ASP Resolution Regarding Conservation of Wild Primate Populations

On September 10, 1993, the ASP Board of Directors approved a resolution outlining the Society's position on the conservation of wild primate populations. The text of the resolution follows:

WHEREAS, many wild populations of nonhuman primates are declining due to habitat loss associated with increasing human demands for agricultural land and forest products; and

WHEREAS, eradication of primates as agricultural pests and hunting of primates for food are also contributing to the decline of wild primate populations; and

WHEREAS, careless capture of nonhuman primates can threaten the viability of natural populations and result in unnecessary suffering, mortality, and wastage; and

WHEREAS, the United States is the world's largest importer of nonhuman primates for scientific use and is a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES); and

WHEREAS, the scientific study of nonhuman primates contributes to advances in human and veterinary medicine and yields information that is essential to the conservation of wild primate populations; and

WHEREAS, all primate species are listed in Appendix I or Appendix II of the Convention and the Convention recognizes that trade in species threatened with extinction should be regulated; and

WHEREAS, many of the primate species most often involved in scientific research and testing in the United States are available from sources other than wild populations within the natural ranges of these species,

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PRIMATOLOGISTS RESOLVES:

To encourage actions that provide for appropriate scientific access to nonhuman primates while ensuring that importation of primates into the United States does not contribute to the decline of natural primate populations;

To support limitation of importation of nonhuman primates to those that are humanely obtained through purpose breeding or, when necessary, capture in accordance with good wildlife management practices;

To recognize that the availability of purpose-bred primates can never fully replace the need for scientific access to the full-range of primates from wild populations and that prediction of which primate populations may yield critically important information is not possible;

To respect the rights of primate habitat countries to decide for themselves, within the terms of the Convention (to which we are all Parties), whether or not to make nonhuman primates available for export;

To seek means of promoting the health and well-being of primates during all phases of trade from capture through quarantine; and

To recognize the continuing need for objective and reliable population data on wild primate populations.

This resolution does not imply endorsement by the American Society of Primatologists of any specific legislation or other activity, and may not be represented by anyone as such an endorsement
(Approved by the ASP Board of Directors 9/10/93).