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Table of State Great Ape Possession Laws



Rebecca F. Wisch


Animal Legal & Historical Center
Publish Date:
2012
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law

Printable Version

This table shows state laws related to the possession of great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans). The table separates possessors of great apes into five general categories:

  1. individuals possessing apes as pets
  2. zoos
  3. public exhibitors of great apes (i.e., roadside zoos)
  4. sanctuaries
  5. entities possessing apes for science or research

Despite the attempt to categorize possessors of great apes, state laws may not fit into these categories. One problem in particular  is that the institutional category of "sanctuary" is often not specifically mentioned state laws, and, as a result, their legal status may be unclear and require more discussion that can be provided in this table.

The following numerically breaks down state laws affecting great apes:

  • States with exotic or dangerous animal bans: 22 states
  • States that ban possession through endangered species laws: 9 states
  • States that allow most forms of possession with a permit: 6 states
  • States with no restrictions on possession: 14 states 

Generally, states approach regulation on the possession of apes in a number of way. A state may:

  • Prohibit all possession, use, and sale (often termed "bans")
  • Prohibit all possession, use, and sale by categories of individual or facilities (i.e., no commercial use of apes)
  • Prohibit after a date certain but allowing possession, if a permit is obtained by a date given (often termed "grandfathering")
  • Have a general prohibition followed by a list of exceptions for entities such as zoos or research facilities, which may or may not be require the obtaining of a permit for possession (exemptions)

With a permit system, a person who keeps the ape must usually follow certain standards of care in keeping the ape.

The restrictions on keeping apes may appear in the form of a state law or state regulation issued by an agency that deals with animals or wildlife. Both types of restrictions are binding in that state. Usually if a state law allows a person to keep an ape with a permit, he or she will have to follow certain agency regulations to obtain the permit. For example, a person may have to fill out an application with a state department of fish and wildlife, pay a fee, have his or her ape-holding facility inspected, and follow certain standards of care.

In general, very few states have either laws or regulations that deal with apes directly. Apes may be included in laws that restrict individuals from keeping certain species along with other large or dangerous species. These laws usually make it a criminal penalty (a fine or rarely a short term of jail) to keep a restricted animal because of the danger it presents to the public. State laws dealing with endangered or threatened species also operate as criminal laws against possessing species listed in the state or federal list of endangered species. If a person does certain acts (taking, possessing, selling, etc.) with an endangered species, including apes, he or she may have to pay a substantial penalty or even be imprisoned. Another criminal law that applies to apes is a state's anti-animal cruelty provision. An anti-cruelty prevents intentional and sometimes negligent acts against apes and other animals. However, most anti-cruelty laws exempt certain activities, such as zoos, circuses, scientific research, and veterinary care.

In contrast to criminal laws, state may have regulations that tell individuals what duty they have toward the animals in their care. These regulations typically direct individuals in what standards they must meet in terms of living quarters, food, space, veterinary care, and sometimes socialization. If a person does not fulfill his or her duty and meet these minimum standards, he or she can be ordered to pay a fine or even have the animal seized by the overseeing agency.

The table below attempts to summarize these state laws dealing with ape possession. The name of each state is hyperlinked to an exhaustive discussion of these possession laws as well as all the laws affecting apes in a particular state.

State Private Possession of Great Apes ("pets") Possession by Accredited Zoos or Certified Zoological Parks Possession by "Roadside Zoos" or Public Commercial Exhibition Possession by Sanctuaries (no exhibition to public) Possession for Scientific Research/Testing
Alabama

ALLOWED

No direct law that allows or prohibits great apes as pets or for personal use. Regulations that address standards of care only apply to apes that are exhibited to the public.

ALLOWED IF state or other publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit, or privately owned traveling zoo

State law provides that no person shall possess any wildlife in captivity for public exhibition purposes. Ala.Code 1975 § 9-11-321. However, under Ala.Code 1975 § 9-11-328, the provisions of the article do not apply to any municipal, county, state or other publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit, privately owned traveling zoo or circus or pet shop.

 

ALLOWED IF publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit, privately owned traveling zoo or circus or pet shop.

Resident "roadside zoo" or menagerie prohibited unless a permit is obtained and rules are followed.

State law provides that no person shall possess any wildlife in captivity for public exhibition purposes. Ala.Code 1975 § 9-11-321. However, under § 9-11-328, the provisions of the article do not apply to any municipal, county, state or other publicly owned zoo or wildlife exhibit, privately owned traveling zoo or circus or pet shop.

If the exhibition does not fall under one of the above exemptions, then it is allowed only if person obtains permit from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for $25. § 9-11-324.

All apes are considered "Class 1 wildlife" and it is unlawful to exhibit wildlife for public exhibition except as directed by the regulation. Ala. Admin. Code r. 220-2-.154(1).

The regulations contain extensive permitting requirements for the applicant; regulations also provide detailed caging and husbandry standards.

 

ALLOWED (no law or regulation that directly addresses a "sanctuary")

If the sanctuary does not exhibit animals to public, there are no state laws other than the general anti-cruelty law.

 

ALLOWED

No state law regulates research on apes.

Alaska

BANNED unless a person obtained a permit (for a chimpanzee) before July 1, 2010

A.S. § 16.05.940(19) defines “game” as any species of mammal found or introduced in the state, which includes all species of captive apes. Section 16.05.920 of the Fish and Game Code generally makes it illegal to buy, sell, possess, or transport any game animal except under BOG regulations.

The accompanying regulations also specifically state:

"The department may not issue a permit for the capture, possession, import, or export of any game animal . . . for use as a pet, except that a person that possessed a chimpanzee as a pet before January 31, 2010 may obtain a permit from the department before July 1, 2010, in order to maintain possession of the chimpanzee in this state. The propagation of chimpanzees is prohibited in this state."

5 AAC 92.029(c)

 

ALLOWED with permit. Zoos not exempted from requirements to obtain permit from Alaska Fish and Game to possess "game animal"

Must obtain permit under 5 AAC 92.033 for scientific, educational, propagative, or public safety purposes.

 

ALLOWED with commercial use permit

Must obtain permit under 5 AAC 92.035 for "temporary commercial use of live game."

Only one permit issued to an individual in 12-month time period and is valid only for 120 days.

In this section, “commercial purposes” means the use of imported game for a circus, for a traveling animal show, or for film production; “commercial purposes” does not include the display or exhibition of game for the primary purpose of drawing the public to a commercial business.

It is assumed if possession is for permanent commercial use, individual must obtain permit for possessing live game under 5 AAC 92.029.

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED with permit

Alaska has no laws or regulations directly addressing exotic animal sanctuaries.

It is assumed individual must obtain permit for possessing live game under 5 AAC 92.029.

If the use is considered for "scientific, educational, propagative, or public safety purposes," applicant must obtain a permit under 5 AAC 92.033.

 

ALLOWED with permit

It is assumed individual must obtain permit for possessing live game under 5 AAC 92.029.

If the use is considered for "scientific, educational, propagative, or public safety purposes," applicant must obtain a permit under 5 AAC 92.033.

 

Arizona

BANNED. No person may possess a great ape for use as a pet.

All species great apes (family Pongidae) including orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas are classified as "restricted live wildlife" under Arizona regulations. (R12-4-406(G)(4)). Possession and importation of such wildlife is only allowed by certain permits that do not include possession for a companion animal.

[Note that under Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-425, a person who lawfully possessed a restricted ape prior to April 28, 1989 may continue to possess that animal without a license as long as he or she notified the Game and Fish Department (GFD) in writing by May 28, 1989.]

[Note also that a Federal District Court held that a state was not required to waive the GFD permit requirement for a woman who claimed her pet chimpanzee was a "service animal" under the ADA.]

 

ALLOWED with Arizona Game and Fish Department (GFD) license for "restricted live wildlife"

A zoo license is an exception to the state's prohibition on possession of live wildlife under A.A.C. R-12-4-402. A zoo license allows an individual to perform all of the following: exhibit, display for educational purposes, import, purchase, export, possess, propagate, euthanize, transport, give away, offer for sale, sell, or trade restricted live wildlife and other Arizona wildlife legally possessed. (A.A.C. R-12-4-420(A)).

Zoo license holder must meet regulation requirements including demonstration of lawful possession of any donated wildlife and proof of current licensing by the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR Subchapter A, Animal Welfare, among other things.

 

ALLOWED ONLY allowed for "government-authorized" state or county fairs or circuses, photography, or other advertising purposes

Arizona regulation R12-4-407 includes exemptions from special license requirements for restricted live wildlife subject to certain conditions:

  • an individual may import, transport, possess, exhibit, and export restricted live wildlife for a government-authorized state or county fair or circus; or may import, possess, transport, and export the wildlife for the purpose of photography.
  • an individual may import, transport, possess, exhibit for advertising purposes other than photography.

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT. While the term "sanctuary" is not used, this use would likely require a "Wildlife Holding License"

A wildlife holding license authorizes an individual to: possess, transport, import, display for educational purposes, photograph for commercial purposes, purchase, propagate, export, give away, or euthanize either restricted live wildlife.

Allows a person to possess restricted live wildlife if:

a. It is necessary for an individual to give humane treatment to restricted live wildlife that has been abandoned or permanently disabled, and is therefore unable to meet its own needs in the wild; or

b. It is requested to lawfully possess restricted live wildlife that was possessed under another special license, and the primary purpose for that special license no longer exists.

R12-4-417

 

ALLOWED IF LICENSED UNDER AWA. Exempt from requirement to hold special license for restricted live wildlife.

"An individual may import, purchase, possess, transport, trade, give away, propagate, kill, and export restricted live wildlife if the individual is doing so for a medical or scientific research facility that is registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR Subchapter A, Animal Welfare. . ." R12-4-407(A)(8).

 

Arkansas

BANNED under state endangered species regulations

Regulations define an "endangered species" as "[a] wildlife species or subspecies endangered or threatened with extinction listed, or proposed as a candidate for listing, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or any native species or subspecies listed as endangered by the Commission (Addendum P1.00)." Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-01.00-C.

It is unlawful to import, transport, sell, purchase, hunt, harass or possess any threatened or endangered species of wildlife or parts (including without limitation those species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act, 50 CFR § 17.11, 50 CFR § 17.12 and Addendum Chapter P1.00). Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-05.27.

 

ALLOWED if accredited AZA zoo.

There are exceptions to state regulation that makes it unlawful to possess, hold captive, confine or enclose any live wildlife, whether native or non-native, migratory or imported.

One exception is being an accredited members of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01.

 

ALLOWED ONLY for USDA exhibitor permit holders.

It is unlawful to possess, hold captive, confine or enclose any live wildlife, whether native or non-native, migratory or imported under Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01.

However, there are exceptions. Under the regulation, "[p]ersons with a valid U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Exhibition Permit may possess and hold captive wildlife allowed by that permit. Holders of this permit are not exempt from subsequent regulations in Chapter 09.00." Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01.

 

ALLOWED IF Game and Fish Commission finds activity to be for conservation efforts/benefit to wildlife

It is unlawful to possess, hold captive, confine or enclose any live wildlife, whether native or non-native, migratory or imported. Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01.

However, one exception is for research or conservation efforts:

(5) Persons determined by the Commission to be involved in bona fide scientific research, education or conservation efforts of significant benefit to wildlife or wildlife habitat, in Arkansas may be permitted to possess and hold captive wildlife in compliance with the terms of a special permit issued by the Chief of Wildlife Management.

Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01(5).

 

ALLOWED IF Game and Fish Commission finds activity to be bona fide scientific research

It is unlawful to possess, hold captive, confine or enclose any live wildlife, whether native or non-native, migratory or imported. Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01.

However, one exception is for scientific research or education:

(5) Persons determined by the Commission to be involved in bona fide scientific research, education or conservation efforts of significant benefit to wildlife or wildlife habitat, in Arkansas may be permitted to possess and hold captive wildlife in compliance with the terms of a special permit issued by the Chief of Wildlife Management.

Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-09.01(5).

 

California

BANNED AS RESTRICTED SPECIES unless a permit is obtained AND the person possessed the animal prior to 1992 or the animal was legally acquired and possessed before January 1, 1975

Under West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2118, it is unlawful to possess mammals of the order Primates (excepting humans). Section 2120 gives the commission authority to establish regulations related to allowed possession through permits. Under those regulations, Section § 671.1, permits are issued to individuals only for:

(1) Animal Care. Issued to any person who is a resident and who has the demonstrated experience and ability to care for and house an animal, and who legally possessed the animal in California prior to January 1992. The permittee may only possess and provide care for the animal(s) specified on the department approved permit. No other activity is authorized except that which is medically necessary for the care of the animal. Additional requirements are specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2).

Cal. Admin. Code tit. 14, § 671.1

Note that under the Fish and Game Code, possession of a restricted species is allowed only if the person legally acquired and possessed the animal before January 1, 1975.

West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2120.5

 

ALLOWED if permit issued by commission to accredited AZA facility

While apes are restricted species under West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2118, section 2120 gives the commission authority to establish regulations related to possession through permits. Permits are given to zoos:

(3) AZA. Issued to any person accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and who is in the business of exhibiting and breeding animals. The permittee may import, transport, breed, exhibit and possess for bona fide scientific or public health research only those species specified on the department approved permit. Additional requirements are specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2).

Cal. Admin. Code tit. 14, § 671.1

 

ALLOWED if permit issued by commission

While apes are restricted species under West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2118, section 2120 gives the commission authority to establish regulations related to possession through permits. Permits are given to exhibitors if they meet the criteria:

(6) Exhibiting. Issued to any person who is a resident or nonresident who is in the business of exhibiting animals at least half-time, for commercial and/or educational purposes, and who possesses the qualifications listed in subsection 671.1(c)(1). The permittee may import, transport, and possess only those species specified on the department approved permit. Additional requirements are specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2).

Cal. Admin. Code tit. 14, § 671.1

 

ALLOWED if permit issued by commission

While apes are restricted species under West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2118, section 2120 gives the commission authority to establish regulations related to possession through permits. Permits are given to research facilities if they meet the criteria:

(9) Research. Issued to any university, college, governmental research agency, or other bona fide scientific institution, as determined by the department, who engages in scientific or public health research and meets the requirement as specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2)(M). The permittee may import, transport, breed, and possess only those species specified on the department approved permit. Only persons asking for department determination as a bona fide scientific institution are required to meet the requirements specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2)(L). Additional requirements are specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2).

Cal. Admin. Code tit. 14, § 671.1

 

ALLOWED if permit issued by commission

While apes are restricted species under West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 2118, section 2120 gives the commission authority to establish regulations related to possession through permits. Permits are given to "shelter" animals for humane purposes. This would likely include sanctuaries. The language states:

(10) Shelter. Issued to any person who is a resident, who possesses the qualifications listed in subsection 671.1(c)(1), and who has a statement in writing signed by the department's regional manager with jurisdiction over the proposed facility verifying the need for a shelter or similar facility in the area, to transport and possess restricted species for humane purposes only. The permit fee may be waived upon recommendation of the regional manager when they determine it is in the best interest of the public, the animal, or the department to do so. Additional requirements are specified in subsection 671.1(c)(2).

Cal. Admin. Code tit. 14, § 671.1

 

Colorado

BANNED under Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA).

Unlawful for any person (except entities described) to sell, barter, exchange, or otherwise transfer, possess, import, or cause to be imported into this state any species of nonhuman primate.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-80-108(j)(II)(A)

Anyone who had a pet ape on July 1, 1973 may keep the ape for the remainder of the ape's life.

Colorado allows disabled individuals to keep nonhuman primates that are trained assistance animals.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-80-108(j)(II)(B)

 

ALLOWED for USDA licensed zoos.

PERMIT REQUIRED for non-AZA accredited zoos.

AZA-Accredited Zoos:

USDA-licensed (Class C) exhibitors are exempt from the state’s ape under the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act.

This would include AZA-accredited zoos. Currently, there are three such zoos in Colorado.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-80-108(j)(II)(B)

Non-AZA accredited zoos:

Under state law, exhibitors generally need to have a Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued license (or be exempt from the state’s licensure requirements) in order to legally possess wild or exotic animals.

Non-AZA-accredited zoos, wildlife parks, and other commercial exhibitors must obtain a state license to operate in Colorado. A non-AZA zoo must possess a "zoological park license" for $100 under 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104.

 

ALLOWED IF USDA LICENSED EXHIBITOR OR HAS STATE LICENSE

USDA-licensed (Class C) exhibitors are exempt from the state’s ape under the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act. The prohibitions do not apply to "properly licensed or registered under the provisions of the federal “Animal Welfare Act of 1970”, 7 U.S.C. sec. 2131 et seq."

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-80-108(j)(II)(B) 

Other exhibitors must obtain licenses from the Colorado DNR:

Zoological Park License (Commercial Wildlife Park License): This license is issued to qualified privately-owned facilities (other than AZA-accredited zoos) that exhibit wild or exotic animals.

Wildlife Exhibitors Park License (Commercial Wildlife Park License): This license is issued to qualified individuals or facilities that possess wild or exotic animals for educational or promotional activities. All facilities licensed after January 1, 2006 must be AZA-accredited in order to obtain a Wildlife Exhibitors Park license.

Non-commercial Wildlife Park License: This license authorizes individuals who possessed exotic pets prior to January 1, 1983 to retain possession of those animals for the remainder of the animals’ lives.

2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104

 

ALLOWED IF SANCTUARY OBTAINS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY LICENSE FROM DNR

Defined in C. R. S. A. § 33-1-102(52) as: "a place of refuge where a nonprofit entity, as defined in section 7-90-102(40), C.R.S., provides care for abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wildlife for their lifetime and, with respect to any wildlife owned by such entity. . ."

License costs $100.

The sanctuaries must be certified by the AZA as a “related facility” prior to and maintain such certification as a condition of the issuance of a wildlife sanctuary license.

2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104

 


ALLOWED

USDA-registered research facilities are exempt from the state’s ban on the importation, possession, sale, and transfer of apes under the PACFA. The act states, "Such prohibitions, with respect to nonhuman primates, shall not apply to a research facility or exhibitor properly licensed or registered under the provisions of the federal 'Animal Welfare Act of 1970', 7 U.S.C. sec. 2131 et seq., as amended. . ."

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-80-108(j)(II)(B)

 

Connecticut

BANNED

Under Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 26-40a, it is illegal to import and keep apes that are classified as “potentially dangerous animals” (gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans) as pets.

Note that a primate that weighs less than thirty-five pounds at maturity and that was imported or possessed by a person in Connecticut prior to October 1, 2003, shall not be considered a potentially dangerous animal.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 26-40a(b)

ALLOWED

Zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) or the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) are exempt from the ban on possessing potentially dangerous animals.

