WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate last night passed legislation authored by U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., that will ban the transportation of captive primates across state lines for pet trade. The measure is designed to address the serious health and safety risks posed when nonhuman primates are kept as pets. Jeffords said the legislation is needed because primates have become increasingly popular as private pets, with an estimated 15,000 in the U.S. alone. The Humane Society of the United States is a strong proponent of the bill. These primates, which include apes, old world monkeys, new world monkeys and prosimians, often carry and can transmit diseases including Herpes B, monkeypox, tuberculosis, yellow fever and the Ebola virus. “Unfortunately, too many people see these primates as cute house pets without considering the hazards they pose,” Jeffords said. “This legislation is needed to help federal agencies control and monitor these species within our borders.” S. 1509, the “Captive Primate Safety Act,” amends the Lacey Act by adding monkeys, apes and other nonhuman primates to the list of animals that cannot be transported across state lines for the pet trade. It has no impact on the trade or transportation of animals for zoos, research facilities or other federally licensed and regulated entities. The bill, which is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators, will now go to the House for consideration.