A POPULAR attraction centre in Dorset has helped spearhead new Governmental legislation to ban the sale and trade of primates.

Monkey World near Bovington has been working with the Government to bring in the new Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which was introduced in Parliament this week.

The Bill bans the sale and trade of primates in the UK, and introduces legislation to protect monkeys currently being kept as pets.

Director of Monkey World, Dr Alison Cronin said: "The primate pet trade is out of control with monkeys kept in tiny bird cages, in solitary confinement, in sitting rooms around the country.

"Monkey World has been picking up the pieces by rescuing unwanted pets, assisting police with confiscations, and testifying in cruelty cases where pet monkeys have been abused or neglected in this selfish trade.

"We’re proud to have worked with this government to instigate a ban on keeping primates as pets and delighted to see them protected with the announcement of the Animal Welfare Bill."

To date, Monkey World has rescued 123 primates from the pet trade in the UK, and the trade has expanded rapidly in recent years, leaving the centre with a waiting list of more than 150 monkeys waiting for a home.