Currently, there is one AZA-accredited zoo, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.

Zoos that are not AZA or ZAA accredited, but that are U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed exhibitors are also exempt from § 26-40a's ban.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 26-40a

 

ALLOWED ONLY IF USDA-LICENSED EXHIBITOR

Exhibitors licensed or registered with the United States Department of Agriculture are exempt from § 26-40a's ban on possessing apes.

Unlicensed commercial exhibitors would fall under ban on possessing potentially dangerous animals.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 26-40a

 

BANNED

Connecticut has no laws governing the establishment of exotic animal sanctuaries, nor does it exempt such facilities from the potentially dangerous animal ban (covering gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and bonobos).

Since sanctuaries do not exhibit animals, they would not fall under the USDA exhibitor exception of the ban.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 26-40a

ALLOWED

The ban on the possession of potentially dangerous animals does not apply to laboratories and research facilities maintained by scientific or educational institutions licensed or registered with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 26-40a

Delaware

ALLOWED WITH STATE "INDIVIDUAL PERMIT" AND FEDERAL PERMITS.

Delaware does not have any laws that specifically prohibit the keeping of apes as pets.

Section 601 of the Conservation Code does not allow the possession of any endangered species except by permit or license issued by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These permits appear discretionary and criteria are not in the regulations. Additionally, 7 Del. Admin. Code 3900-16.3.2 states that it is unlawful to possess any species of fish or wildlife listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the ESA without the appropriate federal permits.

Del. Code Ann. tit. 7 § 601

State law requires that a person obtain a permit to possess any live wild mammal not native to Delaware through the Delaware Deparment of Agriculture (DDA) (an "exotic animal").

3 Del.C. § 7201

"Individual Permit" is a type of permit issued by the DDA to possess an "exotic" as a pet.

3 Del. Admin. Code § 304-7.1

If an individual does not obtain a permit, the DDA gives the person 10 days from notice of this deficiency to obtain the required permit before the animal is seized.

3 Del. Admin. Code § 304-10

 

ALLOWED WITH STATE "ACCREDITED ZOO PERMIT" AND FEDERAL PERMITS

Section 601 does not allow the possession of any endangered species except by permit or license issued by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These permits appear discretionary and criteria are not in the regulations. Additionally, 7 Del. Admin. Code 3900-16.3.2 states that it is unlawful to possess any species of fish or wildlife listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the ESA without the appropriate federal permits.

7 Del.C. § 601

By law, a person possessing a non-native wild mammal to first secure a permit from the Department of Agriculture.

3 Del.C. § 7201

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the use of any live wild mammal or hybrid of a wild mammal or live reptile in medical or psychological research or for display in any municipal zoological park or traveling circus after issuance of a permit.

3 Del.C. § 7202

An "Accredited Zoo Permit" is a type of permit issued to possess exotic animals.

All zoos in Delaware must obtain an Accredited Zoo Permit which is not transferable.

All zoos in Delaware must be in keeping with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation process.

An Accredited Zoo Permit is not transferable, is valid for five (5) years and must be renewed in accordance with the regulations.

3 Del. Admin. Code 304-7.0

 

ALLOWED WITH STATE "EXHIBITOR PERMIT" AND FEDERAL PERMITS

Section 601 of the Conservation Code does not allow the possession of any endangered species except by permit or license issued by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These permits appear discretionary and criteria are not in the regulations. Additionally, 7 Del. Admin. Code 3900-16.3.2 states that it is unlawful to possess any species of fish or wildlife listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the ESA without the appropriate federal permits.

7 Del.C. § 601

By law, a person possessing a non-native wild mammal to first secure a permit from the Department of Agriculture.

3 Del.C. § 7201

An "Exhibitor Permit" is a type of permit issued to possess exotic animals.

All owners or custodians (with the exception of permitted Accredited Zoos located in Delaware) that wish to present exotic animals for public viewing must obtain an Exhibitor Permit.

An Exhibitor Permit is not transferable, is valid for the calendar year in which it was issued and must be renewed in accordance with regulations.

A background check of an owner or custodian applying for an Exhibitor Permit may be completed by the Department.

3 Del. Admin. Code 304-7.0

ALLOWED WITH STATE "REHABILITATOR PERMIT" AND FEDERAL PERMITS

Section 601 of the Conservation Code does not allow the possession of any endangered species except by permit or license issued by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These permits appear discretionary and criteria are not in the regulations. Additionally, 7 Del. Admin. Code 3900-16.3.2 states that it is unlawful to possess any species of fish or wildlife listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the ESA without the appropriate federal permits.

7 Del.C. § 601

By law, a person possessing a non-native wild mammal to first secure a permit from the Department of Agriculture.

3 Del.C. § 7201

An "Rehabilitator Permit" is a type of permit issued to possess exotic animals.

The Rehabilitator Permit must be obtained from the Department by an owner or a custodian who provides short term care and rehabilitation of exotic animals.

A Rehabilitator Permit is not transferable, is valid for three years and must be renewed in accordance with regulations.

A background check of an owner or custodian applying for a Rehabilitator Permit may be completed by the Department.

3 Del. Admin. Code 304-7.0

ALLOWED WITH STATE PERMIT AND FEDERAL PERMITS

Section 601 of the Conservation Code does not allow the possession of any endangered species except by permit or license issued by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife. These permits appear discretionary and criteria are not in the regulations. Additionally, 7 Del. Admin. Code 3900-16.3.2 states that it is unlawful to possess any species of fish or wildlife listed as endangered or threatened pursuant to the ESA without the appropriate federal permits.

7 Del.C. § 601

By law, a person possessing a non-native wild mammal to first secure a permit from the Department of Agriculture.

3 Del.C. § 7201

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prevent the use of any live wild mammal or hybrid of a wild mammal or live reptile in medical or psychological research or for display in any municipal zoological park or traveling circus after issuance of a permit.

3 Del.C. § 7202

There is no specific medical, psychological, scientific, or research permit under the DDA regulations. It is unclear which permit would apply.

 

D.C.

BANNED

No person may possess as a household pet any animal other than domestic dogs, domestic cats, domesticated rodents and rabbits, captive-bred species of common cage birds, nonpoisonous snakes, fish, and turtles, traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes, and racing pigeons (when kept in compliance with permit requirements).

DC CODE § 8-1808

ALLOWED IF FEDERALLY-LICENSED

The ban on the possession of animals other than domesticated, traditional pets does not to to federally licensed animal exhibitors.

Note also that a person may offer prohibited species enumerated in paragraph (h)(1) to public zoo, park, or museum for exhibition purposes.

DC CODE § 8-1808

ALLOWED IF FEDERALLY-LICENSED

The ban on the possession of animals other than non-domesticated small pets does not to to federally licensed animal exhibitors.

DC CODE § 8-1808

Also under D.C. Munic. Regs. tit. 24 § 905 there are permit requirements for the possession or display of captured wild animals on any public space.

D.C. Munic. Regs. tit. 24 § 905

 

BANNED

D.C. has no laws governing the establishment of exotic animal sanctuaries, nor does it exempt sanctuaries from the general exotic animal ban under D.C. Code § 8-1808(h).

However, the Mayor may allow a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, a licensed veterinarian, or a licensed animal shelter to maintain an animal prohibited in this subsection for treatment or pending appropriate disposition.

It is unknown whether this applies to exotic species.

D.C. Code § 8-1808(h)(4)

BANNED

D.C. Code § 8-1808(h) generally prohibits the import, possession, and sale of prohibited animals, including all species of apes.

Research facilities are not expressly exempt from that ban.

It is unclear whether the ban applies to government agencies, educational institutions, and other facilities that possess apes (and other prohibited animals) for scientific research.

D.C. Code § 8-1808(h)

 

Florida

BANNED

It is illegal for any person to possess Class I wildlife as a personal pet.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.3762

All great apes are classified as "Class I" wildlife

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.002

Note that Class I wildlife that was possessed for personal use on or before August 1, 1980 may be eligible for a Class II permit.

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0021

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

The exhibition of wildlife for public display with or without charge requires a permit issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.3761

All great apes are classified as "Class I" wildlife

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.002

Experience and training requirements for the issuance of Class I permits are described in Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022(d)(1) - (4).

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

The exhibition of wildlife for public display with or without charge requires a permit issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.3761

All great apes are classified as "Class I" wildlife

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.002

Experience and training requirements for the issue of Class I permit are described in Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022(d)(1) - (4).

 

ALLOWED

Under the general wildlife rehabilitation rule, a rehabilitation permit is not required for care or treatment of exotic or non-native wildlife, provided that persons possessing Class I, Class II or Class III exotic wildlife are licensed according to Rule 68A-6.002, F.A.C.

Fla. Admin. Code Ann 68A-9.006

The general experience requirements to obtain a permit to possess Class I captive wildlife are described in 68A-6.0022(5)(a) - (c).

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022

A "wildlife sanctuary for captive wildlife” is defined as a facility established for the sole purpose of providing lifetime care for unwanted or infirmed captive wildlife.

No special permit is mentioned in the section, but proof of non-profit status is required and sanctuary must meet bonding and facility standards of the chapter.

This section prohibits full or incidental contact between the public and captive wildlife. As such, the exhibition permit described in Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.3761 does NOT apply.

HOWEVER, any person licensed in accordance with Section 379.3761 who possesses performing wildlife that due to its age or physical condition may no longer perform, may retain such retired performing wildlife for the purposes of providing lifetime care for said wildlife.

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0025

ALLOWED WITHOUT STATE PERMIT (ONLY AWA LICENSED)

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) expressly exempts “entities operating solely as research facilities” from the agency’s permit requirements and minimum standards of care, as long as such entities are registered with, and regulated by, the United States Department of Agriculture in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0011

Exempt facilities that use apes must maintain (1) detailed research proposals involving apes (which include the research objectives, methodology, planned duration, and containment safeguards); and (2) an annual record of progress toward research objectives.

Records are not submitted to FWC butt be available for inspection upon request

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0011

 

Georgia

BANNED

Georgia’s Wild Animals Law classifies all species of apes as “inherently dangerous” animals.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-5

A Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wild animal license or permit is required to import or possess any species of ape. The agency does not issue licenses or permits to import, possess, or sell apes as pets. Licenses are only issued "to persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public." Wild animal permits will be issued at no cost and only to persons for scientific or educational purposes, to persons with a permanent disability or disease, or as provided.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

The Wild Animals Law includes a “grandfather clause” which allows anyone who had an ape on July 1, 1994 to keep that animal for the remainder of his or her life if he or she applied for a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit prior to January 1, 1995.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-5(c)

 

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

All apes are considered "inherently dangerous" animals and a license or permit is required to possess them.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-5

§ 27-5-4 provides that licenses are only issued "to persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public."

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

Private zoos:

Any licenses issued by the department to any person for public exhibition purposes shall be conditioned so that the person operating a wild animal exhibition in a nontraveling, fixed facility shall make the facility open to the public for a time no less than 30 hours per week for at least six months each year.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4(e)

Publicly funded zoos:

Exhibitions of wild animals by federal, state, city, county, or municipal governments or their agencies shall not be required to purchase a wild animal license but shall be required to obtain the license, at no charge, from the department (all other regulations must be followed).

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4(e)

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

All apes are considered "inherently dangerous" animals and a license or permit is required to possess them.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-5

§ 27-5-4 provides that licenses are only issued "to persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public."

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

Private zoos:

Any licenses issued by the department to any person for public exhibition purposes shall be conditioned so that the person operating a wild animal exhibition in a nontraveling, fixed facility shall make the facility open to the public for a time no less than 30 hours per week for at least six months each year; and the person operating a wild animal exhibition in a transient facility shall make the facility open to the public for a reasonable period of time and for reasonable hours of the day, depending upon the nature of the exhibition.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4(e)

Publicly funded zoos:

Exhibitions of wild animals by federal, state, city, county, or municipal governments or their agencies and transient circuses, which circuses can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that 10 percent of the proceeds from such exhibitions shall be devoted to charitable purposes in this state, shall not be required to purchase a wild animal license but shall be required to obtain the license, at no charge, from the department (all other regulations must be followed).

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4(e)

POTENTIALLY ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

All apes are considered "inherently dangerous" animals and a license or permit is required to possess them.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-5

§ 27-5-4 provides that licenses are only issued "to persons engaged in the wholesale or retail wild animal business or persons exhibiting wild animals to the public" and "[w]ild animal permits will be issued at no cost and only to persons for scientific or educational purposes. . ."

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

Georgia’s laws and regulations do not define animal “sanctuaries” or set any minimum standards for the types of organizations that qualify as legitimate sanctuaries. As a result, any organization could label itself a “sanctuary” regardless of whether it actually provides lifetime care for animals.

“Sanctuaries” that exhibit apes are considered commercial exhibitors under the Wild Animals Law.

“Sanctuaries” that house - but do not publicly exhibit - apes may qualify for a wild animal permit to possess apes for educational or scientific purposes. The Wild Animals Law is not clear on this issue and there are no DNR regulations governing the possession of apes by “sanctuaries.”

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

All apes are considered "inherently dangerous" animals and a license or permit is required to possess them.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-5

§ 27-5-4 provides that "[w]ild animal permits will be issued at no cost and only to persons for scientific or educational purposes. . ."

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

In order to qualify for a permit, all applicants must have facilities that meet the state’s minimum standards, and certain applicants must have liability insurance to cover injuries or damage caused by the applicant’s apes.

Ga. Code Ann. § 27-5-4

Hawaii

BANNED

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 150A-6.2, the board of agriculture of the department of agriculture has the power to maintain a list of restricted animals that require a permit for importation and possession.

Hawaii lists all great apes as "restricted species" under Part B of Attachment 3 in the Hawaii Administrative Code.

HI ADC Attachment 3

Under § 4-71-6.5 of the administrative code, animals listed on "Part B"Animals of the list of restricted animals list are allowed for private and commercial use (as well as the for research and exhibition).

HOWEVER, this section contains a specific limitation for the listed animals in the order Primates. Import and possession is not allowed for anything besides purposes listed in subsection (b)(2) (these are: for research by universities or government agencies, exhibition in municipal zoos or government-affiliated aquariums, for other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as determined by the board) or for primate sanctuaries, as determined by the board.

Haw. Admin. Rules (HAR) § 4-71-6.5

 

ALLOWED FOR MUNICIPAL OR GOV'T OWNED ZOOS

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 150A-6.2, the board of agriculture of the department of agriculture has the power to maintain a list of restricted animals that require a permit for importation and possession.

Hawaii lists all great apes as "restricted species" under Part B of Attachment 3 in the Hawaii Administrative Code.

HI ADC Attachment 3

Under § 4-71-6.5 of the administrative code, animals listed on "Part B"Animals of the list of restricted animals list are allowed for private and commercial use (as well as the for research and exhibition).

HOWEVER, this section contains a specific limitation for the listed animals in the order Primates. Import and possession is not allowed for anything besides purposes listed in subsection (b)(2) (these are: for research by universities or government agencies, exhibition in municipal zoos or government-affiliated aquariums, for other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as determined by the board) or for primate sanctuaries, as determined by the board.

Haw. Admin. Rules (HAR) § 4-71-6.5

BANNED

Private zoos or exhibitors are not one of the limited entities allowed to possess restricted primates (all apes).

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 150A-6.2, the board of agriculture of the department of agriculture has the power to maintain a list of restricted animals that require a permit for importation and possession.

Hawaii lists all great apes as "restricted species" under Part B of Attachment 3 in the Hawaii Administrative Code.

HI ADC Attachment 3

Under § 4-71-6.5 of the administrative code, animals listed on "Part B"Animals of the list of restricted animals list are allowed for private and commercial use (as well as the for research and exhibition).

HOWEVER, this section contains a specific limitation for the listed animals in the order Primates. Import and possession is not allowed for anything besides purposes listed in subsection (b)(2) (these are: for research by universities or government agencies, exhibition in municipal zoos or government-affiliated aquariums, for other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as determined by the board) or for primate sanctuaries, as determined by the board.

Haw. Admin. Rules (HAR) § 4-71-6.5

 

ALLOWED

Primate sanctuaries are one of the specific allowed purposes for restricted primates (all great apes). One of the only states that uses the phrase "primate sanctuary."

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 150A-6.2, the board of agriculture of the department of agriculture has the power to maintain a list of restricted animals that require a permit for importation and possession.

Hawaii lists all great apes as "restricted species" under Part B of Attachment 3 in the Hawaii Administrative Code.

HI ADC Attachment 3

Under § 4-71-6.5 of the administrative code, animals listed on "Part B"Animals of the list of restricted animals list are allowed for private and commercial use (as well as the for research and exhibition).

HOWEVER, this section contains a specific limitation for the listed animals in the order Primates. Import and possession is not allowed for anything besides purposes listed in subsection (b)(2) (these are: for research by universities or government agencies, exhibition in municipal zoos or government-affiliated aquariums, for other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as determined by the board) or for primate sanctuaries, as determined by the board.

Haw. Admin. Rules (HAR) § 4-71-6.5

 

ALLOWED

Research, medical and scientific purposes are one of the listed purposes for restricted primates (all great apes).

Under Haw. Rev. Stat. § 150A-6.2, the board of agriculture of the department of agriculture has the power to maintain a list of restricted animals that require a permit for importation and possession.

Hawaii lists all great apes as "restricted species" under Part B of Attachment 3 in the Hawaii Administrative Code.

HI ADC Attachment 3

Under § 4-71-6.5 of the administrative code, animals listed on "Part B"Animals of the list of restricted animals list are allowed for private and commercial use (as well as the for research and exhibition).

HOWEVER, this section contains a specific limitation for the listed animals in the order Primates. Import and possession is not allowed for anything besides purposes listed in subsection (b)(2) (these are: for research by universities or government agencies, exhibition in municipal zoos or government-affiliated aquariums, for other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as determined by the board) or for primate sanctuaries, as determined by the board.

Haw. Admin. Rules (HAR) § 4-71-6.5

Idaho

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Under Idaho's "Deleterious Animal Act," the administrator of the division of animal industries is empowered to designate any animal not native to Idaho as a deleterious animal.

I.C. § 25-3904

Idaho administrative rule 407 lists "all nonhuman primates" as deleterious animals.

ID ADC 02.04.27.407

No person may possess a deleterious animal without a permit.

The agency has discretion to grant a possession permit to any person who, in the reviewing official’s opinion, is qualified to possess a deleterious exotic animal, has an approved facility to house the animal(s), and meets the agency’s other requirements.

ID ADC 02.04.27.100 and ID ADC 02.04.27.101

As a result, it may be possible for certain individuals to obtain an ISDA permit to possess an ape, or other deleterious exotic animal, as a pet.

