human primates for the pet trade.  



H.R. 1329 does not apply to:


*          A person licensed and inspected by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection

Service or any other federal agency with respect to primates, meaning any of the 7,485 facilities (13,820 sites)

licensed or registered by the USDA under the Animal Welfare Act. This includes zoos and other exhibitors,

research facilities, breeders, and dealers.


*          State colleges and universities


*          State agencies


*          State-licensed wildlife rehabilitators


*          State-licensed veterinarians


*          Accredited tax-exempt wildlife sanctuaries (sanctuaries may not breed or

commercially trade the animals, or allow direct contact between the public and animals)


*          Someone transporting the animal to a person meeting one of these criteria.



Nonhuman primates in our homes and communities pose serious risks to public health and safety.  The recent attack of a California man by chimpanzees who escaped their confinement is only the latest example of how dangerous these animals can be.


Not only can they cause serious injury, nonhuman primates can spread potentially life-threatening illnesses.  In fact, federal regulations since 1975 have forbidden the import of monkeys and other nonhuman primates as pets because of CDC concerns about diseases such as monkeypox, yellow fever, Marburg/Ebola disease, tuberculosis, and other diseases not yet known or recognized.


Nevertheless, there is still a vigorous trade in these animals -- with as many as 15,000 primates held in private hands across America according some estimates -- and state laws that seek to regulate primates as pets are undermined by the interstate commerce of these animals.  That is why we believe federal legislation is needed to better support safety regulations of the CDC and the states.


Our bill, H.R. 1329, amends the Lacey Act to prohibit transporting monkeys, great apes (including chimpanzees and orangutans), marmosets, lemurs, and other nonhuman primates across state lines for the pet trade, much like the Captive Wildlife Safety Act - which passed unanimously in 2003 - did for tigers and other big cats. 


H.R. 1329 is narrowly crafted to get at the heart of the dangerous problem of keeping primates as pets. It has no impact on trade or transportation of animals for federally licensed facilities, universities, or accredited wildlife sanctuaries.  It will not affect zoos or research facilities.


As you know, Federal licenses or registration are required for all commercial activity (breeders/dealers, research institutions, exhibitors, and transporters).  Since H.R. 1329 does not apply to federally licensed facilities, all commercial activity is exempt.  The prohibitions in the Act only apply in other situations, that is, in the pet trade.


This common sense bill will protect humans, and it will protect the animals. We have attached the text of the resolution for your review.  If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor this resolution, please contact one of us or have your staff contact Murat Gokcigdem (Rep. Johnson) ( at 5x8885 or Lise Lynam ( (Rep. Simmons) at 5x2076.




 __________________                                                ­_________________

Eddie Bernice Johnson                                              Rob Simmons

Member of Congress                                                 Member of Congress




Murat Gokcigdem

Chief of Staff/Legislative Director

Office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

1511 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515


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