Woman sentenced for flushing marmoset down the toilet in Wales

Person gives a little piece of a banana to a small monkey
Marmoset eating a banana, photo: Norberto Marques via Canva

A woman from Wales has been banned from keeping animals for life after shocking video footage on her phone showed a marmoset being flushed down the toilet and the terrified animal being offered cocaine.

The 38-year-old woman pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act violations and was sentenced by a Newport court on Friday.

“Videos from the defendant’s phone showed Holland [Vicki Holland, the defendant] offering the marmoset cocaine, while another showed the clearly terrified marmoset down a toilet bowl,” RSPCA inspector and exotics officer Sophie Daniels said.

“Holland was shouting, swearing, laughing and at one point in the clip, the toilet is flushed, showing the petrified animal struggling to cling onto the side of the bowl,” Daniels added. The Mirror reports that the woman is a mom of four children and had been convicted before for selling cocaine.

Besides the ban for life, she was also sentenced to a 12-week suspended jail term, which means she will go to prison if she commits a crime again within a year.

The monkey’s abuse was brought to the attention of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) when police discovered many disturbing videos on the woman’s phone.

When the police and the RSPCA went to look for the marmoset, the woman said she had sold the animal. The marmoset was found at another address and placed under the care of the RSPCA.

The marmoset was taken to Monkey World, an ape rescue center in Dorset, for ongoing and appropriate care. “Thankfully, this monkey is now getting the care they deserve after such shocking mistreatment,” Daniels said.

Most marmosets are about 20 centimeters (8 inches) long, and the most common primates kept as pets, but many people don’t know how to care for the animals properly.

“Sadly, our inspectors see monkeys cooped up in birdcages, fed fast food and sugary drinks, deprived of friends of their own kind and suffering from disease as a result of poor care,” RSPCA senior scientific manager Ros Clubb said.

“We fear many are suffering behind closed doors because people do not know how to look after these animals properly,” Clubb added.

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