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Under Idaho's "Deleterious Animal Act," the administrator of the division of animal industries is empowered to designate any animal not native to Idaho as a deleterious animal.

I.C. § 25-3904

Idaho administrative rule 407 lists "all nonhuman primates" as deleterious animals.

ID ADC 02.04.27.407

No person may possess a deleterious animal without a permit.

The agency has discretion to grant a possession permit to any person who, in the reviewing official’s opinion, is qualified to possess a deleterious exotic animal, has an approved facility to house the animal(s), and meets the agency’s other requirements.

ID ADC 02.04.27.100 and ID ADC 02.04.27.101

Note that while there is no express automatic grant of a permit to accredited zoos, the rules do state that an applicant can provide, "[d]ocumentation of accreditation by the AZA, if applicable."

ID ADC 02.04.27.101

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Under Idaho's "Deleterious Animal Act," the administrator of the division of animal industries is empowered to designate any animal not native to Idaho as a deleterious animal.

I.C. § 25-3904

Idaho administrative rule 407 lists "all nonhuman primates" as deleterious animals.

ID ADC 02.04.27.407

No person may possess a deleterious animal without a permit.

The agency has discretion to grant a possession permit to any person who, in the reviewing official’s opinion, is qualified to possess a deleterious exotic animal, has an approved facility to house the animal(s), and meets the agency’s other requirements.

ID ADC 02.04.27.100 and ID ADC 02.04.27.101

Note that while there is no express automatic grant of a permit to USDA licensed exhibitors, the rules do state that an applicant can provide, "[d]ocumentation of licenses issued by the USDA, if applicable."

ID ADC 02.04.27.101

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Under Idaho's "Deleterious Animal Act," the administrator of the division of animal industries is empowered to designate any animal not native to Idaho as a deleterious animal.

I.C. § 25-3904

Idaho administrative rule 407 lists "all nonhuman primates" as deleterious animals.

ID ADC 02.04.27.407

No person may possess a deleterious animal without a permit.

The agency has discretion to grant a possession permit to any person who, in the reviewing official’s opinion, is qualified to possess a deleterious exotic animal, has an approved facility to house the animal(s), and meets the agency’s other requirements.

ID ADC 02.04.27.100 and ID ADC 02.04.27.101

Note that there is no specific reference to exotic animal sanctuaries in Idaho.

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Under Idaho's "Deleterious Animal Act," the administrator of the division of animal industries is empowered to designate any animal not native to Idaho as a deleterious animal.

I.C. § 25-3904

Idaho administrative rule 407 lists "all nonhuman primates" as deleterious animals.

ID ADC 02.04.27.407

No person may possess a deleterious animal without a permit.

The agency has discretion to grant a possession permit to any person who, in the reviewing official’s opinion, is qualified to possess a deleterious exotic animal, has an approved facility to house the animal(s), and meets the agency’s other requirements.

ID ADC 02.04.27.100 and ID ADC 02.04.27.101

Illinois

BANNED

Under Illinois' Dangerous Animal Act no person may maintain in his or her possession any primate.

This Section does not prohibit a person who had lawful possession of a primate before January 1, 2011, from continuing to possess that primate if the person registers the animal by providing written notification to the local animal control administrator on or before April 1, 2011.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/1

“Primate” means a nonhuman member of the order primate, including but not limited to chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, bonobo, gibbon, monkey, lemur, loris, aye-aye, and tarsier.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/0.1

 

ALLOWED

Under Illinois' Dangerous Animal Act no person may maintain in his or her possession any primate.

HOWEVER, a "properly maintained zoological park" is an exception to the ban.

No permit or license is required.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/1

“Primate” means a nonhuman member of the order primate, including but not limited to chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, bonobo, gibbon, monkey, lemur, loris, aye-aye, and tarsier.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/0.1

 

ALLOWED ONLY IF FEDERALLY LICENSED

Under Illinois' Dangerous Animal Act no person may maintain in his or her possession any primate.

HOWEVER, "a federally licensed exhibit, [or] circus" is an exception to the ban.

No permit or license is required.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/1

“Primate” means a nonhuman member of the order primate, including but not limited to chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, bonobo, gibbon, monkey, lemur, loris, aye-aye, and tarsier.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/0.1

ALLOWED

Under Illinois' Dangerous Animal Act no person may maintain in his or her possession any primate.

HOWEVER, an "animal refuge" is an exception to the ban. This term is not defined, but a great ape sanctuary may be included under this phrase.

No permit or license is required.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/1

“Primate” means a nonhuman member of the order primate, including but not limited to chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, bonobo, gibbon, monkey, lemur, loris, aye-aye, and tarsier.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/0.1

ALLOWED

Under Illinois' Dangerous Animal Act no person may maintain in his or her possession any primate.

HOWEVER, a "university, scientific institution, [or] research laboratory" is an exception to the ban.

No permit or license is required.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/1

“Primate” means a nonhuman member of the order primate, including but not limited to chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, bonobo, gibbon, monkey, lemur, loris, aye-aye, and tarsier.

720 I.L.C.S. 585/0.1

Indiana

BANNED UNLESS USDA LICENSED UNDER AWA

Although Indiana’s laws do not directly address the issue of keeping apes as pets, the practice appears to be illegal under the state’s Endangered Species laws and the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Exotic Mammal rules.

Endangered Species Law:

Under Indiana’s Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation laws, it is illegal to possess any species that appears on the U.S. list of endangered wildlife.

Section 14-22-34-15 allows taking for "scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of the wildlife, or for other special purposes." It is unlikely that possession for a pet would be a "special purpose."

Gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and wild populations of chimpanzees are federally listed endangered species so this law applies to those species of apes.

I.C. 14-22-34-12

Exotic Mammal Rule:

An exotic mammal that is a species from the Pongidae (chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla) family.

Under subsection (c)(3), a person may only possess with a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts I through IV.

Ind. Admin. Code tit. 312 r. 9-3-18.5

It is unclear whether 312 IAC 9-3-18.5 applies to orangutans. Virtually all taxonomic resources that recognize the family Pongidae include the following species within that family: gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans.

When DNR listed the family Pongidae in its Exotic Mammal rules, it also listed the following species in parentheses after the term Pongidae: chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla. It is unclear whether DNR intentionally excluded orangutans from the list (and it meant its list of species to be exhaustive) or whether the Department’s failure to include orangutans was an administrative oversight (and it meant the list of species to be illustrative only).

ALLOWED UNDER ENDANGERED SPECIES LAW IF "ZOOLOGICAL" PURPOSE

ALLOWED UNDER EXOTIC ANIMAL RULE IF USDA LICENSED UNDER AWA

Endangered Species Law:

Under Indiana’s Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation laws, it is illegal to possess any species that appears on the U.S. list of endangered wildlife.

Section 14-22-34-15 allows taking for "scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of the wildlife, or for other special purposes."

Gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and wild populations of chimpanzees are federally listed endangered species so this law applies to those species of apes.

I.C. 14-22-34-12

Exotic Mammal Rule:

An exotic mammal that is a species from the Pongidae (chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla) family.

Under subsection (c)(3), a person may only possess with a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts I through IV.

Ind. Admin. Code tit. 312 r. 9-3-18.5

UNCLEAR IF ALLOWED UNDER ENDANGERED SPECIES LAW

ALLOWED UNDER EXOTIC MAMMAL RULE ONLY IF USDA LICENSED

Section 14-22-34-15 allows taking for "scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of the wildlife, or for other special purposes." It is unlikely that possession by a roadside zoo would be a "special purpose."

Gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and wild populations of chimpanzees are federally listed endangered species so this law applies to those species of apes.

I.C. 14-22-34-12

Exotic Mammal Rule:

An exotic mammal that is a species from the Pongidae (chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla) family.

Under subsection (c)(3), a person may only possess with a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts I through IV.

Ind. Admin. Code tit. 312 r. 9-3-18.5

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED UNDER ENDANGERED SPECIES LAW AS "SPECIAL PURPOSE"

NOT ALLOWED UNDER EXOTIC MAMMAL RULE UNLESS USDA LICENSED

Indiana has no laws governing the establishment of exotic animal sanctuaries, nor are there any unique provisions within the state’s Endangered Species laws or DNR’s Exotic Mammal rules for such facilities.

Endangered Species Law:

Under Indiana’s Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation laws, it is illegal to possess any species that appears on the U.S. list of endangered wildlife.

Section 14-22-34-15 allows taking for "scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of the wildlife, or for other special purposes."

The question is whether a primate sanctuary would qualify as a "special purpose."

Gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and wild populations of chimpanzees are federally listed endangered species so this law applies to those species of apes.

I.C. 14-22-34-12

Exotic Mammal Rule:

An exotic mammal that is a species from the Pongidae (chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla) family.

Under subsection (c)(3), a person may only possess with a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts I through IV.

Ind. Admin. Code tit. 312 r. 9-3-18.5

 

ALLOWED UNDER ENDANGERED SPECIES LAW AS "SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE"

NOT ALLOWED UNDER EXOTIC MAMMAL RULE UNLESS USDA LICENSED

Endangered Species Law:

Under Indiana’s Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation laws, it is illegal to possess any species that appears on the U.S. list of endangered wildlife.

Section 14-22-34-15 allows taking for "scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of the wildlife, or for other special purposes."

Gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and wild populations of chimpanzees are federally listed endangered species so this law applies to those species of apes.

I.C. 14-22-34-12

Exotic Mammal Rule:

An exotic mammal that is a species from the Pongidae (chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla) family.

Under subsection (c)(3), a person may only possess with a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture under 9 CFR, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts I through IV.

Ind. Admin. Code tit. 312 r. 9-3-18.5

Iowa

BANNED

Under Iowa's Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a person may not own or possess a "dangerous wild animal."

I. C. A. § 717F.3

“Dangerous wild animal” means A member of the order of primates other than humans, and including the family hominidae (it then goes on to say it includes members of the great apes).

I. C. A. § 717F.1

APPLIES TO ALL TYPES OF POSSESSORS: Qualified individuals who owned or possessed an ape (or other dangerous wild animal) on July 1, 2007 could keep that animal as long as they comply with the registration requirement and all other legal requirements discussed in 717F.4 (note that registration had to be completed by December 31, 2007).

I. C. A. § 717F.4

ALLOWED IF AZA ACCREDITED

Under Iowa's Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a person may not own or possess a "dangerous wild animal."

I. C. A. § 717F.3

HOWEVER, this chapter does not apply to any of the following:

An institution accredited or certified by the American zoo and aquarium association.

I. C. A. § 717F.7

“Dangerous wild animal” means A member of the order of primates other than humans, and including the family hominidae (it then goes on to say it includes members of the great apes).

I. C. A. § 717F.1

 

ONLY ALLOWED IF FITS DEFINITION OF "CIRCUS" OR IS A USDA-LICENSED EXHIBITOR WHO IS ALSO REGISTERED WITH THE IOWA DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE AND LAND STEWARDSHIP

Generally, under Iowa's Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a person may not own or possess a "dangerous wild animal."

I. C. A. § 717F.3

“Dangerous wild animal” means A member of the order of primates other than humans, and including the family hominidae (it then goes on to say it includes members of the great apes).

I. C. A. § 717F.1

HOWEVER, this chapter does not apply to any of the following:

1. Circus

A circus that obtains a permit from a city in which it will be temporarily operating, if the city issues permits.

Under I. C. A. § 717F.1 "circus” does not include a person, regardless of whether the person is a holder of a class “C” license as provided in paragraph “a”, who uses a dangerous wild animal for any of the following purposes:

(1) A presentation to children at a public or nonpublic school as defined in section 280.2.

(2) Entertainment that involves an activity in which a member of the public is in close proximity to the dangerous wild animal, including but not limited to a contest or a photographic opportunity.

2. Licensed exhibitors

A person who keeps a dangerous wild animal pursuant to all of the following conditions:

a. The person is licensed by the United States department of agriculture as provided in 9 C.F.R. ch. I.

b. The person is registered by the department of agriculture and land stewardship. Upon a complaint filed with the department of agriculture and land stewardship, the department may inspect the premises or investigate the practices of the registered person and suspend or revoke the registration for the same causes and in the same manner as provided in section 162.12.

I. C. A. § 717F.7

ALLOWED

Generally, under Iowa's Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a person may not own or possess a "dangerous wild animal."

I. C. A. § 717F.3

“Dangerous wild animal” means A member of the order of primates other than humans, and including the family hominidae (it then goes on to say it includes members of the great apes).

I. C. A. § 717F.1

HOWEVER, this chapter does not apply to any of the following:

A wildlife sanctuary.

A person who has been issued a wildlife rehabilitation permit by the department of natural resources pursuant to section 481A.65.

Under I. C. A. § 717F.1, "wildlife sanctuary” means an organization exempt from taxation pursuant to section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wildlife are provided care for their lifetime, if all of the following apply:

a. The organization does not buy, sell, trade, auction, lease, loan, or breed any animal of which the organization is an owner.

b. The organization is accredited by the American sanctuary association, the association of sanctuaries, or another similar organization recognized by the department.

I. C. A. § 717F.7

ALLOWED

Generally, under Iowa's Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a person may not own or possess a "dangerous wild animal."

I. C. A. § 717F.3

“Dangerous wild animal” means A member of the order of primates other than humans, and including the family hominidae (it then goes on to say it includes members of the great apes).

I. C. A. § 717F.1

HOWEVER, this chapter does not apply to a research facility.

I. C. A. § 717F.7

Under I. C. A. § 717F.1, "research facility” means any of the following:

a. A federal research facility as provided in 9 C.F.R. ch. I.

b. A research facility that is required to be registered by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to 9 C.F.R. ch. I.

c. A research facility which is certified by the department of agriculture and land stewardship as provided in section 162.10.

Kansas

ALLOWED

There is no restriction on possessing an ape as a pet in Kansas nor is anyone required to obtain a permit.

Note that Kan. Stat. Ann. § 32-1301et seq. (Dangerous Regulated Animals law, which restricts and regulates the possession of “dangerous wild animals,” including lions, tigers, other exotic cats, and bears, but not apes or other nonhuman primates).

ALLOWED

Kansas has no special rules governing the importation or possession of apes by zoos.

ALLOWED

It is legal to import, possess, buy, and sell apes for any purpose, including exhibition.

There are no state permit or registration requirements for apes.

Kansas does not regulate zoos, circuses, or other exhibitors, nor does it have any minimum standards for the housing and care their animals.

ALLOWED

It is legal to import, possess, buy, and sell apes for any purpose.

While the Dangerous Regulated Animals law (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 32-1301 et seq.) does define a "wildlife sanctuary," the law does not cover great apes.

Note that the Pet Animal Act covers non-human primates (K. S. A. 47-1701(d)(1)). Any facility that is used to house relinquished, seized, or homeless animals (including nonhuman primates) must be licensed by the Kansas Animal Health Department and must comply with the agency’s animal housing and care requirements.

K. S. A. 47-1701 et seq.

ALLOWED

It is legal to import, possess, buy, and sell apes for any purpose.

Note that the Pet Animal Act covers non-human primates (K. S. A. 47-1701(d)(1)). All research facilities, as defined in the Pet Animal Act (PAA), located within the state must be licensed by the Kansas Animal Health Department (KAHD).

K. S. A. 47-1701 et seq.

Kentucky

BANNED

Section 150.280 of the Fish and Wildlife Resources Law directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) to develop a list of “potentially damaging” species of wildlife and to prohibit the transporting or holding of those animals.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 150.280

DFWR classifies all species of primates, including all apes, as “prohibited inherently dangerous” and prohibits the importation and possession of those animals except as allowed under the chapter.

Possession for a pet is not a listed exemption.

301 Ky. Admin. Regs. 2:082(3)(2)

Grandfather clause:

This ban includes an exemption for “inherently dangerous” animals that were legally possessed in Kentucky prior to July 13, 2005 so long as the person maintains veterinary records and either acquisition papers or other evidence that the prohibited animal was possessed by that date.

301 Ky. Admin. Regs. 2:082(6)

ALLOWED

Section 150.280 of the Fish and Wildlife Resources Law directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) to develop a list of “potentially damaging” species of wildlife and to prohibit the transporting or holding of those animals.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 150.280

DFWR classifies all species of primates, including all apes, as “prohibited inherently dangerous” and prohibits the importation and possession of those animals except as allowed under the chapter.

Under section 5 exemptions, a facility that is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association shall:

(a) Not be required to obtain a transportation permit for exotic wildlife; and

(b) Be allowed to import, transport, and possess the prohibited exotic species listed in Section 4(1) and (2) of this administrative regulation.

In addition upon written request, the commissioner may authorize the importation or possession of the species listed in this section by:

A zoo or facility that is designated as the official zoo of a municipality

301 Ky. Admin. Regs. 2:082(2)

 

NOT ALLOWED UNLESS CIRCUS OR STATE OR COUNTY FAIR AFFILIATED

Section 150.280 of the Fish and Wildlife Resources Law directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) to develop a list of “potentially damaging” species of wildlife and to prohibit the transporting or holding of those animals.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 150.280

DFWR classifies all species of primates, including all apes, as “prohibited inherently dangerous” and prohibits the importation and possession of those animals except as allowed under the chapter.

Section 150.280 of the Fish and Wildlife Resources Law directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) to develop a list of “potentially damaging” species of wildlife and to prohibit the transporting or holding of those animals.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 150.280

DFWR classifies all species of primates, including all apes, as “prohibited inherently dangerous” and prohibits the importation and possession of those animals except as allowed under the chapter.

Under section 5 exemptions, upon written request, the department shall consider an exemption for the importation of prohibited exotic species for the following entities:

A lawfully operated circus; or

An exhibitor sponsored or contracted by a lawfully operated state or county fair.

301 Ky. Admin. Regs. 2:082(2)

NOT ALLOWED UNLESS POSSESSED PRIOR TO GRANDFATHER DATE

There are no laws in Kentucky concerning exotic animal sanctuaries or exemptions in the inherently dangerous animal ban for wildlife sanctuaries.

 

ALLOWED

Section 150.280 of the Fish and Wildlife Resources Law directs the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) to develop a list of “potentially damaging” species of wildlife and to prohibit the transporting or holding of those animals.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 150.280

DFWR classifies all species of primates, including all apes, as “prohibited inherently dangerous” and prohibits the importation and possession of those animals except as allowed under the chapter.

Under section 5 exemptions, upon written request, the department shall consider an exemption for the importation of prohibited exotic species for the following entities:

A government agency;

A college or university;

A licensed or accredited institution of:


1. Research; or


2. Education;

301 Ky. Admin. Regs. 2:082(2)

 

Louisiana

BANNED

Under the statutory authority of La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 56:6(31), a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) regulation make it illegal to possess any species of nonhuman primate except for those permitted uses (which does not include possession as pets).

