Stop Illegal Pet Trade in Endangered Monkeys


Target: Chen Jining, Administrator of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection

Goal: End the illegal selling of endangered monkeys as exotic pets.

Pet stores in China have been illegally selling tiny endangered monkeys for up to $4,500 to people looking for a cute and exotic pet, a trend that is highly dangerous to the monkeys as they are not meant to live in captivity and are taken away from their native home in the process. 2016 is the Chinese year of the Monkey, and as such it has marked a dramatic increase in the exotic pet trade of the pygmy marmoset. Pygmy marmosets are the world’s smallest monkeys, weighing less than five ounces and often nicknamed “thumb monkeys,” as they are approximately the size of a human thumb. Their diminutive size makes them especially appealing to pet owners, but also means that they are very fragile; they rarely survive long away from the wild.

The pygmy marmoset’s natural habitat is the Amazon rain forest, where they are highly endangered. Transporting them from their home is a stressful process for the delicate monkeys, and those that survive being captured only suffer further problems once they are sold into private homes. A recent study shows that over 70 percent of exotic pets die within six weeks at wholesalers, and pygmy marmosets fare no better in the possession of their owners. They require special care and attention that only wildlife experts would be able to provide, and are a social species that is meant to live in stable family groups. Isolating them as pets is unnatural for the monkeys, and as an endangered species it is important that they breed in order to keep from dying out.

The exotic pet trade is illegal and extremely harmful to endangered species like the pygmy marmoset. The trend of selling these animals as stylish pets in China must be stopped. Sign the petition below to demand that all pet stores selling these monkeys cease immediately, and urge the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection to devote more time and attention towards stopping the illegal pet trade.


Dear Minister Jining,

Pet stores in China have been selling endangered monkeys for up to $4,500 to people looking for exotic pets, and this dangerous trend must be stopped. Pygmy marmosets are the world’s smallest monkeys, and they are endangered in their natural habitat in the Amazon rain forest. Few survive the capturing and transportation process, and once they arrive in China a majority die within weeks at the pet stores. The exotic pet trade is highly illegal and extremely dangerous to a species like the pygmy marmoset that is already on the verge of dying out.

Pygmy marmosets are not meant to live in captivity, and require special care and attention that only wildlife experts would be able to provide. Separating them from their natural habitat where they live in family groups is harmful to them; they are not meant to live in isolation, and require a large amount of space that cannot be provided in a private home. Furthermore, they need to breed in order to keep the species from dying out.

I am urging you to enforce the law and put an end to pet stores that sell pygmy marmosets. Please take action to ensure that stronger measures are taken against the illegal pet trade, and keep this endangered species from dying out.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: kennysarmy

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  1. Jaime Perez says:

    Why does man have to have things that don’t belong to him? These innocent little monkeys should be left in the wild where they belong. People can be so heartless and stupid.

  2. Lajeanne Leveton says:

    China has very poor animal abuse laws. Cats and dogs are routinely eaten, and many are boiled alive because of the old folk belief that PAIN makes the meat taste better.
    WHY NOT encourage people to have cats and dogs as pets, instead of, as they are doing now, randomly taking away peoples’ pets and killing them?WHILE at the same time allowing an endangered creature like these monkeys to be sold as a pet?

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