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HomeeCOMMERCEAdvanced ShippingCruel couple are handed animal ban after their pet marmoset named Precious...

Cruel couple are handed animal ban after their pet marmoset named Precious was found ‘screaming’ in pain and ‘unable to walk’ from being fed the wrong food

A marmoset found screaming and unable to walk in Wales has been put down by the RSPCA after its owners failed to look after the monkey properly.

Jonathan Phillips, 54, and Laura Pittman, 52, have been handed a 10 year pet ban after the animal – named Precious – was found with a severe metabolic bone disease. 

Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court heard that the couple fed the white faced marmoset the wrong type of food and did not have space in their home Brynhyfryd Terrace in Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf, to look after the creature.

The helpless animal had been given no vitamin supplements or UV light to maintain bone health, causing it pain.  

When Gemma Cooper, deputy chief inspector for the RSPCA, was called to the home, she saw Precious ‘screaming and rolling around in a chaotic manner and unable to walk’, the court heard.

Heartbreaking video footage shows the pet dragging herself over towels unable to stand up, while it cries out in pain. 

A report written by a vet said the animal was ‘dragging herself’ and ‘unable to climb or leap’. 

Jonathan Phillips, 54, and Laura Pittman, 52, have been handed a 10 year pet ban after the animal - named Precious - was found with a severe metabolic bone disease

Jonathan Phillips, 54, and Laura Pittman, 52, have been handed a 10 year pet ban after the animal – named Precious – was found with a severe metabolic bone disease

Radiographs of the monkey showed it had developed a bone disease which occurs when the animal becomes deficient in calcium or vitamin D3

Radiographs of the monkey showed it had developed a bone disease which occurs when the animal becomes deficient in calcium or vitamin D3

Radiographs of the monkey showed it had developed a bone disease which occurs when the animal becomes deficient in calcium or vitamin D3, the BBC reported. 

Instead of living off a diet full of ‘live insects, fresh fruit and vegetables and gum arabic’  was fed a variety of ordinary household food including yoghurt and dried fruit not suitable for her breed.

Phillips and Pittman were handed a 12-month community order with a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement. 

The pair were fined £350 each and were ordered to pay a victim surcharge. Pittman paid £965.21 in costs while Phillips paid £966.71.

Speaking after the sentence, Ms Cooper said: ‘This is a really sad story of a people buying an exotic animal on a whim and not knowing how to meet their needs.

‘In their interview the defendants admitted they had not carried out any research before buying her and had been feeding her the wrong diet.’

The RSPCA estimates there are between 4,000 and 5,000 marmosets, capuchins, squirrel monkeys and other primates in UK homes. Pictured: A common Marmoset

The RSPCA estimates there are between 4,000 and 5,000 marmosets, capuchins, squirrel monkeys and other primates in UK homes. Pictured: A common Marmoset

The trend for keeping monkeys as pets in recent years has been blamed on celebrity monkey enthusiasts including Justin Bieber, whose pet Capuchin monkey OG Mally was confiscated from him in Germany in 2013 by customs officials

The trend for keeping monkeys as pets in recent years has been blamed on celebrity monkey enthusiasts including Justin Bieber, whose pet Capuchin monkey OG Mally was confiscated from him in Germany in 2013 by customs officials

RSPCA’s head of wildlife, Dr Ros Clubb, added: ‘This is a heartbreaking case and Precious will undoubtedly have suffered horribly.

‘Sadly we fear there are many more marmosets like Precious suffering behind closed doors because people do not know how to look after these animals properly and, as well as causing suffering to the animals, the owners risk falling foul of the law.

‘That is why we, and other charities, are so concerned about the situation and wish to see the keeping and trade of primates as pets come to an end.

‘Because of the specific needs of these animals their level of suffering can be extreme.

‘As well as dietary and environmental needs, primates are highly social animals and they have extremely complex behavioural and social needs – but sadly in many cases they are being kept alone.

‘They are wild animals that do not belong in people’s homes.’

Earlier this year monkeys were banned as pets in the UK after the charity reported finding widespread abuse – including incidents of them being given Class A drugs.

Under new laws, owners will have to prove they can keep monkeys and primates to high ‘zoo-level standards’ and will require a licence. 

It comes after the RSPCA estimated there are between 4,000 and 5,000 marmosets, capuchins, squirrel monkeys and other primates in UK homes.

They say it is inappropriate for primates to be kept as pets because they experience complex emotions, form relationships and suffer when alone, which is most often the case when in a domestic setting. 

The trend for keeping monkeys as pets in recent years has been blamed on celebrity monkey enthusiasts including Justin Bieber, whose pet Capuchin monkey OG Mally was confiscated from him in Germany in 2013 by customs officials. 

 

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