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(C)(1)(g)

In fact, the LWFC issued a policy statement with this regulation:

This commission finds that possession of certain potentially dangerous . . . non-human primates pose[] significant hazards to public safety and health, is detrimental to the welfare of the animals, and may have negative impacts on conservation and recovery of some threatened and endangered species.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(A)

Grandfather provision (applies to all individuals/entities):

An individual who legally possesses one or more non-human primates immediately prior to the effective date of this regulation and who can prove legal ownership is authorized to keep those non-human primates but is prohibited from acquiring any additional non-human primates by any means whatsoever, including breeding.

A permit must be acquired from the Department and renewed annually.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(G)(b)

 

ALLOWED FOR ACCREDITED ZOOS

ALLOWED FOR NON-ACCREDITED ZOOS WITH APPROVAL AND PERMIT

A Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) regulation makes it illegal to import, possess, purchase, or sell any species of nonhuman primate within the state except for those permitted uses.

Zoos accredited or certified by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) and the Zoo of Acadiana are exempted so long as they meet the American Zoo and Aquarium Association standards for enclosures.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(E).

The following organizations and entities may be exempted from this regulation after applying for and receiving a permit from the department to possess any listed animal under the following conditions:

other zoos and educational institutions not covered under Paragraphs E.1-2 above. The secretary shall determine whether to issue a permit and any conditions for the permit on a case by case basis . . .

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(F)(1)

 

BANNED

A Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) regulation makes it illegal to possess any species of nonhuman primate within the state except for permitted uses.

Exhibition is not a permitted use so it is illegal for all animal exhibitors to  possess any ape (or other nonhuman primate) in Louisiana.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(C)(1)

There is one limited exception for circuses temporarily in the state.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(E)(4)

Note that the regulation prohibits exhibiting an animal traveling through the state where the transit time is not more than 24 hours.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(E)(3)

 

ALLOWED FOR ACCREDITED SANCTUARIES

A Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) regulation makes it illegal to possess any species of nonhuman primate within the state except for permitted entities.

Animal sanctuaries accredited or certified by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) are permitted entities.

Permitted sanctuaries are prohibited from exhibiting, breeding, or selling any listed animal. Listed animals must be surgically sterilized or separately housed to prevent breeding. Listed animals must be housed in such a manner as to prevent public contact and in compliance with the enclosure rules provided herein in Subsection I. Permitted animal sanctuaries are prohibited from transporting these animals to any public building or place where they may come into contact with the public including, but not limited to schools, hospitals, malls, private residences, or other commercial or retail establishments.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(F)(2)

Note also that primate sanctuaries are specifically mentioned in the regulation as exempt entities:

Research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act as found in the United States Code Title 7, Chapter 54, §2132(e), including but not limited to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Primate Center, the Tulane National Primate Research Center, and Chimp Haven, Inc., located in Shreveport, LA are permitted entities. [emphasis added]

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(E)(2) 

ALLOWED

A Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) regulation makes it illegal to possess any species of nonhuman primate within the state except for permitted entities.

Research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act as found in the United States Code Title 7, Chapter 54, §2132(e), including but not limited to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Primate Center, the Tulane National Primate Research Center, and Chimp Haven, Inc., located in Shreveport, LA are permitted entities.

La. Admin Code. tit. 76, pt. V, § 115(F)(2)

 

Maine

BANNED

Maine’s exotic pet law prohibits keeping wildlife in captivity unless a person holds a valid license (ME ST T. 12 §§ 12151).

The regulations provide that a permit is required to take possess any native or exotic wildlife under Title 12 MRSA Section 12152 for General Wildlife Possession, including propagation or personal use of wildlife.

"General wildlife possession" permit is defined as:

The possession of wildlife for serious professional or avocational husbandry; or for the legitimate therapy or aid for people with disabilities.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. III, § 7.30

HOWEVER, the regulations state that no primate shall be permitted under this Part, except for purposes of therapeutic, emotional, or handicapped aid. The requirements are such that it would be difficult for a person seeking a permit for an ape to qualify.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. III, § 7.33

ALLOWED WITH EXHIBITOR'S LICENSE

Maine’s exotic pet law prohibits keeping wildlife in captivity unless a person holds a valid license. ME ST T. 12 § 12151

Section 12152 defines a "commercial exhibition permit" as a valid permit for possession. ME ST T. 12 § 12152

The accompanying regulations allow the commissioner to issue permits to a person or institution for the purpose of keeping wildlife in captivity for commercial exhibition, attracting trade, or for educational purposes. Permitees must meet site inspection and personnel training requirements.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. II, § 7.20

ALLOWED WITH EXHIBITOR'S LICENSE

Maine’s exotic pet law prohibits keeping wildlife in captivity unless a person holds a valid license. ME ST T. 12 § 12151

Section 12152 defines a "commercial exhibition permit" as a valid permit for possession. ME ST T. 12 § 12152

The accompanying regulations allow the commissioner to issue permits to a person or institution for the purpose of keeping wildlife in captivity for commercial exhibition, attracting trade, or for educational purposes. Permitees must meet site inspection and personnel training requirements.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. II, § 7.20

ALLOWED WITH REHABILITATOR'S LICENSE

Maine’s exotic pet law prohibits keeping wildlife in captivity unless a person holds a valid license (ME ST T. 12 §§ 12151).

Section 12152 defines a "rehabilitation permit" as a valid permit for possession.

The law or accompanying regulations contain no definitions that limit the term "wildlife" to only native species. Wildlife rehabilitation permits are required to possess debilitated wild animals for the purpose of restoring them to full health and for maintaining in captivity any debilitated wildlife that cannot be released to the wild.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. Iv, § 7.40

ALLOWED WITH SCIENTIFIC COLLECTION LICENSE

Maine law states that the commissioner may issue scientific collection permits (ME ST T. 12 §§ 12704 – 12705). Under section 12704, a permit holder is allowed to hunt, trap, possess, band and transport wild animals for scientific purposes.

Under the accompanying regulations, the scientific research must be approved by the Department.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. VI, § 7.60

Applications must include a full description of the purpose for which the permit will be used and documentation of institutional support.

ME ADC 09-137 Ch. 7, Pt. VI, § 7.61

Maryland

BANNED

A person (other than excluded persons or entities) may not possess a live nonhuman primate, including a lemur, monkey, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, marmoset, loris, or tamarin.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(b)(7)

Grandfather provision (applies to all possessors):

This section does not prohibit a person who had lawful possession of an animal specified in subsection (b) of this section on or before May 31, 2006, from continuing to possess that animal if the person provides written notification to the local animal control authority on or before August 1, 2006.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(2)(i)

 

ALLOWED IF LICENSED BY THE USDA UNDER THE AWA

A person (other than excluded entities) may not possess a live nonhuman primate, including a lemur, monkey, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, marmoset, loris, or tamarin.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(b)(7)

This section does not apply to an exhibitor licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act that displays the animals specified in subsection (b) of this section in a public setting as the exhibitor's primary function.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(a)(1)(ii)

 

ALLOWED IF LICENSED BY THE USDA UNDER THE AWA

A person (other than excluded entities) may not possess a live nonhuman primate, including a lemur, monkey, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, marmoset, loris, or tamarin.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(b)(7)

This section does not apply to an exhibitor licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act that displays the animals specified in subsection (b) of this section in a public setting as the exhibitor's primary function.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(a)(1)(ii)

ALLOWED IF MEETS CRITERIA LISTED FOR ANIMAL SANCTUARY

A person (other than excluded entities) may not possess a live nonhuman primate, including a lemur, monkey, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, marmoset, loris, or tamarin.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(b)(7)

This section does not apply to a an animal sanctuary that:

  1. is a nonprofit organization qualified under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
  2. operates a place of refuge for abused, neglected, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wildlife;
  3. does not conduct commercial activity with respect to any animal of which the organization is an owner; and
  4. does not buy, sell, trade, lease, or breed any animal except as an integral part of the species survival plan of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(a)(1)(iv)

 

ALLOWED IF LICENSED BY THE USDA UNDER THE AWA

A person (other than excluded entities) may not possess a live nonhuman primate, including a lemur, monkey, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, marmoset, loris, or tamarin.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(b)(7)

This section does not apply to a research facility or federal research facility licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621(a)(1)(i)

Massachusetts

BANNED

Endangered Species Law:

Under Massachusetts' state endangered species law, no person may possess a federally-listed endangered or threatened species unless that person has the necessary state and federal permits. Federal permits are not granted for apes as pets (and a state website indicates that a Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) permit would not be given for keeping an endangered species as a pet).

M.G.L.A. 131A § 2, 3, 321 MA ADC 10.04

Exotic Pet Law:

The director of fisheries and wildlife may draw up a special exemption list of animals for which no state license is required, but he or she MAY NOT exempt any federally listed endangered species or species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red Data Books.

M.G.L.A. 131 § 23

Under the companion regulation, it is unlawful to maintain any animal (other than those on the exemption list) without a license. Note that a "class 4 propagator's license" allows a person to possess a wild animal. However, the regulations state the license shall be denied:

  • to possess, maintain, propagate or cultivate animals as pets except as otherwise provided
  • to possess, maintain, or propagate animals for purposes or intentions based purely on curiosity, impulse or novelty, or to provide for personal amusement or entertainment

321 MA ADC 2.12(9)(a), (b)

Note that the companion regulation to M.G.L.A. 131 § 23 states that endangered species may not be exempted from the licensing as they are "Categorical Non-exemptions."

321 MA ADC 9.01

Grandfather provision:

The only exception for a prohibited animal for is one that was in the owner's possession within Massachusetts before July 1, 1980. This exemption is granted only for the life of that particular animal and the owner must present proof of legal possession.

321 MA ADC 2.12(10)(l)

ALLOWED WITH FEDERAL PERMITS AND CLASS 4 LICENSE FROM DFW

Endangered Species Law:

Under Massachusetts' state endangered species law, no person may possess a federally-listed endangered or threatened species unless that person has the necessary state and federal permits.

M.G.L.A. 131A § 2, 3, 321 MA ADC 10.04

Exotic Pet Law:

State license is required: the director of fisheries and wildlife may draw up a special exemption list of animals for which no state license is required, but he or she MAY NOT exempt any federally listed endangered species or species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red Data Books.

M.G.L.A. 131 § 23

Under state regulation, it is unlawful to maintain any animal (other than those on the exemption list) without a license.

A Class 4 license may be issued only to applicants who substantially document that the intended possession, maintenance or propagation is for:

an authentic and legitimate scientific use certified by officials of a generally recognized scientific institution such as museums of a zoological or biological nature, zoological or biological departments of an accredited college or university, or a public or private research institute for wildlife population or management studies; or

animals held or propagated under holding agreements or in conjunction with breeding programs of established zoos licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture.

321 MA ADC 2.12(10)(a), (f)

Note that the companion regulation to M.G.L.A. 131 § 23 states that endangered species may not be exempted from the licensing as they are "Categorical Non-exemptions."

321 MA ADC 9.01

ALLOWED WITH FEDERAL AND STATE CLASS 4 DFW LICENSES

Endangered Species Law:

Under Massachusetts' state endangered species law, no person may possess a federally-listed endangered or threatened species unless that person has the necessary state and federal permits.

M.G.L.A. 131A § 2, 3, 321 MA ADC 10.04

Exotic Pet Law:

State license is required: the director of fisheries and wildlife may draw up a special exemption list of animals for which no state license is required, but he or she MAY NOT exempt any federally listed endangered species or species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red Data Books.

M.G.L.A. 131 § 23

Exotic Pet Regulations:

It is unlawful to maintain any animal (other than those on the exemption list) without a valid license.

321 MA ADC 2.12(24)(a)

The state of purpose in the language of the regulations states that: "[T]he issuance of the so-called federal exhibitor's permit to any person other than a zoo does not exempt that person from compliance with 321 CMR 2.12 and its licensing provisions."

Based on that, it is clear that the regulation encompasses exhibitors holding USDA licenses.

However, there is language that suggests an exhibitor could be denied a class 4 license to possess a restricted animal. The regulations state the license shall be denied:

(f) the application is for a license to possess an animal in a commercial venture involving amusement or sport

321 MA ADC 2.12(9)(f)

However, another section suggests that traditional exhibition would be allowed. A Class 4 license may be issued only to applicants who substantially document that the intended possession, maintenance or propagation is for:

(c) a commercial use in conjunction with an applicant's primary existing occupation or livelihood in Massachusetts and for which the animal is an inherently necessary and an essential element

321 MA ADC 2.12(10)(c)

Note that the companion regulation to M.G.L.A. 131 § 23 states that endangered species may not be exempted from the licensing as they are "Categorical Non-exemptions."

321 MA ADC 9.01

 

POSSIBLY BANNED

Under a state regulation, it is unlawful to maintain any animal (other than those on the exemption list) without a license. Note that a "class 4 propagator's license" allows a person to possess a wild animal.

321 MA ADC 2.12(3)

No license is given under conditions that would describe a wildlife sanctuary. A sanctuary may possibly meet this criteria and could then be licensed:

(a) an authentic and legitimate scientific use certified by officials of a generally recognized scientific institution such as museums of a zoological or biological nature, zoological or biological departments of an accredited college or university, or a public or private research institute for wildlife population or management studies;

(b) an authentic and legitimate educational use certified by zoological or biological officials of a generally recognized educational institution such as an accredited college or university or a public or private school.

321 MA ADC 2.12(10)(a), (b)

Wildlife Rehabilitation:

It is possible to categorize the possession of great apes at a sanctuary under "wildlife rehabilitation." The state regulation dealing with rehabilitation provides two relevant sections for endangered wildlife:

The acquisition of endangered, threatened, and special concern wildlife, as listed in 321 CMR 10.60 whether dead or alive shall be reported immediately to the Division for special instructions relative to the disposition of such wildlife. In the case of an acquisition on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday it shall be reported on the work day, Monday- Friday, immediately following.

A federal permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or such other federal agency as may have jurisdiction shall be obtained by the permittee prior to receiving or rehabilitating any wildlife protected by federal law. This shall not preclude emergency care by licensed veterinarians pursuant to 321 CMR 2.12(11) . . .

321 MA ADC 2.13(22)(c), (d)

Based on this, as long as the acquisition of an ape was properly reported and appropriate federal permits were obtained prior to rehabilitating the ape, such possession might be allowed under Massachusetts law.

Note also that under Massachusetts' state endangered species law, no person may possess a federally-listed endangered or threatened species unless that person has the necessary state and federal permits.

M.G.L.A. 131A § 2, 3, 321 MA ADC 10.04

ALLOWED WITH FEDERAL PERMITS AND CLASS 4 LICENSE FROM DFW

Endangered Species Law:

Under Massachusetts' state endangered species law, no person may possess a federally-listed endangered or threatened species unless that person has the necessary state and federal permits.

M.G.L.A. 131A § 2, 3, 321 MA ADC 10.04

Exotic Pet Law:

State license is required: the director of fisheries and wildlife may draw up a special exemption list of animals for which no state license is required, but he or she MAY NOT exempt any federally listed endangered species or species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red Data Books.

M.G.L.A. 131 § 23

Under state regulation, it is unlawful to maintain any animal (other than those on the exemption list) without a license.

A Class 4 license may be issued only to applicants who substantially document that the intended possession, maintenance or propagation is for:

an authentic and legitimate scientific use certified by officials of a generally recognized scientific institution such as museums of a zoological or biological nature, zoological or biological departments of an accredited college or university, or a public or private research institute for wildlife population or management studies; or

an authentic and legitimate educational use certified by zoological or biological officials of a generally recognized educational institution such as an accredited college or university or a public or private school.

321 MA ADC 2.12(10)(a), (b)

Note that the companion regulation to M.G.L.A. 131 § 23 states that endangered species may not be exempted from the licensing as they are "Categorical Non-exemptions."

321 MA ADC 9.01

Michigan

NOT ALLOWED WITHOUT FEDERAL USFWS PERMIT UNDER ESA

Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act makes it illegal possess any species of wildlife that is listed as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

MCL 324.36505(1)

All gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, gibbons, and wild populations of chimpanzees are listed as endangered and captive bred chimpanzees are listed as threatened. It is then illegal possess except with a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to the ESA.

ALLOWED BY USFWS AND STATE PERMIT FOR ZOOLOGICAL PURPOSES

Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act makes it illegal possess any species of wildlife that is listed as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

MCL 324.36505(1)

All gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, gibbons, and wild populations of chimpanzees are listed as endangered and captive bred chimpanzees are listed as threatened. It is then illegal possess except with a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to the ESA.

The department may permit the possession of species of wildlife which appear on the state list of endangered or threatened species for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity wildlife to ensure their survival.

NOT ALLOWED WITHOUT FEDERAL USFWS PERMIT UNDER ESA

Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act makes it illegal possess any species of wildlife that is listed as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

MCL 324.36505(1)

All gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, gibbons, and wild populations of chimpanzees are listed as endangered and captive bred chimpanzees are listed as threatened. It is then illegal possess except with a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to the ESA.

NOT ALLOWED WITHOUT USFWS PERMIT UNDER ESA

Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act makes it illegal possess any species of wildlife that is listed as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

MCL 324.36505(1)

All gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, gibbons, and wild populations of chimpanzees are listed as endangered and captive bred chimpanzees are listed as threatened. It is then illegal possess except with a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to the ESA.

In Michigan, there are no state-level laws that define or regulate wild or exotic animal sanctuaries. This means that any facility can label itself a “sanctuary,” regardless of whether it operates for profit or maintains apes for commercial purposes. Any facility that calls itself a “sanctuary” is subject to the same laws and regulations as facilities that use apes for commercial purposes.

ALLOWED WITH FEDERAL USFWS PERMIT AND STATE PERMIT FOR SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES

Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act makes it illegal possess any species of wildlife that is listed as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

MCL 324.36505(1)

All gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, gibbons, and wild populations of chimpanzees are listed as endangered and captive bred chimpanzees are listed as threatened. It is then illegal possess except with a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to the ESA.

The department may permit the possession of species of wildlife which appear on the state list of endangered or threatened species for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity wildlife to ensure their survival.

Minnesota

BANNED

Minnesota defines all nonhuman primates, including, but not limited to, lemurs, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, marmosets, lorises, and tamarins as "regulated animals."

Except as provided it is unlawful for a person to possess a regulated animal.

Grandfather provision:

Unless a person possessed a regulated animal on or before January 1, 2005, and came into compliance with AWA regulations, possession of the above-mentioned regulated animals is unlawful. A person who lawfully possessed a regulated animal before that date, must comply with registration, microchipping, fee, and inspection requirements.

