A man has been banned from keeping animals after his pet monkey was found locked in a cage inhaling cannabis smoke.
Joe Forrestal, 23, of Priory Park Road, Brent , kept his marmoset in "heartbreaking" conditions - alone in a metal cage, being fed the wrong food - and reeking of the Class B drug.
Concerns were raised about the welfare of the cute monkey, named Caesar, so the RSPCA visited the defendant's home.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Nicole Broster said: "Poor Caesar was kept in completely inappropriate conditions which was heartbreaking to see. When we entered the room there was such a strong smell of cannabis it was overpowering."
Ms Broster added: "We had been told he was being kept in an environment where he was exposed to cannabis smoke and so forensic tests were immediately carried out on a sample of his fur.
"This tested positive for cannabis exposure. It is completely unacceptable for an animal to be exposed to this.
"Marmosets are also very social animals and poor Caesar was being kept on his own. He was very lonely and made high pitched ‘contact calls’ suggesting he was looking for companions - it was very distressing to hear.
“He was being kept indoors in a chinchilla cage which is completely inappropriate for a monkey. He was not being fed a suitable diet and had little environmental stimulation too."
Forrestal admitted two counts of failing to meet the welfare needs of a marmoset in his care between September 28 2017 and November 1 2017 at Willesden Magistrates' Court.
He was banned from keeping all animals for five years and fined £80 on Thursday (April 5).
He was fined £40 for each offence and ordered to pay the RSPCA £1,000 in compensation, plus £300 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Ms Broster added: "Thankfully Caesar is now out of that environment and is being cared for by primate experts.
"Now that the court has made a deprivation order for him to be in RSPCA care we will look to find him a suitable home at a specialist centre."
The RSCPA said 5,000 primates were being kept as pets in the UK, with animal rescue groups receiving approximately one call a week relating to the welfare of a monkey being kept as a pet.
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