Shutterstock ban ‘unnatural’ photographs of primates
January 2, 2018
Shutterstock will no longer use unnatural images of apes and monkeys after pressure from animal rights group PETA.
These images include photographs of primates wearing clothing and accessories or exhibiting trained behaviour, like dancing.
The world’s largest subscription-based stock photography agency will remove all existing images from Shutterstock and its subsidiary Bigstock.
In an article commenting on the announcement, a PETA spokesperson said: “Monkeys and apes used for photo shoots and other forms of entertainment are typically very young and deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, including contact with their mothers.
“Images of these animals in unnatural settings can harm conservation efforts and may increase the demand for these wild animals as ‘pets.'”
Shutterstock agreed to ban all images of monkeys or apes where they are in clothing, have been placed in a human environment or are showing unnatural interactions with humans like holding hands. Alongside this, images of them showing trained behaviour, like dancing or performing, will also be banned.
The ban also extends to images which have been digitally altered to depict the primates in any of these situations.
However, images of monkeys and apes in zoos or in natural city habitats will still be allowed.
What do you think of the ban? Is it great news for conservation? Should photography be banned in this way? Let us know in the comments below what you think.