M. S. A. § 346.155

ALLOWED

Institutions accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association are exempt from the ban on keeping regulated animals under M. S. A. § 346.155.

 

BANNED

Minnesota defines all nonhuman primates, including, but not limited to, lemurs, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, marmosets, lorises, and tamarins as "regulated animals."

Except as provided it is unlawful for a person to possess a regulated animal.

Grandfather provision:

Unless a person possessed a regulated animal on or before January 1, 2005, and came into compliance with AWA regulations, possession of the above-mentioned regulated animals is unlawful. A person who lawfully possessed a regulated animal before that date, must comply with registration, microchipping, fee, and inspection requirements.

M. S. A. § 346.155

ALLOWED

Like accredited zoos, wildlife sanctuaries are also exempt from the ban on possessing regulated animals.

A facility must be able to show that it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that:

  1. operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wildlife are provided care for their lifetime;
  2. does not conduct any commercial activity with respect to any animal of which the organization is an owner; and
  3. does not buy, sell, trade, auction, lease, loan, or breed any animal of which the organization is an owner, except as an integral part of the species survival plan of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

M. S. A. § 346.155

ALLOWED

A licensed or accredited research or medical institution is exempt from the ban on possessing regulated animals.

M. S. A. § 346.155

Mississippi

ALLOWED WITH PERSONAL POSSESSION PERMIT

Under Chapter 8. Importation, Sale and Possession of Inherently Dangerous Wild Animals, all primates in the Family Pongidae (gibbons, orangutan, chimpanzees, siamangs and gorillas) are classified as "animals inherently dangerous to humans." This means that it is unlawful for a person to possess such an animal unless he or she holds a permit.

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-5

The accompanying regulations do provide a "personal possession" permit for primates, which has a fee of $150.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:III

Requirements to obtain a permit include the following:

  • 21 years old
  • 2 years of experience in the care and handling of the species for which the applicant is applying
  • in lieu of experience, applicant must take a written examination, developed and administered by the DWFP
  • recapture plan
  • no violation of captive wildlife regulations or cruelty to animals violations within last 3 years
  • Personal possession permit also have additional requirements such as complete street address, location where the animal will be housed, copy of the bill of sale showing ownership and date of acquisition, current animal inventory, vet statement, and proof of $100,000 minimum liability insurance for each wild animal.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:IV

Grandfather provision:

Anyone who possessed a Great Ape prior to May 1, 1997 “may” have received a fee-exempt temporary permit if the person applied by July first of that year.  Those individuals were then responsible for timely applying for an annual permit.

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-7

 

ALLOWED WITHOUT PERMIT IF APPROVED BY COMMISSION

While all primates in the Family Pongidae are considered "animals inherently dangerous to humans" under Chapter 8, a section states that "[p]ublic zoos. . . may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the commission."

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-7

Under the accompanying regulations, public zoos may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the Commission.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:III

The following must be provided on the ":fee exempt" permit application:

  • Name of facility with complete street address
  • Specific location where wild animal(s) will be housed
  • Current and complete animal inventory
  • Vet statement
  • Copy of current USDA Class “C” Exhibitor's License and copy of most recent USDA Animal Care Inspection Report

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:IV, MS ADC 40-1-32:IV

Note that under the definition for "Fee Exempt," any facility not meeting the definition but that was in existence on or before January 1, 1999, may have applied for a fee-exempt permit.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:II

NOT ALLOWED UNLESS A TEMPORARY EXHIBITOR (LESS THAN 30 DAYS IN STATE)

Under Chapter 8, "Importation, Sale and Possession of Inherently Dangerous Wild Animals," all primates in the Family Pongidae (gibbons, orangutan, chimpanzees, siamangs and gorillas) are classifed as "animals inherently dangerous to humans." This means that it is unlawful for a person to possess such an animal unless he or she holds a permit.

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-5

While the possession for exhibition is not directly banned in the laws or regulations, the public exhibition of animals is NOT allowed under a personal possession permit. The only permit for exhibitors is for temporary exhibitors (including, but not limited to, circuses, carnivals, or any other temporary public display of wild animals) for a period not to exceed 30 days.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:II, Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:III

 

ALLOWED WITHOUT A PERMIT IF APPROVED BY COMMISSION AND MEETS DEFINITION OF "REHABILITATION/SANCTUARY FACILITY"

While all primates in the Family Pongidae are considered "animals inherently dangerous to humans" under Chapter 8, a section states that ". . . rehabilitation and sanctuary facilities . . . may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the commission."

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-7

Under the accompanying regulations, rehabilitation/sanctuary facility may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the Commission.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:III

Under the definition section, a rehabilitation/sanctuary facility is defined as:

A facility where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, injured or displaced wild animals will be provided care for his or her lifetime. Animals housed at such a facility shall not be allowed to breed and produce offspring. Animals cannot be subjected to commercial activity, such as being placed on exhibit, being utilized for entertainment or being bought, traded or sold. Such facility shall maintain, in good standing, all permits and licenses required by city, county, state, federal and international statutes. Rehabilitation/sanctuary facilities shall maintain 501 (c)3 Federal tax status.

The following must be provided on the "fee exempt" permit application:

  • Name of facility with complete street address
  • Specific location where wild animal(s) will be housed
  • Current and complete animal inventory
  • Vet statement
  • Copy of current USDA Class “C” Exhibitor's License and copy of most recent USDA Animal Care Inspection Report

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:IV, MS ADC 40-1-32:IV

Note that under the definition for "Fee Exempt," any facility not meeting the definition but that was in existence on or before January 1, 1999, may have applied for a fee-exempt permit.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:II

ALLOWED FOR UNIVERSITY RESEARCH FACILITIES WITHOUT A PERMIT IF APPROVED BY COMMISSION

While all primates in the Family Pongidae are considered "animals inherently dangerous to humans" under Chapter 8, a section states that ". . . university research facilities [and] governmental agencies . . . may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the commission."

Miss. Code Ann. § 49-8-7

Under the accompanying regulations, university research facilities and governmental agencies may be exempted from having a permit if the exemption is approved by the Commission.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:III

The following must be provided on the "fee exempt" permit application:

  • Name of facility with complete street address
  • Specific location where wild animal(s) will be housed
  • Current and complete animal inventory
  • Vet statement
  • Copy of current USDA Class “C” Exhibitor's License and copy of most recent USDA Animal Care Inspection Report

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:IV, MS ADC 40-1-32:IV

Note that under the definition for "Fee Exempt," any facility not meeting the definition but that was in existence on or before January 1, 1999, may have applied for a fee-exempt permit.

Miss. Admin. Code 40-1-32:II

Missouri

ALLOWED (BUT MUST REGISTER APE WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT)

Apes are considered “dangerous wild animals,” and any person that possesses an ape within Missouri must register the animal with the local law enforcement agency in the county in which the ape resides. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.

V. A. M. S. 578.023

Note that while the Missouri endangered species law makes it illegal to transport, import, or sell a species listed as endangered or threatened under the federal ESA, possession is not addressed.

V. A. M. S. 252.240

 

ALLOWED

All nonhuman primates are considered “dangerous wild animals.” However, a "properly maintained zoological park" is exempt from the requirement to register a dangerous wild animal with local law enforcement.

V. A. M. S. 578.023

Any publicly owned and operated zoo is exempt from the provisions of the state endangered species law.

V. A. M. S. 252.240

 

 

ALLOWED (BUT MUST REGISTER APE WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT)

Apes are considered “dangerous wild animals,” and any person that possesses an ape within Missouri must register the animal with the local law enforcement agency in the county in which the ape resides. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor. The only commercial exhibitor that is exempt is a circus.

V. A. M. S. 578.023

Note that while the Missouri endangered species law makes it illegal to transport, import, or sell a species listed as endangered or threatened under the federal ESA, possession is not addressed.

V. A. M. S. 252.240

 

ALLOWED (BUT MAY HAVE TO REGISTER APE WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT)

Apes are considered “dangerous wild animals,” and any person that possesses an ape within Missouri must register the animal with the local law enforcement agency in the county in which the ape resides. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.

The law does exempt an "animal refuge" from the registration requirement. This term is not defined, so it could include an ape or exotic animal sanctuary.

V. A. M. S. 578.023

Note that while the Missouri endangered species law makes it illegal to transport, import, or sell a species listed as endangered or threatened under the federal ESA, possession is not addressed.

V. A. M. S. 252.240

ALLOWED

All nonhuman primates are considered “dangerous wild animals.” However, a "scientific, or educational institution, [or] research laboratory" is exempt from the requirement to register a dangerous wild animal with local law enforcement.

V. A. M. S. 578.023

Any publicly owned and operated zoo is exempt from the provisions of the state endangered species law.

V. A. M. S. 252.240

Note also the state' anti-cruelty laws do not apply to research facilities engaged in "[b]ona fide scientific experiments."

V. A. M. S. 578.007

Montana

BANNED

A person may not import into the state, possess, or sell any exotic wildlife unless it is allowed by law or rule and the person has obtained a permit.

MCA 87-5-705

Since the Pongidae family (apes) are defined as "prohibited species" under ARM 12.6.2215, a permit is issued only to select categories.

ARM 12.6.2215

No private possession permits are allowed under this rule.

 

ALLOWED FOR ALL ZOOS WITH PERMIT

A person may not import into the state, possess, or sell any exotic wildlife unless it is allowed by law or rule and the person has obtained a permit.

MCA 87-5-705

Since the Pongidae family (apes) are defined as "prohibited species" under ARM 12.6.2215, a permit is issued only to select categories.

ARM 12.6.2215 

Roadside and accredited zoos are excepted from that subchapter of regulations that otherwise prohibits possession of apes.

A companion regulation states that the Department may issue a permit for possession of a prohibited species only to the following:

(a) a zoo or aquarium which is an accredited institutional member of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums;

(b) a roadside menagerie or zoo licensed by the department

ARM 12.6.2220

ALLOWED FOR CERTAIN EXHIBITORS (ROADSIDE MENAGERIE, NON-PROFIT EDUCATIONAL, AND COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY/TELEVISION) WITH PERMIT

A person may not import into the state, possess, or sell any exotic wildlife unless it is allowed by law or rule and the person has obtained a permit.

MCA 87-5-705

Since the Pongidae family (apes) are defined as "prohibited species" under ARM 12.6.2215, a permit is issued only to select categories.

ARM 12.6.2215

The department may issue a permit for possession of a prohibited species only to the following:

(b) a roadside menagerie or zoo licensed by the department;

(c) a business that displays, exhibits, or uses the species for exhibition or commercial photography or television and has a USDA Class C Exhibitor's license if the species:

(i) is accompanied by evidence of lawful possession;

(ii) is not in this state for more than 90 days or a time period authorized by the department;

(iii) is maintained under complete control and prohibited from coming into contact with members of the general public unless authorized for such contact by the department. If the person is displaying, exhibiting, or using animals for commercial purposes other than food or fiber, he/she must possess the appropriate license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture; and

(iv) is accompanied by an official certificate of veterinary inspection as defined in ARM 32.3.206 “Official Health Certificate” and an entry permit number issued by the Montana Department of Livestock within ten days of entry into Montana;

. . .

(f) a tax-exempt nonprofit organization licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture that exhibits wildlife solely for educational or scientific purposes;

ARM 12.6.2220

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

A person may not import into the state, possess, or sell any exotic wildlife unless it is allowed by law or rule and the person has obtained a permit.

MCA 87-5-705

Since the Pongidae family (apes) are defined as "prohibited species" under ARM 12.6.2215, a permit is issued only to select categories.

ARM 12.6.2215

The department may issue a permit for possession of a prohibited species only to the following:

a rescue facility for exotic wildlife with either national or state agency affiliation engaged in temporary housing of exotic wildlife for the purpose of rescue for relocation.


ARM 12.6.2220

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

A person may not import into the state, possess, or sell any exotic wildlife unless it is allowed by law or rule and the person has obtained a permit.

MCA 87-5-705

Since the Pongidae family (apes) are defined as "prohibited species" under ARM 12.6.2215, a permit is issued only to select categories.

ARM 12.6.2215

The department may issue a permit for possession of a prohibited species only to the following:

(d) a college, university, or government agency, for scientific or public health research;

(e) any other scientific institution, as determined by the department, for research or medical necessity;
 
ARM 12.6.2220

 

Nebraska

POSSIBLY ALLOWED BY PERMIT

Captive Wildlife Permit:

Under Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477, no person is allowed to keep in captivity any or any wildlife determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act or section 37-806 without first having obtained a permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477

A person shall apply to the commission on a form prescribed by the commission for a captive wildlife permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-479

Under the regulations promulgated for this act, threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation may be kept only with special permit provisions.

163 NE ADC Ch. 4, § 008.001B

Endangered Species Permit:

Except as provided in regulations issued by the commission, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess any nongame wildlife in need of conservation pursuant to this section. The Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act incorporates those species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 37-805

There are no further regulations that detail these "special permit provisions." It is assumed that such a permit is then discretionary.

Grandfather provision:

Any person legally holding in captivity, on March 1, 1986, any animal subject to the prohibition contained in subsection (2) of this section shall be allowed to keep the animal for the duration of its life. Such animal shall not be traded, sold, or otherwise disposed of without written permission from the commission.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477(3)

ALLOWED WITHOUT CAPTIVE SPECIES PERMIT, BUT SPECIAL PERMIT MAY BE REQUIRED

Captive Wildlife Permit:

Under Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477, no person is allowed to keep in captivity any or any wildlife determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act or section 37-806 without first having obtained a permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477

However, any zoo, park, refuge, wildlife area, or nature center owned or operated by a city, village, state, or federal agency or any zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or the Zoological Association of America is not required to obtain a permit under the act.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-481

Endangered Species Permit:

Except as provided in regulations issued by the commission, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess any nongame wildlife in need of conservation pursuant to this section. The Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act incorporates those species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 37-805

Under the regulations promulgated for this act, threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation may be kept only with special permit provisions.

163 NE ADC Ch. 4, § 008.001B

There are no further regulations that detail these "special permit provisions." It is assumed that such a permit is then discretionary.

POSSIBLY ALLOWED BY PERMIT

Captive Wildlife Permit:

Under Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477, no person is allowed to keep in captivity any or any wildlife determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act or section 37-806 without first having obtained a permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477

A person shall apply to the commission on a form prescribed by the commission for a captive wildlife permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-479

Under the regulations promulgated for this act, threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation may be kept only with special permit provisions.

163 NE ADC Ch. 4, § 008.001B

Endangered Species Permit:

Except as provided in regulations issued by the commission, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess any nongame wildlife in need of conservation pursuant to this section. The Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act incorporates those species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 37-805

There are no further regulations that detail these "special permit provisions." It is assumed that such a permit is then discretionary.

Grandfather provision:

Any person legally holding in captivity, on March 1, 1986, any animal subject to the prohibition contained in subsection (2) of this section shall be allowed to keep the animal for the duration of its life. Such animal shall not be traded, sold, or otherwise disposed of without written permission from the commission.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477(3)

POSSIBLY ALLOWED BY PERMIT

Captive Wildlife Permit:

Under Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477, no person is allowed to keep in captivity any or any wildlife determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act or section 37-806 without first having obtained a permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477

A person shall apply to the commission on a form prescribed by the commission for a captive wildlife permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-479

Under the regulations promulgated for this act, threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation may be kept only with special permit provisions.

163 NE ADC Ch. 4, § 008.001B

Endangered Species Permit:

Except as provided in regulations issued by the commission, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess any nongame wildlife in need of conservation pursuant to this section. The Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act incorporates those species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 37-805

There are no further regulations that detail these "special permit provisions." It is assumed that such a permit is then discretionary.

Grandfather provision:

Any person legally holding in captivity, on March 1, 1986, any animal subject to the prohibition contained in subsection (2) of this section shall be allowed to keep the animal for the duration of its life. Such animal shall not be traded, sold, or otherwise disposed of without written permission from the commission.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477(3)

POSSIBLY ALLOWED BY PERMIT

Captive Wildlife Permit:

Under Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477, no person is allowed to keep in captivity any or any wildlife determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act or section 37-806 without first having obtained a permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477

A person shall apply to the commission on a form prescribed by the commission for a captive wildlife permit.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-479

Under the regulations promulgated for this act, threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation may be kept only with special permit provisions.

163 NE ADC Ch. 4, § 008.001B

Endangered Species Permit:

Except as provided in regulations issued by the commission, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess any nongame wildlife in need of conservation pursuant to this section. The Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act incorporates those species listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 37-805

There are no further regulations that detail these "special permit provisions." It is assumed that such a permit is then discretionary.

Grandfather provision:

Any person legally holding in captivity, on March 1, 1986, any animal subject to the prohibition contained in subsection (2) of this section shall be allowed to keep the animal for the duration of its life. Such animal shall not be traded, sold, or otherwise disposed of without written permission from the commission.

Neb. Rev. St. § 37-477(3)

Nevada

ALLOWED

Section 501.181 authorizes the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners to enact regulations concerning wildlife. Nevada’s administrative code prohibits the possession of certain species of live wildlife (503.110).

While Nevada regulations generally prohibits the possession certain species of live wildlife (503.110), some animals may be possessed, transported, imported, and exported without a permit or license issued by the Department, including “monkeys and other primates” (503.140(1)(m)).

ALLOWED

Nevada’s administrative code allows for the importation, transportation, and possession of great apes by zoos under Section 503.110(3)(a). To qualify for this exception, a zoo must be an accredited institutional member of the Zoological Association of America.

In addition, while the regulation generally prohibits the possession certain species of live wildlife (503.110), some animals may be possessed, transported, imported, and exported without a permit or license issued by the Department, including “monkeys and other primates” (503.140(1)(m)).

ALLOWED

While Nevada regulations generally prohibits the possession certain species of live wildlife (503.110), some animals may be possessed, transported, imported, and exported without a permit or license issued by the Department, including “monkeys and other primates” (503.140(1)(m)).

ALLOWED

While Nevada regulations generally prohibits the possession certain species of live wildlife (503.110), some animals may be possessed, transported, imported, and exported without a permit or license issued by the Department, including “monkeys and other primates” (503.140(1)(m)).

Also may be governed by Nevada’s administrative code section 504.490 – 98, which covers wildlife rehabilitation permits in Nevada. While the language of the regulation suggests it only applies to native species, the section’s reference to wildlife that is threatened or endangered is broad enough to cover great apes. A holder of a permit must comply with the terms, conditions, and restrictions of the permit, as well as allow Department employees to inspect the wildlife and holding facilities (504.494(1)).

