Featured: Sue Ellen from Fauna Foundation | Photo by: NJ Wight

Advance and Advocate


The mission of NAPSA is to unite the primate sanctuary community, build capacity to provide sanctuary for captive nonhuman primates, and advocate to eliminate primate exploitation. We are constantly evaluating how our member primate sanctuaries can use the unified voice of NAPSA to speak out and initiate change.

Our advocacy work involves the regular release of Position Statements and Educational Resources, as well as official responses to harmful depictions of primates in the media. Primate welfare begins with educating the public.

NAPSA’s Advocacy Position Statements

As part of our advocacy program, NAPSA develops Position Statements on topics central to primate welfare. Additional Position Statements will be added over time. These documents are free for public use.

NAPSA does not currently offer position statements on the topics of laboratory research or zoos. Our members do not necessarily have a unified stance on these topics and may have close ties to many people involved in these fields and/or may be actively working in a collaborative fashion with these industries in order to retire primates.

  • Private Ownership of Primates: The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) is opposed to the private ownership of primates. Read entire Position Statement.
  • Performing Primates: The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) is opposed to the use of primates for entertainment. Read entire Position Statement.
  • Monkey Rodeos: The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) is opposed to monkey rodeo shows. Read entire Position Statement.
  • Service Monkeys: The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) is opposed to the use of monkeys as service animals. Read entire Position Statement.
  • Funding for Retired Primates: The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) strongly supports a system that establishes funding from research institutions, at the time a research proposal is developed, that directly contributes towards the construction of sanctuary housing and lifetime care of nonhuman primates retired from scientific research facilities. Read entire Position Statement.

NAPSA’s Educational Resources

Also part of our advocacy program, NAPSA’s Educational Resources are the result of our collective expertise. It is our hope that these documents will encourage advanced primate welfare. These documents are free for public use.

  • Funding for Chimpanzee Retirement: Successful chimpanzee rescue goes well beyond advocacy work, and must include careful consideration of sanctuary capacity, needs, and funding. With ongoing collaboration involving advocacy organizations, funding foundations, and accredited sanctuaries, responsible chimpanzee placement is possible. Read entire Educational Resource.
  • How to Start a Sanctuary: NAPSA and its member sanctuaries are approached often by people seeking advice on how to start their own sanctuary. Although there is no precise formula for the successful founding and maintenance of a sanctuary, there are important things to keep in mind. Read entire Educational Resource.
  • How to Transition to a Sanctuary: Animal care facilities may wish to become sanctuaries but can be overwhelmed with the necessary changes, and aren’t sure what steps to take. Transitioning to a true sanctuary is better for the animals and also better for gaining public support. Here are some ways to begin making the shift: Read entire Educational Resource.
  • Primate Introductions: Despite conflict arising during social upheavals, all primates in captivity benefit from some social contact with others of their species. The welfare benefits of having many social partners almost always outweighs the risks of aggression. Read entire Educational Resource.
  • The Use of Posed Primates on Greeting Cards: Historically, goofy images of trained apes and monkeys have been popular subjects of greeting cards, often wearing clothing or partaking in human activities. Although this practice is waning, a variety of such cards remain available in stores. Have you been dismayed to receive such a card from a well-meaning friend? Share this information below to help spread the word about the facts behind the images on the card. Read entire Educational Resource.
  • True Sanctuaries vs. Pseudo Sanctuaries: NAPSA is dedicated to educating the public about characteristics of reputable sanctuaries, as well as attributes of facilities that should be avoided. Read entire Educational Resource.

NAPSA Responds

As experts in primate welfare, NAPSA is compelled to contact celebrities, publications and other organizations who may interact with or depict primates in an exploitive manner. It is important that NAPSA actively work to end harmful depictions of primates in the media, as this has a direct link to the opinions formed by the public regarding primate conservation and the species’ suitability as privately owned “pets.”


You can help NAPSA continue its important work strengthening its member sanctuaries and advocating for primate retirement.

Media Inquiries

Amanda Gray
NAPSA Program Director