EPV was informally initiated in 2001 on the initiative of Drs Suzanne Rensing and Thierry Decelle by thanks to an informal network of clinical veterinarians concerned with the health, care and welfare of Non Human Primates (NHPs).
The organization was formally recognized in 2007 when bylaws were established at the annual Symposium in Tortosa, Spain.

The association acknowledged the following points:

  The high vulnerability of NHP species which are protected under international laws, and the need to preserve them in their natural habitat.
  The fact that some NHPs are present in captivity in Europe for conservation, education or scientific purposes, and the need to provide them special attention and care.
  The need to use in Europe some of NHP species, purpose bred, in benefit of human or animal health, when no other inferior species or alternative method is pertinent to adress a scientific question or to meet regulatory requirements.
  The main role of veterinarians in ensuring housing and use of captive NPHs according to European husbandry, sanitary, ethical and regulatory standards.
  The need to enhance knowledge in NHP species, especially in veterinarian medicine, centralizing, sharing, improving data collected from wild and captive animals.