ALLOWED

While Nevada regulations generally prohibits the possession certain species of live wildlife (503.110), some animals may be possessed, transported, imported, and exported without a permit or license issued by the Department, including “monkeys and other primates” (503.140(1)(m)).

 Under 503.110, Nevada allows for the taking and possession of protected wildlife for “scientific purposes,” including scientific or public health research and medical necessity.

New Hampshire

BANNED

Private possession of great apes in New Hampshire is limited to those who possess an exhibitor’s permit issued by the USDA. N.H. Code Admin. R. Fis 804.05.

Although no laws address having a great ape as a pet, these regulations are intended to prevent any private individual from keeping a great ape in their home. However, exhibitors can renew their USDA Class C licenses based on a self-declaration of their intent to exhibit the animal, so this may enable certain licensed exhibitors to circumvent laws prohibiting private possession of apes.

ALLOWED ONLY WITH CLASS C USDA EXHIBITOR'S PERMIT

Possession of great apes in New Hampshire is limited to those who possess an exhibitor’s permit issued by the USDA. N.H. Code Admin. R. Fis 804.05.

There are no laws or regulations concerning traditional or roadside zoos possessing great apes. Any ape possessor must have a Class C USDA license.

ALLOWED WITH CLASS C USDA PERMIT

Possession of great apes in New Hampshire is limited to those who possess an exhibitor’s permit issued by the USDA. N.H. Code Admin. R. Fis 804.05.

 

BANNED (UNLESS A SANCTUARY POSSESSES CLASS C USDA EXHIBITOR'S PERMIT)

Possession of great apes in New Hampshire is limited to those who possess an exhibitor’s permit issued by the USDA. N.H. Code Admin. R. Fis 804.05.

There are no laws or regulations concerning exotic animal sanctuaries in the state. Since sanctuaries do not typically exhibit apes, they would likely not possess the necessary Class C USDA permit.

BANNED

Possession of great apes in New Hampshire is limited to those who possess an exhibitor’s permit issued by the USDA. N.H. Code Admin. R. Fis 804.05.

It is unlikely that a scientific or medical research entity would possess a Class C permit.

 

New Jersey

BANNED

Under the state's administrative code, the "Criteria for Possession of Potentially Dangerous Species" states explicitly that "[t]he potentially dangerous species shall not be kept as a pet, for hobby purposes or in situations, which, in the judgment of the Department, could adversely affect the health of the animal or which could constitute a hazard to the public." (N.J.A.C. 4:25-4.9(a)(3)).

The ban on pet ownership is solidified by regulations addressing endangered species. The endangered species permit regulations state that the animal subject to the permit may not be kept as a pet, for hobby purposes. (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.15(b)).

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Traditional zoos would likely qualify for a permit under New Jersey regulations. A zoological park would need to obtain both an endangered species permit AND potentially dangerous animal permit. The endangered species regulation states, “[i]f the designated endangered species is also designated as an exotic mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian or nongame species or potentially dangerous species, the criteria established by 7:25-4.7 and 7:25-4.9 must also be met.” (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.10).

Traditional zoos could then be permitted to possess apes under a "zoological holding" permit.  (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.6(a)(3)).

PROBABLY BANNED

It is unclear whether a roadside zoo or other animal exhibitor could receive a permit to exhibit apes in New Jersey. While the state has a permit classification for “animal exhibitor,” the regulations specifically prohibit the possession of state or federally-listed endangered species. (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.10). The criteria for obtaining a discretionary endangered species permit in New Jersey require that an applicant holds a federal permit, has a sponsoring organization, and completes a detailed scientific research proposal. (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.14). Since “[a]pplicants for a permit to possess endangered wildlife species in New Jersey must be sponsored by a scientific institution, zoological society or similar organization accredited by its professional peers,” a typical menagerie would not likely obtain such backing. (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.14(d)).

If the Department found that regulation inapplicable or if the exhibition involved non-endangered apes, the Department may have the discretion to issue an "animal exhibitor" permit. (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.6(a)(6)).

 

PROBABLY BANNED

New Jersey does not address this type of use, either in its endangered species law or the accompanying regulations. Unlike some other states, it does not even broach the topic of sanctuaries via the language of "rescue" or "rehabilitation” (the latter permit only applies to birds in New Jersey). Likely, a sanctuary would need to obtain both a potentially dangerous animal permit and endangered species permit for all endangered apes (excluding captive-born chimps, which are listed as threatened). The permit to possess endangered species requires that an applicant holds a federal permit and has a sponsoring organization in addition to a scientific research proposal (See N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.14). If a sanctuary had a sponsor and met the goal of aiding in the study of conservation of species, a permit might be granted by the Department.

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Scientific study is a specific permit contemplated by the potentially dangerous animal regulations. (N.J.A.C.7:25-4.6(a)(2)). Since all apes except for captive-born chimpanzees are federally-listed endangered species, scientific researchers would need to obtain both an endangered species permit AND potentially dangerous animal permit. (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.10). The criteria for obtaining a discretionary endangered species permit in New Jersey require that an applicant holds a federal permit and has a sponsoring organization in addition to a rigorous scientific research proposal (N.J.A.C. 7:25-4.14).

 

New Mexico

ALLOWED

New Mexico law does not address the possession of great apes as pets.

However, a regulation does prohibit the importation of endangered or threatened species by the general public.

NM ADC 19.35.7.10 (A)(4)

Also note that NMSA 1978, § 77-18-1 provides:

The sale, purchase, trade and possession with intent to keep as a pet of any subhuman primate, skunk, raccoon, fox or other sylvatic carnivore may be regulated by regulation of the health and environment department [department of health] for the protection of public health and safety.

No regulations limiting the possession of primates has been promulgated.

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

It appears that possession is governed by administrative regulation N.M. Admin. Code 19.36.2. New Mexico allows for the taking and possession of protected wildlife for “scientific purposes":

“Scientific purposes” means the taking or possession of protected wildlife for research, management and/or related purposes (e.g., captive, experimental and mark-and-release studies).

Authorizations/permits will be issued only to qualified applicants for legitimate scientific and educational purposes. Such activities must be carried out in a humane, judicious, sensitive and otherwise appropriate manner, and failure to do so will be grounds for punitive or other actions by the department of game and fish.

NM Admin Code 19.36.2.8(H)

ALLOWED

New Mexico law does not address the possession of great apes by commercial exhibitors.

However, a regulation does prohibit the importation of endangered or threatened species by the general public.

NM ADC 19.35.7.10 (A)(4)

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

While state law or regulation does not use the term “sanctuary,” it appears that possession here is governed by 19.35.5, which covers wildlife rehabilitation permits in New Mexico. The New Mexico department of game and fish may issue permits for the rehabilitation of sick, injured, orphaned, or otherwise incapacitated wildlife for return to the wild or other authorized disposition. While the language of the regulation suggests it only applies to native species, the definition of protected wildlife is broad enough to cover great apes. The regulation defines “protected wildlife” as “a species, the possession or taking of which is controlled, regulated or prohibited by state or federal law or regulation."

NM Admin Code 19.35.5.7

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

It appears that possession is governed by administrative regulation N.M. Admin. Code 19.36.2. New Mexico allows for the taking and possession of protected wildlife for “scientific purposes":

“Scientific purposes” means the taking or possession of protected wildlife for research, management and/or related purposes (e.g., captive, experimental and mark-and-release studies).

Authorizations/permits will be issued only to qualified applicants for legitimate scientific and educational purposes. Such activities must be carried out in a humane, judicious, sensitive and otherwise appropriate manner, and failure to do so will be grounds for punitive or other actions by the department of game and fish.

NM Admin Code 19.36.2.8(H)

New York

BANNED

No person shall knowingly possess any wild animal for use as a pet in New York state.

Any person who possessed or harbored a wild animal for use as a pet at the time this section took effect (January 2005) may retain possession of such animal for the remainder of its life. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0512.

Under the definition section, "wild animal" includes nonhuman primates and prosimians. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0103.

Possession is also prohibited under the state's endangered species law without a license or permit issued by the department. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0535.

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT/LICENSE

This section prohibiting possession of wild animal as pets does not apply to the following persons and entities with respect to wild animals owned or harbored by them solely for a purpose other than for use as a pet:

a. Zoological facilities licensed pursuant to 7 USC. Sec. 2131 et seq.

b. Exhibitors licensed pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Sections 2132-2134

McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0512.

Under the definition section, "wild animal" includes nonhuman primates and prosimians. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0103.

Possession is also prohibited under the state's endangered species law without a license or permit issued by the department.

The department may promulgate regulations to the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species of special concern as the department deems necessary for the proper protection of such species. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0535.

“Zoological” means possession of live wildlife for use in: (1) developing husbandry techniques for maintaining self-sustaining captive populations; (2) establishment and maintenance of captive populations to supply specimens to others for scientific or educational purposes; or (3) preservation of a gene pool for possible reintroduction to the wild. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 6 § 175.2(c).

 

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT/LICENSE

This section prohibiting possession of wild animal as pets does not apply to the following persons and entities with respect to wild animals owned or harbored by them solely for a purpose other than for use as a pet:

Exhibitors licensed pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Sections 2132-2134 and reptile exhibitors who have demonstrated to the department, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner, that the sole purpose for which the wild animal or animals are used is for exhibition to the public for profit or compensation

McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0512.

Under the definition section, "wild animal" includes nonhuman primates and prosimians. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0103.

Possession is also prohibited under the state's endangered species law without a license or permit issued by the department.

The department may promulgate regulations to the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species of special concern as the department deems necessary for the proper protection of such species. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0535.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT/LICENSE

This section prohibiting possession of wild animal as pets does not apply to the following persons and entities with respect to wild animals owned or harbored by them solely for a purpose other than for use as a pet:

A wildlife sanctuary as defined in subdivision thirty-two of section 11-0103 of this article.

McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0512.

Under the definition section, "wild animal" includes nonhuman primates and prosimians. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0103.

Also, "wildlife sanctuary" is defined as such:

"Wildlife sanctuary" means an organization as described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [FN1] and that is in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC Sec. 2131 et seq. and operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wild animals are provided care for their lifetime or rehabilitated and released back to their natural habitat, and, with respect to any animal owned by the organization, does not:

a. Use the animal for any type of entertainment, recreational or commercial purpose except for the purpose of exhibition as defined by the department;

b. Sell, trade, lend or barter the animal or the animal's body parts; or

c. Breed the animal.

Possession is also prohibited under the state's endangered species law without a license or permit issued by the department.

The department may promulgate regulations to the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species of special concern as the department deems necessary for the proper protection of such species. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0535.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT/LICENSE

This section prohibiting possession of wild animal as pets does not apply to the following persons and entities with respect to wild animals owned or harbored by them solely for a purpose other than for use as a pet:

Research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act, 7 USC. Section 2132 (e), which are licensed by the United States Secretary of Agriculture;

McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0512.

Under the definition section, "wild animal" includes nonhuman primates and prosimians. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0103.

Possession is also prohibited under the state's endangered species law without a license or permit issued by the department.

The department may promulgate regulations to the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of any species of special concern as the department deems necessary for the proper protection of such species. McKinney's E. C. L. § 11-0535.

North Carolina

ALLOWED

While importation and sale of any wildlife is prohibited under law (NC ST § 113-294), there are no restrictions in either the law or regulations on the private possession of great apes.

ALLOWED

There are no laws in North Carolina that require zoos to obtain a license to possess great apes or otherwise limit their possession by accredited or roadside zoos. North Carolina’s administrative code allows zoos to acquire and dispose of animals by “any method” NC Admin Code § 22C.0004. The North Carolina Zoological Park is also specifically excluded from the provisions of the state’s endangered species act. NC ST § 113-332.

 

ALLOWED

There are no laws in North Carolina that require zoos to obtain a license to possess great apes or otherwise limit their possession by accredited or roadside zoos. North Carolina’s administrative code allows zoos to acquire and dispose of animals by “any method." NC Admin Code § 22C.0004.

 

ALLOWED

There are no laws or regulations that limit the possession of great apes or require sanctuaries to obtain a license to posses them. While state law or regulation does not use the term “sanctuary,” it appears that possession here is governed by section 113-272.5, which governs captivity licenses in North Carolina. The Wildlife Resources Commission may license qualified individuals to hold wild animals “that are crippled, tame, or otherwise unfit for immediate release into their natural habitat.” While the language of this law suggests it only applies to native species, the section’s reference to the term “wildlife” is broad enough to cover great apes.

 

ALLOWED

There are no laws in North Carolina that require research facilities to obtain a license to possess great apes. Section 113-261 allows the Department, the Wildlife Resources Commission, and agencies of the United States with jurisdiction over fish and wildlife to take wildlife resources within the state for “scientific investigations.” These activities need not comply with licensing and permit requirements under this section. Like zoos, scientific and biological research facilities are also exempt from the Commission’s standards of caging and care for wild animals. NC Admin Code § 10H0302.

North Dakota

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

An individual must obtain then maintain a “nontraditional livestock licensure” from the state board of animal health. NDAC 48-12-01.1-02. All primates are classified as “category 3 nontraditional livestock" meaning “those species determined by the board to pose special concerns, including species which are inherently dangerous or environmentally hazardous.”

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

An individual must obtain then maintain a “nontraditional livestock licensure” from the state board of animal health. NDAC 48-12-01.1-02. All primates are classified as “category 3 nontraditional livestock" meaning “those species determined by the board to pose special concerns, including species which are inherently dangerous or environmentally hazardous.”

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

An individual must obtain then maintain a “nontraditional livestock licensure” from the state board of animal health. NDAC 48-12-01.1-02. All primates are classified as “category 3 nontraditional livestock" meaning “those species determined by the board to pose special concerns, including species which are inherently dangerous or environmentally hazardous.”

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

An individual must obtain then maintain a “nontraditional livestock licensure” from the state board of animal health. NDAC 48-12-01.1-02. All primates are classified as “category 3 nontraditional livestock" meaning “those species determined by the board to pose special concerns, including species which are inherently dangerous or environmentally hazardous.”

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

An individual must obtain then maintain a “nontraditional livestock licensure” from the state board of animal health. NDAC 48-12-01.1-02. All primates are classified as “category 3 nontraditional livestock" meaning “those species determined by the board to pose special concerns, including species which are inherently dangerous or environmentally hazardous.”

Ohio

BANNED AS OF JANUARY 1, 2014 (CURRENT POSSESSORS MUST REGISTER ANIMALS BY 11-5-12)

A new Ohio law does not allow for possession of dangerous wild animals on or after January 1, 2014, unless a person is authorized under a valid wildlife shelter or propagation permit or other exception. R.C. § 935.02.

Section 935.01 defines dangerous wild animals to include nonhuman primates other than lemurs, as well as a specified list of nonhuman primates. R.C. § 935.01(C)(19).

Grandfather provision:

A person that possesses a dangerous wild animal on the effective date of this section must register the animal with the director of agriculture not later than 60 days after the effective date of this section (section effective 9-5-12).

A person that possesses a registered dangerous wild animal on October 1, 2013, and that wishes to continue to possess the dangerous wild animal on and after January 1, 2014, shall obtain a wildlife shelter permit issued under section 935.06 or a wildlife propagation permit issued under section 935.07. R.C. § 935.04.

 

ALLOWED AS EXEMPT FROM BAN

A new Ohio law does not allow for possession of dangerous wild animals on or after January 1, 2014, unless a person is authorized under a valid wildlife shelter or propagation permit or other exception. R.C. § 935.02.

Section 935.01 defines dangerous wild animals to include nonhuman primates other than lemurs, as well as a specified list of nonhuman primates. R.C. § 935.01(C)(19).

The ban on possession does not apply to a facility that is an accredited member of the association of zoos and aquariums or the zoological association of America and that is licensed by the United States department of agriculture under the federal animal welfare act.

Note that the registration requirement of 935.04(A) and (B) is NOT exempted. R.C. § 935.03(B).

Facilities that possess a dangerous wild animal and hold a USDA license under the AWA that are in the process of becoming an accredited member of the association of zoos and aquariums or the zoological association of America may also be exempt. R.C. § 935.03(A).

BANNED AS OF JANUARY 1, 2014 UNLESS EXHIBITOR OBTAINS WILDLIFE SHELTER PERMIT

A new Ohio law does not allow for possession of dangerous wild animals on or after January 1, 2014, unless a person is authorized under a valid wildlife shelter or propagation permit or other exception. R.C. § 935.02.

Section 935.01 defines dangerous wild animals to include nonhuman primates other than lemurs, as well as a specified list of nonhuman primates. R.C. § 935.01(C)(19).

Grandfather provision:

A person that possesses a dangerous wild animal on the effective date of this section must register the animal with the director of agriculture not later than 60 days after the effective date of this section (section effective 9-5-12).

A person that possesses a registered dangerous wild animal on October 1, 2013, and that wishes to continue to possess the dangerous wild animal on and after January 1, 2014, shall obtain a wildlife shelter permit issued under section 935.06 or a wildlife propagation permit issued under section 935.07. R.C. § 935.04.

 

ALLOWED AS EXEMPT FROM BAN

A new Ohio law does not allow for possession of dangerous wild animals on or after January 1, 2014, unless a person is authorized under a valid wildlife shelter or propagation permit or other exception. R.C. § 935.02.

Section 935.01 defines dangerous wild animals to include nonhuman primates other than lemurs, as well as a specified list of nonhuman primates. R.C. § 935.01(C)(19).

The ban on possession does not apply to a wildlife sanctuary.

"Wildlife sanctuary” means a nonprofit organization as described in section 170 of the “Internal Revenue Code of 1986,” 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 170, as amended, that is accredited or verified by the global federation of animal sanctuaries, that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced dangerous wild animals or restricted snakes are provided care for their lifetime or released back to their natural habitat, and, with respect to an animal or snake possessed by the organization, that does not do any of the following:

  1. Use or allow the use of the animal or snake for any type of entertainment or in a traveling exhibit;
  2. Sell, trade, lease, loan, or barter the animal or snake or the animal's or snake's body parts;
  3. Use or allow the use of the animal or snake in any manner for profit;
  4. Breed the animal or snake;
  5. Allow the public the opportunity to come into physical contact with the animal or snake.

Note that the registration requirement of 935.04(A) and (B) is NOT exempted.

R.C. § 935.03(B).

ALLOWED AS EXEMPT FROM BAN

A new Ohio law does not allow for possession of dangerous wild animals on or after January 1, 2014, unless a person is authorized under a valid wildlife shelter or propagation permit or other exception. R.C. § 935.02.

Section 935.01 defines dangerous wild animals to include nonhuman primates other than lemurs, as well as a specified list of nonhuman primates. R.C. § 935.01(C)(19).

