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Primates in Entertainment

PCWS is concerned about the use of non-human primates in entertainment. Like all monkeys and apes used in entertainment, primates used in advertisements, both in print media and in television, are taken from their mothers in infancy, and forced to perform unnatural behaviors and tricks, often through intimidating and abusive means. As they approach adulthood, monkeys and apes become too strong and too difficult to control. Their "careers" end at a very early age, and they spend the rest of their lives caged, often in social isolation. They cannot be sent to zoos because they simply do not know how to function normally in their species' society. Some are sent to biomedical research laboratories, some sold into the exotic pet trade, and others are used as breeders to produce a new crop of infants to be used in entertainment and advertising. It is a cruel cycle that we feel must be stopped.

The use of non-human primates in entertainment or advertising is completely unneccessary. We can think of no product for human use and consumption, nor any television program outside documentary films, that is inextricably linked to monkeys or apes. What does a chimpanzee have to do with long distance? What does a monkey have to do with nacho chips or stereo equipment? Advertisers can find other means to promote products without exploiting non-human primates. Television producers can hire human actors to play parts. In addition, modern computer animation technology and the tremendous amount of file footage of monkeys and apes in the wild has made the use of live animals in entertainment obsolete. If advertisers feel they must use non-human primates, they should at least avoid using live animals and utilize computer animation and already-available images. However, PCWS fully objects to any image of a primate dressed in human clothing or performing unnatural behaviors (e.g. smoking, riding a bicycle) whether it was generated on a computer or not.

PCWS asks you to join us in protesting and monitoring the use of non-human primates in advertising. We will list contact addresses for companies who are currently using non-human primates in their advertising, and we ask that you write letters opposing their use of primates, and avoid buying these products until the ads are pulled from the media. We also ask that if you have seen a recent advertisement using non-human primates for a product or a program using a primate as an "animal actor" that is not included in our list of current campaigns (see below) please email us with the name of the product or company, country in which the advertisement or program was seen, and a brief description of the ad.

We have prepared a Primates in Entertainment Fact Sheet (PDF format). Please use the following links to access more information on specific animal trainers, and to learn more about the various campaigns that PCWS has been involved in: