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Ellmers Introduces Humane Care for Primates ActNovember 20 2013
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) released the following statement this afternoon following the introduction of the Humane Care for Primates Act.
"Today I introduced the Humane Care for Primates Act. This bill will require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a rule allowing the importation of Non-Human Primates for the purpose of placement in certified sanctuaries. The legislation is zero-cost and merely allows the private sector the opportunity to import primates under strict guidelines and provide them the humane care they would not receive otherwise. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this bill in the House."
This afternoon, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers introduced a new bill titled "The Humane Care for Primates Act of 2013." This legislation would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a rule allowing the importation of Non-Human Primates for the purpose of placement in certified sanctuaries. The bill also includes high standards for the certification of primate sanctuaries to ensure this is not used as a loophole to import NHPs for other purposes. This legislation is narrowly-tailored and should not cost the taxpayer anything. Currently, institutions importing NHPs cover most of the cost of the quarantine process.
While the number of primates that enter the U.S. under this new rule will likely be small, it will truly make a difference for each individual animal. For instance, in 2011, a rescue center in Amman, Jordan requested that a U.S. sanctuary import and provide permanent refuge for three vervet monkeys and nine baboons confiscated from severely inhumane circumstances in zoos and private possession. That same year, another rescue center in Kenya requested that a U.S. sanctuary take in a yellow baboon who was kept as a pet for two years and was facing impending euthanasia. Despite being fully equipped to accept and care for these primates for the rest of their lives, as well as the ability to assist a foreign sanctuary in need, the current regulation forced the U.S. facilities to deny these requests.
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