The ban on possession does not apply to:

A research facility as defined in the federal animal welfare act; or

A research facility that is accredited by the association for the assessment and accreditation of laboratory animal care international.

Note that the registration requirement of 935.04(A) and (B) is NOT exempted.

R.C. § 935.03(B).

Oklahoma

BANNED

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conversation Code explicitly prohibits a person from possessing an endangered or threatened species or parts thereof. 29 Okl. St. Ann. § 7-502(2). The Code includes federally-listed species under the definition for “endangered."

The law also prohibits the possession of any endangered or threatened species “without specific written permission of the Director. In no event, however, may that permission conflict with federal law.” 29 Okl. St. Ann. 5-412.

 

 

BANNED

Oklahoma does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by zoos. However, the endangered species law would also appear to ban possession in this instance. 

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conversation Code explicitly prohibits a person from possessing an endangered or threatened species or parts thereof. 29 Okl. St. Ann. § 7-502(2). The Code includes federally-listed species under the definition for “endangered."

An additional law also prohibits the possession of any endangered or threatened species “without specific written permission of the Director. In no event, however, may that permission conflict with federal law.” 29 Okl. St. Ann. 5-412.

 

BANNED

Oklahoma does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by roadside zoos or other commercial exhibitors. However, the endangered species law would also appear to ban possession in this instance.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conversation Code explicitly prohibits a person from possessing an endangered or threatened species or parts thereof. 29 Okl. St. Ann. § 7-502(2). The Code includes federally-listed species under the definition for “endangered."

An additional law also prohibits the possession of any endangered or threatened species “without specific written permission of the Director. In no event, however, may that permission conflict with federal law.” 29 Okl. St. Ann. 5-412.

BANNED

Oklahoma does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by sanctuaries. The endangered species law may ban possession in this instance.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conversation Code explicitly prohibits a person from possessing an endangered or threatened species or parts thereof. 29 Okl. St. Ann. § 7-502(2). The Code includes federally-listed species under the definition for “endangered."

The law also prohibits the possession of any endangered or threatened species “without specific written permission of the Director. In no event, however, may that permission conflict with federal law.” 29 Okl. St. Ann. 5-412.

 

ALLOWED WITH FEDERAL PERMISSION

There are no state laws in Oklahoma that specifically address great apes used in scientific testing and research facilities. While the state endangered species law prohibits possession of endangered or threatened species, “this permission may [not] conflict with federal law.” 29 Okl. St. Ann. 5-412. Any research facility using apes would be licensed in accordance with federal law. Notably, the state anti-cruelty law does not contain an exemption for scientific research or testing. 21 Okl. St. Ann. 1692.9.

 

Oregon

BANNED

After January 1, 2010, it became illegal to possess an "exotic animal" for use as a pet. O.R.S. § 609.341. Under § 609.305, an “exotic animal” means any nonhuman primate. Individuals who had pet apes prior to January 1, 2010 may keep those animals for the remainder of their lives with a valid Oregon Department of Agriculture permit. Pet owners must have applied for a permit by January 1, 2011. Anyone that did not apply for a permit by that deadline is not eligible for the exemption.

 

ONLY ALLOWED IF AN AWA LICENSED EXHIBITOR

After January 1, 2010, it became illegal to possess an "exotic animal." O.R.S. § 609.341. Under § 609.305, an “exotic animal” means any nonhuman primate. Individuals who had pet apes prior to January 1, 2010 may keep those animals for the remainder of their lives with a valid Oregon Department of Agriculture permit. Owners must have applied for a permit by January 1, 2011. Anyone that did not apply for a permit by that deadline is not eligible for the exemption.

An exemption to the requirement for a license is a facility that operates under a valid license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act under section 2133. O.R.S. § 609.345.

ONLY ALLOWED IF AN AWA LICENSED EXHIBITOR

After January 1, 2010, it became illegal to possess an "exotic animal." O.R.S. § 609.341. Under § 609.305, an “exotic animal” means any nonhuman primate. Individuals who had pet apes prior to January 1, 2010 may keep those animals for the remainder of their lives with a valid Oregon Department of Agriculture permit. Owners must have applied for a permit by January 1, 2011. Anyone that did not apply for a permit by that deadline is not eligible for the exemption.

An exemption to the requirement for a license is a facility that operates under a valid license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act under section 2133. O.R.S. § 609.345.

ALLOWED

After January 1, 2010, it became illegal to possess an "exotic animal." O.R.S. § 609.341. Under § 609.305, an “exotic animal” means any nonhuman primate. Individuals who had pet apes prior to January 1, 2010 may keep those animals for the remainder of their lives with a valid Oregon Department of Agriculture permit. Owners must have applied for a permit by January 1, 2011. Anyone that did not apply for a permit by that deadline is not eligible for the exemption.

While the term "sanctuary" is not used, three possible exemptions to the requirement for a license exist:

  • An exotic animal protection organization, including humane societies and animal shelters, incorporated under ORS chapter 65, that houses an exotic animal at the written request of the state or a state agency for a period not to exceed 30 days.
  • A wildlife rehabilitation center operated under a valid permit issued by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission pursuant to ORS 497.308.
  • A person or organization that takes in an exotic animal in an emergency situation but that does not otherwise qualify for an exemption under this section. The person or organization may keep the exotic animal for not more than 48 hours during which time the person or organization must make a good faith effort to contact a law enforcement agency, the State Department of Agriculture or a wildlife rehabilitation center described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.

O.R.S. § 609.345.

ALLOWED

After January 1, 2010, it became illegal to possess an "exotic animal" except as allowed. O.R.S. § 609.341. Under § 609.305, an “exotic animal” means any nonhuman primate. A facility operated under a valid research facility registration issued by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act of 1970 (7 U.S.C. 2133 or 2136).
is exempt from the license requirement. O.R.S. § 609.345.

Pennsylvania

PERMIT REQUIRED

Possession of great apes is covered under Pennsylvania’s administrative code section 137.1, which limits the importation, possession, sale, and release of “all families of nonhuman primates” to those with a permit.

Note that the state has an exotic pet law that prohibits the possession of exotic wildlife without a permit. 34 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 2961 – 2965. While the law suggests that great apes could possibly be listed as exotic, it would take specific action by the regulatory agency to open the door to this interpretation, which they have not yet done.

 

NO PERMIT REQUIRED IF USDA LICENSED

Possession of great apes is covered under Pennsylvania’s administrative code section 137.1, which limits the importation, possession, sale, and release of “all families of nonhuman primates” to those with a permit. This section exempts nationally recognized circuses, zoological gardens, and menagerie permitees with a USDA Class C Exhibitor permit. 58 Pa. Code § 137.1.

NO PERMIT REQUIRED IF USDA LICENSED

Possession of great apes is covered under Pennsylvania’s administrative code section 137.1, which limits the importation, possession, sale, and release of “all families of nonhuman primates” to those with a permit. This section exempts nationally recognized circuses, zoological gardens, and menagerie permitees with a USDA Class C Exhibitor permit. 58 Pa. Code § 137.1.

A menagerie is defined under the law as “any place where one or more wild birds or wild animals, or one or more birds or animals which have similar characteristics and appearance to birds or animals wild by nature, are kept in captivity for the evident purpose of exhibition with or without charge." 34 Pa.C.S. § 2961. Menageries with a Class C USDA Exhibitor permit are exempt from that subchapter of regulations that prohibits possession of apes, and may lawfully import wildlife under an importation permit. 58 Pa. Code § 137.1.

 

PERMIT REQUIRED

While state law or regulation does not use the term “sanctuary,” it appears that possession here is governed by administrative code sections 147.301 – 312, which covers wildlife rehabilitation permits in Pennsylvania. Pursuant to the director’s authority to issue permits (34 Pa.C.S. § 2901(a)), the director may issue a permit for the purpose of wildlife rehabilitation under this section.

Possession of great apes is covered under Pennsylvania’s administrative code section 137.1, which limits the importation, possession, sale, and release of “all families of nonhuman primates” to those with a permit.

 

PERMIT REQUIRED

Possession of great apes is covered under Pennsylvania’s administrative code section 137.1, which limits the importation, possession, sale, and release of “all families of nonhuman primates” to those with a permit.

 

Rhode Island

PERMIT MAY BE REQUIRED

Under § 4-18-3, no person shall possess any primate in this state without first obtaining a permit from the department.

 

ALLOWED

Under § 4-18-3, no person shall possess any primate in this state without first obtaining a permit from the department.

HOWEVER, any animal care facility accredited by the American zoo and aquarium association (AZA) shall be exempt from this provision. § 4-18-3(b).

 

PERMIT REQUIRED

Under § 4-18-3, no person shall possess any primate in this state without first obtaining a permit from the department.

 

PERMIT REQUIRED

While state law or regulation does not use the term “sanctuary,” it appears that possession here would be governed by the state’s wildlife rehabilitation rules (RI Admin Code §§ 25-8-14:1 – 10). Although the rules mostly apply to rehabilitation of native wildlife, the rules do allow for a licensed veterinarian to provide emergency care to an endangered or threatened species. RI Admin Code §§ 25-8-14:9.

In addition, under § 4-18-3, no person shall possess any primate in this state without first obtaining a permit from the department.

 

PERMIT REQUIRED

Scientific testing and research facilities are covered under Rhode Island’s wildlife importation law. The law applies to all persons, including educational and research institutions. Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-18-1.

Under § 4-18-3, no person shall possess any primate in this state without first obtaining a permit from the department.

 

South Carolina

BANNED

Private possession of great apes in South Carolina is banned through the state’s Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and accompanying regulations. Because great apes are a federally-protected species, they are covered by the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Code 1976 § 50-15-20(2)(e).

The regulations promulgated under the Act make it illegal for any person to possess any species of wildlife appearing on the list of “Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina”, except by permit for scientific and conservation purposes issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. SC ADC 123-150.

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

South Carolina does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by traditional zoos. However, the endangered species provisions appear to limit possession to certain zoological institutions.

Because great apes are a federally-protected species, they are covered by the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Code 1976 § 50-15-20(2)(e). The regulations promulgated under the Act make it illegal for any person to possess any species of wildlife appearing on the list of “Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina”, except by permit for scientific and conservation purposes issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. SC ADC 123-150.

Under Section 50-15-50, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources may issues permits for “zoological” purposes. Code 1976 § 50-15-50. The term “zoological” is not further defined in the law or regulations, but likely would be up to the discretion of the Department.

 

LIKELY BANNED

South Carolina does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by roadside zoos. However, the endangered species provisions appear to limit possession only to certain zoological institutions.

Because great apes are a federally-protected species, they are covered by the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Code 1976 § 50-15-20(2)(e). The regulations promulgated under the Act make it illegal for any person to possess any species of wildlife appearing on the list of “Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina”, except by permit for scientific and conservation purposes issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. SC ADC 123-150.

Under Section 50-15-50, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources may issues permits for “zoological” purposes. Code 1976 § 50-15-50. The term “zoological” is not further defined in the law or regulations, but likely would be up to the discretion of the Department. It is unclear whether this would be limited to accredited zoos or expanded to include roadside menageries or other self-described “zoos.”

Other commercial exhibition would likely be banned similar to private possessors. It is unlikely that they would meet the definition for "scientific" or "conservation purposes" for a permit from the DNR.

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH STATE PERMIT

South Carolina does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by sanctuaries. Because great apes are a federally-protected species, they are covered by the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Code 1976 § 50-15-20(2)(e). The regulations promulgated under the Act make it illegal for any person to possess any species of wildlife appearing on the list of “Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina”, except by permit for scientific and conservation purposes issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. SC ADC 123-150.

Section 50-15-50 allows the possession of endangered or threatened species “for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of such wildlife, or for other special purposes.” Code 1976 § 50-15-50. The care of injured or abandoned apes in captivity may meet the above-listed purposes. This would be at the discretion of the DNR.

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH STATE PERMIT

South Carolina does not have a specific law that addresses possession of great apes by sanctuaries. Because great apes are a federally-protected species, they are covered by the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Code 1976 § 50-15-20(2)(e). The regulations promulgated under the Act make it illegal for any person to possess any species of wildlife appearing on the list of “Endangered Wildlife Species of South Carolina”, except by permit for scientific and conservation purposes issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. SC ADC 123-150.

Section 50-15-50 allows the possession of endangered or threatened species “for scientific, zoological, or educational purposes, for propagation in captivity of such wildlife, or for other special purposes.” S.C. ST. § 50-15-50. From the language, it would appear that the scientific use of federally listed endangered or threatened species may be allowed by the department. The Department would then issue these permits on a discretionary basis.

South Dakota

BANNED

As federally-listed species, great apes are protected under South Dakota’s Endangered and Threatened Species laws. This act prohibits possession of both endangered and threatened species. There is no exception under the law to possess an endangered or threatened species as a pet.

In the event that the state endangered species law is somehow circumvented, it is likely a possessor would have to meet the permit requirements under Chapter 40-3 for “captive nondomestic mammals.”

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED

As federally-listed species, great apes are protected under South Dakota’s Endangered and Threatened Species laws. This act prohibits possession of both endangered and threatened species.

There is general authority under both S D C L § 34A-8-6 and S D C L § 34A-8-7 for the department of game, fish and parks and the department of agriculture to perform acts and enter into cooperative agreements for the conservation and propagation of endangered and threatened species. This may give the department authority to allow accredited zoos to possess apes as a conversation measure.

BANNED

As federally-listed species, great apes are protected under South Dakota’s Endangered and Threatened Species laws. This act prohibits possession of both endangered and threatened species.

There is general authority under both S D C L § 34A-8-6 and S D C L § 34A-8-7 for the department of game, fish and parks and the department of agriculture to perform acts and enter into cooperative agreements for the conservation and propagation of endangered and threatened species. However, it is unlikely that the department would issue a permit to a roadside zoo or other commercial exhibitor.

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

As federally-listed species, great apes are protected under South Dakota’s Endangered and Threatened Species laws. This act prohibits possession of both endangered and threatened species. There is general authority under both S D C L § 34A-8-6 and S D C L § 34A-8-7 for the department of game, fish and parks and the department of agriculture to perform acts and enter into cooperative agreements for the conservation and propagation of endangered and threatened species, which may apply here.

South Dakota state law does not address “sanctuaries” for native or exotic animals. If a person seeking to provide sanctuary to apes was able to possess them, despite the state’s ban on possessing endangered species, it is possible that he or she would have to comply with the state’s wildlife rehabilitation regulations. A rehabilitator must first possess a wildlife rehabilitator permit pursuant to S.D. Admin. R. 41:09:18:02.

If the state does not allow apes or other exotic species to be rehabilitated, then lawfully possessed apes would likely fall under the captive nondomestic  mammal chapter. This chapter and associated regulations require permits for possession. S D C L § 40-3-26.

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

As federally-listed species, great apes are protected under South Dakota’s Endangered and Threatened Species Law. This act prohibits possession of both endangered and threatened species. There is general authority under both S D C L § 34A-8-6 and S D C L § 34A-8-7 for the department of game, fish and parks and the department of agriculture to perform acts and enter into cooperative agreements for the conservation and propagation of endangered and threatened species, which may apply here.

Tennessee

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

State law contains extensive requirements for the possession of exotic animals (T. C. A. §§ 70-4-401 – 417). Great apes are considered Class I wildlife, for which a permit is required prior to possession (T. C. A. § 70-4-404). The law also provides standards for the caging and care of Class I wildlife.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

State law contains extensive requirements for the possession of exotic animals (T. C. A. §§ 70-4-401 – 417). Great apes are considered Class I wildlife, for which a permit is required prior to possession (T. C. A. § 70-4-404). The law also provides standards for the caging and care of Class I wildlife.

State regulations provide that zoos accredited by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums are exempt from the fees for necessary permits after the completion of an application and providing requested information (TN ADC 1660-01-18-.05). Animals held by zoos may not be sold or transferred to the general public in Tennessee.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

State law contains extensive requirements for the possession of exotic animals (T. C. A. §§ 70-4-401 – 417). Great apes are considered Class I wildlife, for which a permit is required prior to possession (T. C. A. § 70-4-404). The law also provides standards for the caging and care of Class I wildlife.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

While there is no law mentioning sanctuaries, the exotic animal law would require a permit for such facilities. State law contains extensive requirements for the possession of exotic animals (T. C. A. §§ 70-4-401 – 417). Great apes are considered Class I wildlife, for which a permit is required prior to possession (T. C. A. § 70-4-404). The law also provides standards for the caging and care of Class I wildlife.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

State law contains extensive requirements for the possession of exotic animals (T. C. A. §§ 70-4-401 – 417). Great apes are considered Class I wildlife, for which a permit is required prior to possession (T. C. A. § 70-4-404). The law also provides standards for the caging and care of Class I wildlife.

Texas

ALLOWED WITH CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION

Nearly all species of great apes are classified as "dangerous wild animals" in Texas (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan). V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.101.

A person may not own, harbor, or have custody or control of a dangerous wild animal for any purpose unless the person holds a certificate of registration for that animal issued by an animal registration agency. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.103.

An applicant must meet the requirements for the certificate of registration that include, among other things:

  • a sworn statement that the applicant has read this subchapter and that all facilities used by the applicant to confine or enclose the animal comply with the requirements of this subchapter
  • proof of liability insurance
  • a statement signed by a licensed veterinarian that the veterinarian has:
    • inspected each animal being registered not earlier than the 30th day before the date of the filing of the renewal application;  and
    • finds that the care and treatment of each animal by the owner meets or exceeds the standards prescribed under this subchapter.

ALLOWED IF AZA ACCREDITED - NO STATE PERMIT REQUIRED

Nearly all species of great apes are classified as "dangerous wild animals" in Texas (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan). V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.101.

The requirement of the chapter for a person to obtain a certificate of registration to possess a dangerous wild animal does not apply to an organization that is an accredited member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.102.

 

ALLOWED WITH CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION UNLESS EXEMPTED AS PART OF TRANSIENT CIRCUS, MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION, OR COLLEGE MASCOT

Nearly all species of great apes are classified as "dangerous wild animals" in Texas (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan). V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.101.

The requirement of the chapter for a person to obtain a certificate of registration to possess a dangerous wild animal does not apply to a dangerous wild animal:

  • owned by and in the custody and control of a transient circus company that is not based in this state
  • while in the temporary custody or control of a television or motion picture production company during the filming of a television or motion picture production in this state;
  • owned by and in the possession, custody, or control of a college or university solely as a mascot for the college or university.

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.102.

