Animal Studies Journal

Abstract

Reputable animal sanctuaries have existed for decades, yet it is only in more recent years that their work has been validated by the oversight of accreditation bodies and sanctuary coalitions. Through these relationships, sanctuaries are able to differentiate themselves from roadside zoos and private owners. Sanctuaries exist solely to provide enriched lifetime care to animals retired or rescued from exploitation or mistreatment, and thus their missions and facility management differ greatly from those of zoos, farms, circuses and other for-profit, entertainment, research and educational institutions. Primate sanctuaries specifically are more in demand than ever before due to the mass exodus of chimpanzees from laboratories and an increase in demand to retire research monkeys, in addition to a heightened public scrutiny of the ways that all nonhuman primate species are utilized by the entertainment, exotic pet trade and biomedical research industries. The sanctuary community has great resources, such as experience and expertise, yet placement efforts can be limited by finances. Requests to provide sanctuary to primates are at an all-time high. Effective collaboration (including financial support) between owners seeking placement of their animals and those able to accept primates into retirement is necessary to ensure the continued services of the sanctuary community. Instead of owners scrambling to procure minimal funding at the time retirement is required, proactive financial planning should begin years ahead of the intended placement. In instances involving the commercialized and industrialized use of primates, such as in laboratory settings (where the highest demand for sanctuary currently originates), this can be accomplished with the inclusion of retirement funding in research grant proposals and strategic plans. Such forethought is the only way to ensure that primate sanctuaries will remain available for the primate retirements that inevitably await in the future.