If not exempted, a person must obtain a certificate of registration. An applicant must meet the requirements for the certificate of registration that include:

  • a sworn statement that the applicant has read this subchapter and that all facilities used by the applicant to confine or enclose the animal comply with the requirements of this subchapter
  • proof of liability insurance
  • a statement signed by a licensed veterinarian that the veterinarian has:
    • inspected each animal being registered not earlier than the 30th day before the date of the filing of the renewal application;  and
    • finds that the care and treatment of each animal by the owner meets or exceeds the standards prescribed under this subchapter.

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.103.

ALLOWED WITHOUT PERMIT IF SANCTUARY HOLDS REHABILITATION PERMIT OR IS FOUND TO BE AN ANIMAL SHELTER; OTHERWISE MUST OBTAIN CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION

Nearly all species of great apes are classified as "dangerous wild animals" in Texas (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan). V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.101.

While there are no laws that define or regulate wild or exotic animal sanctuaries, the dangerous wild animal law exempts those with wildlife rehabilitation permits. If the sanctuary does not meet these exemptions, then it would have to meet the requirements to obtain a certificate of registration discussed previously.

The requirement of the chapter for a person to obtain a certificate of registration to possess a dangerous wild animal does not apply to:

an injured, infirm, orphaned, or abandoned dangerous wild animal while being rehabilitated, treated, or cared for by a licensed veterinarian, an incorporated humane society or animal shelter, or a person who holds a rehabilitation permit issued under Subchapter C, Chapter 43, Parks and Wildlife Code.

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.102.

ALLOWED IF AWA LICENSED RESEARCH FACILITY OR AWA LICENSED DEALER FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH FACILITIES - NO STATE PERMIT REQUIRED

Nearly all species of great apes are classified as "dangerous wild animals" in Texas (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan). V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.101.

The requirement of the chapter for a person to obtain a certificate of registration to possess a dangerous wild animal does not apply to:

  • a research facility, as that term is defined by Section 2(e), Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2132), and its subsequent amendments, that is licensed by the secretary of agriculture of the United States under that Act; or
  • a nonhuman primate owned by and in the control and custody of a person whose only business is supplying nonhuman primates directly and exclusively to biomedical research facilities and who holds a Class "A" or Class "B" dealer's license issued by the secretary of agriculture of the United States under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and its subsequent amendment.

V. T. C. A., Health & Safety Code § 822.102.

Utah

PROBABLY BANNED

Possession of great apes for hobby or pet use is only possible in Utah if the possessor has a federal permit and follows state requirements to obtain a certificate of registration. It is unlikely that a person could obtain a federal permit (e.g., an endangered species permit or USDA license under the AWA) for pet usage.

Obtaining a certificate of registration would also be difficult. All great apes are classified as “prohibited” for collection, importation and possession. UT Admin Code R657-3-24(p)(x). Under the Section R657-3-17, “Collection, Importation or Possession for Personal Use,” the state does not issue certificates of registration for the “collection, importation or possession of any live or dead animals or their parts classified as prohibited, except as provided in R657-3-36." R657-36 outlines the rule variance procedure.

ALLOWED WITH UTAH CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION (MUST ALSO HAVE FEDERAL LICENSE/PERMIT)

All great apes are classified as “prohibited” for collection, importation and possession. UT Admin Code R657-3-24(p)(x). However, the regulations outline a process to obtain a certificate of registration from the Department for uses including commercial use:

(b) The division may issue a certificate of registration to a zoo, circus, amusement park, aviary, aquarium, or film company to import, collect or possess live species of animals classified as prohibited if, in the opinion of the division, the importation for a commercial use is beneficial to wildlife or significantly benefits the general public without material detriment to wildlife.

UT Admin Code R657-3-18(4)(b).

If the commercial exhibitor cannot meet the requirements, it can seek a variance by submitting a variance request to the Certification Review Committee under R657-36. Another section dealing with endangered species implies that a certificate of registration must also be accompanied by necessary federal permits. UT Admin Code R657-3-8(1).

 

ALLOWED WITH UTAH CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION (MUST ALSO HAVE FEDERAL LICENSE/PERMIT)

All great apes are classified as “prohibited” for collection, importation and possession. UT Admin Code R657-3-24(p)(x). However, the regulations outline a process to obtain a certificate of registration from the Department for uses including commercial use:

(b) The division may issue a certificate of registration to a zoo, circus, amusement park, aviary, aquarium, or film company to import, collect or possess live species of animals classified as prohibited if, in the opinion of the division, the importation for a commercial use is beneficial to wildlife or significantly benefits the general public without material detriment to wildlife.

UT Admin Code R657-3-18(4)(b).

If the commercial exhibitor cannot meet the requirements, it can seek a variance by submitting a variance request to the Certification Review Committee under R657-36. Another section dealing with endangered species implies that a certificate of registration must also be accompanied by necessary federal permits. UT Admin Code R657-3-8(1).

POTENTIALLY ALLOWED WITH UTAH CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION (MUST ALSO HAVE FEDERAL LICENSE/PERMIT)

All great apes are classified as “prohibited” for collection, importation and possession. UT Admin Code R657-3-24(p)(x).

Utah does not describe the process for a sanctuary obtaining a certificate of registration to possess prohibited ape species. It is unclear whether the scientific or educational use process would apply to sanctuaries:

(b) The division may issue a certificate of registration to a university, college, governmental agency, bona fide nonprofit institution, or a person involved in wildlife research to collect, import or possess live or dead animals classified as prohibited if, in the opinion of the division, the scientific or educational use is beneficial to wildlife or significantly benefits the general public without material detriment to wildlife.

UT Admin Code R657-3-20(b).

If the sanctuary cannot meet the requirements, it can seek a variance by submitting a variance request to the Certification Review Committee under R657-36. Another section dealing with endangered species implies that a certificate of registration must also be accompanied by necessary federal permits. UT Admin Code R657-3-8(1).

ALLOWED WITH UTAH CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION (MUST ALSO HAVE FEDERAL LICENSE/PERMIT)

All great apes are classified as “prohibited” for collection, importation and possession. UT Admin Code R657-3-24(p)(x).

The regulations outline a process whereby a person can obtain a certificate of registration from the Division of Wildlife Resources that allows possession of prohibited species for scientific or educational use:

(b) The division may issue a certificate of registration to a university, college, governmental agency, bona fide nonprofit institution, or a person involved in wildlife research to collect, import or possess live or dead animals classified as prohibited if, in the opinion of the division, the scientific or educational use is beneficial to wildlife or significantly benefits the general public without material detriment to wildlife.

UT Admin Code R657-3-20(b).

“Scientific use” is defined in Rule R657-3 as “the possession and use of an animal for conducting scientific research that is directly or indirectly beneficial to wildlife or the general public.”  UT Admin Code R657-3-4(30).

If the research facility cannot meet the requirements, it can seek a variance by submitting a variance request to the Certification Review Committee under R657-36. Another section dealing with endangered species implies that a certificate of registration must also be accompanied by necessary federal permits. UT Admin Code R657-3-8(1).

Vermont

BANNED

Since Vermont’s Endangered Species Act prohibits the possession of federally listed endangered species, most private users would be prohibited from possessing great apes. 10 V.S.A. § 5403. The list of exceptions does not include pet use. Additionally, the exception for "other special purposes" must be consistent with the purposes of the federal Endangered Species Act. 10 V.S.A. § 5408. Pet use would not be consistent.

If the endangered species ban was circumvented, a permit would need to be obtained to possess or import any live wild animal. 10 V.S.A. § 4709.

ALLOWED

Since Vermont’s Endangered Species Act prohibits the possession of federally listed endangered species, most commercial users would be prohibited from possessing great apes. 10 V.S.A. § 5403. However, the law does allow the secretary to create some exceptions for certain purposes, including zoological exhibition. 10 V.S.A. § 5408.

BANNED

Since Vermont’s Endangered Species Act prohibits the possession of federally listed endangered species, most private users would be prohibited from possessing great apes. 10 V.S.A. § 5403. The list of exceptions does not include commercial use. Additionally, the exception for "other special purposes" must be consistent with the purposes of the federal Endangered Species Act. 10 V.S.A. § 5408. Certain commercial uses would not be consistent.

If the endangered species ban was circumvented, a permit would need to be obtained to possess or import any live wild animal. 10 V.S.A. § 4709.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Since Vermont’s Endangered Species Act prohibits the possession of federally listed endangered species, most users would be prohibited from possessing great apes. 10 V.S.A. § 5403. However, like zoos, sanctuaries appear to be exempt from the state’s Endangered Species Law, which lists “enhancing the propagation or survival of a species” as a possible exemption under the act. 10 V.S.A. § 5408. If a sanctuary was able to obtain a permit for the possession of great apes, it would then be subject to the state’s wild animal importation law and regulation requirements. 10 V.S.A. § 4709.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Since Vermont’s Endangered Species Act prohibits the possession of federally listed endangered species, most users would be prohibited from possessing great apes. 10 V.S.A. § 5403. However, "scientific purposes" is an exemption under the state’s Endangered Species Law. 10 V.S.A. § 5408. The facility would then be subject to the state’s wild animal importation law and regulation requirements. 10 V.S.A. § 4709.

Virginia

BANNED

Most forms of possession are banned by the state’s endangered species law. This covers all federally-listed endangered or threatened species and prohibits the possession of such species. Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-564.

Exceptions under 29.1-568 do not contemplate use of these species as pets.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Most forms of possession are banned by the state’s endangered species law. This covers all federally-listed endangered or threatened species and prohibits the possession of such species. Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-564.

However, exceptions under 29.1-568 allow the use of these species for "zoological purposes."

BANNED

Most forms of possession are banned by the state’s endangered species law. This covers all federally-listed endangered or threatened species and prohibits the possession of such species. Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-564.

While exceptions under 29.1-568 allow the use of these species for "zoological, educational, or scientific purposes," commercial use would not fall under these exceptions.

 

POSSIBLY ALLOWED

Virginia law does not address great ape sanctuaries or the rehabilitation of exotic species. Since great apes are federally-listed species, they are covered by Virginia’s endangered species law. The law does contain exceptions for “zoological, educational, or scientific purposes and for propagation of such fish or wildlife in captivity for preservation purposes” Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-568. It is unclear whether ape sanctuaries could fit within one of those exceptions.

ALLOWED WITH PERMIT

Most forms of possession are banned by the state’s endangered species law. This covers all federally-listed endangered or threatened species and prohibits the possession of such species. Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-564.

However, exceptions under 29.1-568 allow the use of these species for "educational or scientific purposes."

Washington

BANNED

A person shall not own, possess, keep, harbor, bring into the state, or have custody or control of a potentially dangerous wild animal, except as provided. West's RCWA 16.30.030.

“Potentially dangerous wild animal” means one of the following types of animals, whether bred in the wild or in captivity, and any or all hybrids thereof: order primates, all nonhuman primate species. West's RCWA 16.30.010.

Grandfather provision:

A person in legal possession of a potentially dangerous wild animal prior to July 22, 2007, and who is the legal possessor of the animal may keep possession of the animal for the remainder of the animal's life.

The person shall have the burden of proving that he or she possessed the animal prior to July 22, 2007. West's RCWA 16.30.030.

ALLOWED

The prohibition on possessing dangerous wild animals, which includes all nonhuman primate species, does not apply to:

Institutions accredited or certified by the American zoo and aquarium association or a facility with a current signed memorandum of participation with an association of zoos and aquariums species survival plan

West's RCWA 16.30.020.

 

BANNED UNLESS TEMPORARY CIRCUS OR ACCREDITED ZOO

A person shall not own, possess, keep, harbor, bring into the state, or have custody or control of a potentially dangerous wild animal, except as provided.

Only AZAA accredited zoos are exempt (see previous box) and temporary circuses:

Circuses, defined as incorporated, class C licensees under the animal welfare act, 7 U.S.C.A. 2131, as amended, that are temporarily in this state, and that offer performances by live animals, clowns, and acrobats for public entertainment.

West's RCWA 16.30.030.

Grandfather provision:

A person in legal possession of a potentially dangerous wild animal prior to July 22, 2007, and who is the legal possessor of the animal may keep possession of the animal for the remainder of the animal's life.

The person shall have the burden of proving that he or she possessed the animal prior to July 22, 2007. West's RCWA 16.30.030.

 

ALLOWED

Any wildlife sanctuary as defined under RCWA 16.30.010(5) is exempt from the state’s ban on the import, ownership, or possession of apes. West's RCWA 16.30.020.

Washington’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act defines a “wildlife sanctuary” as a nonprofit organization that cares for potentially dangerous animals, including apes, and does not engage in any of the following activities:

  • Breeding of the animals
  • Commercial activity involving animals including, but not limited to, the sale of or trade in animals, the sale of photographic opportunities involving animals, or the use of animals for any type of entertainment purpose
  • Unescorted public visitations or direct contact between the public and the animals; and
  • Any activity that “is not inherent to the animal's nature, natural conduct, or the animal in its natural habitat."

West's RCWA 16.30.010(5).

ALLOWED IF AWA REGISTERED

A research facility as defined by the animal welfare act, 7 U.S.C.A. 2131, for the species of animals for which they are registered is exempt from the ban on possessing potentially dangerous wild animals in Washington. All species of nonhuman primates are defined as such.

This includes but is not limited to universities, colleges, and laboratories holding a valid class R license under the animal welfare act. West's RCWA 16.30.020(h).

West Virginia

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes as pets in the state of West Virginia. No law or regulation regulates possession or even mentions great apes, non-human primates, or non-native exotic mammals.

 

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes by zoos in the state of West Virginia. No law or regulation regulates possession or even mentions great apes, non-human primates, or non-native exotic mammals.

"Menagerie permits" appear only required for native wildlife (W. Va. Code, § 20-2-52).

 

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes by exhibitors or other roadside zoos in the state of West Virginia. No law or regulation regulates possession or even mentions great apes, non-human primates, or non-native exotic mammals.

"Menagerie permits" appear only required for native wildlife (W. Va. Code, § 20-2-52).

 

ALLOWED

West Virginia does not have any laws relating to animal sanctuaries or wildlife rehabilitation. Most likely anyone could establish a sanctuary and possess apes. There are no laws or regulations requiring a permit or governing the care of any non-native species in captivity.

 

ALLOWED

West Virginia does not have any laws relating to scientific testing of apes or their use in research. There are no laws or regulations requiring a permit or governing the care of any non-native species in captivity.

 

Wisconsin

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

It is unclear whether Wisconsin allows possession of great apes for personal use. While apes would clearly fall under the endangered species provisions (W. S. A. 29.604(4)(a)), conflicting sections may or may not require permits for listed species from foreign countries. Despite this conflict in the endangered species law, the captive wild animal chapter would still require a license to possess any live wild animal. W.S.A. 169.04. There is no license that would allow an individual to legally possess a great ape as a pet.

ALLOWED (NO LICENSE)

It appears that certain zoos would be exempt from the restrictions on the taking and possession of endangered species, including all great apes. The state endangered species law specifically exempts some zoos from its entirety:

(8) Exemptions. This section does not apply to zoological societies or municipal zoos, or to their officers or employees .

W. S. A. 29.604(8).

The chapter on Captive Wildlife exempts public zoos from requirements that a live wild animal must be both legally obtained and the person seeking to possess it must hold a license or other approval. W.S.A. 169.04(5).

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

Wisconsin prohibits the possession of any wild animal specified by the department's endangered and threatened species list, which includes great apes. W. S. A. 29.604(4)(a). While the state will issue permits for zoological, educational, scientific, or propagation for preservation purposes, it is unclear whether Wisconsin requires such permits for foreign endangered or threatened species. W. S. A. 29.604(6)(c).

It is also unclear in the Captive Wildlife chapter whether licenses are issued for the exhibition of non-native species. The exhibition license under 169.07 covers only “captive live native wild animal or any captive live nonnative wild animal of the family ursidae.” W.S.A. 169.07. The only relevant state license for exhibitors of foreign species (other than temporary exhibitors or circuses) is the “Nonprofit Educational Exhibitor’s License” described in 169.26.

POSSIBLY ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

Wisconsin prohibits the possession of any wild animal specified by the department's endangered and threatened species list, which includes great apes. W. S. A. 29.604(4)(a). While the state will issue permits for zoological, educational, scientific, or propagation for preservation purposes, it is unclear whether Wisconsin requires such permits for foreign endangered or threatened species. W. S. A. 29.604(6)(c).

Wisconsin does not have a law that addresses ape sanctuaries specifically. It appears that the law concerning wildlife rehabilitation may be broad enough to cover exotic and endangered species. This is uncertain, however, as the goal of rehabilitation is to “. . . provide care or treatment to an orphaned, sick, or injured wild animal for the purpose of releasing it back into the wild.” W.S.A. 169.01. A sanctuary is long-term care of wildlife.

ALLOWED WITH LICENSE

Wisconsin prohibits the possession of any wild animal specified by the department's endangered and threatened species list, which includes great apes. W. S. A. 29.604(4)(a). While the state will issue permits for zoological, educational, scientific, or propagation for preservation purposes, it is unclear whether Wisconsin requires such permits for foreign endangered or threatened species. W. S. A. 29.604(6)(c).

The chapter on captive wildlife does require a license for possession. W.S.A. 169.04. The use of live wild animals for scientific research is one of the listed uses for a license. This license will be issued to “. . . to any person who is engaged in a study or in research that the department determines will lead to increased, useful scientific knowledge and who files a proper application and who pays the applicable fee.” W.S.A. 169.25.

Wyoming

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes as pets in the state of Wyoming. While apes would be classified by law as “exotic species,” there are no subsequent restrictions on private possession of those animals. W. S. 1977 § 23-1-101(a)(ii).

 

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes in traditional or roadside zoos in the state of Wyoming. While apes would be classified by law as “exotic species,” there are no restrictions on private possession of those animals. W. S. 1977 § 23-1-101(a)(ii).

 

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes for commercial exhibition in the state of Wyoming. While apes would be classified by law as “exotic species,” there are no restrictions on private possession of those animals. W. S. 1977 § 23-1-101(a)(ii).

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes in sanctuaries in the state of Wyoming. While apes would be classified by law as “exotic species,” there are no restrictions on private possession of those animals. W. S. 1977 § 23-1-101(a)(ii).

While state law or regulation does not use the term “sanctuary,” it is unclear whether possession would be governed by the regulations for wildlife rehabilitation. Chapter 45 of the administrative code details the criteria for obtaining a permit to rehabilitate wildlife.

ALLOWED

There are no limitations on possessing great apes for scientific research in the state of Wyoming. While apes would be classified by law as “exotic species,” there are no restrictions on private possession of those animals. W. S. 1977 § 23-1-101(a)(ii).

The regulations related to scientific collection of wildlife appear to apply only to native wildlife. WY Rules and Regulations GAME HUNT Ch. 33 s 2.

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