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Detailed Discussion of Arizona Great Ape Laws



Hanna Coate


Animal Legal & Historical Center
Publish Date:
2011
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law

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I. Introduction to Legal Control Over Great Apes in Arizona

In Arizona, most species of apes including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos are classified as “restricted live wildlife” because they are “inherently dangerous animals capable of transmitting disease and causing serious injury or death to human beings.”[1] It is illegal to keep “restricted” apes for use as pets and assistance animals. Under state law, certain qualified individuals and entities may import, possess, and sell restricted apes for approved commercial, educational, humane, or scientific purposes with a state license or a lawful exemption. Restricted apes that are possessed under a state license must be housed and maintained according to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s (GFC) minimum standards of care. On the other hand, gibbons are not classified as “restricted live wildlife” so the importation, possession, and sale of those animals for use as pets and other purposes is generally allowed, subject to certain animal age and health requirements. No state license is required to keep those animals and GFC does not regulate the conditions under which gibbons are maintained.

Political subdivisions of the state, including counties, cities, and towns may also regulate the possession or use of apes within their geographical boundaries. Various cities and counties in Arizona have enacted stricter local laws governing the possession and use of those animals. Typically, local ordinances either: (1) ban the possession of apes for certain purposes, or entirely; (2) regulate activities involving apes; or (3) set minimum standards for the care and treatment of apes.

The various sources of law governing the import, possession, use and treatment of Great Apes are not uniformly applicable to all apes within the state. Instead, each statute and regulation must be analyzed according to the particular purpose for which an ape is possessed. The following discussion begins with a general overview of the various state statutes and regulations affecting Great Apes. It then analyzes the applicability of those laws to the possession and use of apes for specific purposes, including their possession as pets, for scientific research, for commercial purposes, and in sanctuaries. The discussion concludes with a compilation of local ordinances which govern the possession and use of apes within geographic subdivisions of the state.

 

II. Sources of State Laws

There are two types of state-level laws that govern the import, possession, use, and treatment of apes: (1) statutes, and (2) regulations. Statutes are laws that are enacted by the state legislature and regulations are laws that are enacted by state agencies. Without an express delegation of power from the state legislature, agencies have no authority to issue and enforce regulations. This delegation of power comes from a statute that directs an agency to accomplish a general goal, like regulating the importation of apes to prevent the spread of infectious diseases or setting minimum standards of care for captive apes. Once an agency is directed to accomplish a general goal, it has the authority to establish and enforce regulations that are consistent with that goal. On the other hand, some state statutes are self-implementing, which means they are complete and in effect without the need for regulations and enforcement by administrative agencies. Those statutes, which are in Section A below, directly regulate the conduct of the citizenry rather than directing an agency to do so. Section B identifies the state agencies that have been authorized by the state legislature to regulate certain aspects of the importation, possession, or use of apes, and discusses the regulations that those agencies have enacted that affect apes.

 

A. State Statutes

In Arizona, there are two main types of laws governing the possession and treatment of apes: wildlife laws and the Criminal Code. The state’s wildlife laws direct the state’s Game and Fish Commission to determine which types of wildlife pose a threat to public health and safety and to regulate those animals accordingly. GFC’s regulation of Great Apes is discussed in Section II(B), below. The state’s Criminal Code contains two sections which are applicable to apes. The anti-cruelty laws generally protect apes from abuse and neglect; and the diseased animal laws protect the public by making it a crime to import an ape (or other animal) that has a disease or parasite which is dangerous to human health or life. 

i. Anti-Cruelty Statutes

The state’s Criminal Code which prohibits the neglect, abandonment, and mistreatment of animals generally applies to Great Apes in Arizona.[2] Because all captive apes are necessarily dependent on their keepers, the provisions which require owners to provide their animals with necessary food, water, shelter, and medical attention are particularly relevant. In addition, apes are sometimes trained or induced to perform for public entertainment by chemical, electrical, mechanical, and manual devices that inflict physical or psychological injuries. The state’s anti-cruelty laws make it illegal to physically abuse apes in the course of training, to induce performances, or for any other reason. Any person who neglects, abandons, confines, transports,[3] or mistreats an ape in violation of the anti-cruelty laws is guilty of either a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 6 felony, depending on the specific offense involved.[4]

ii. Animal Diseases and Parasites

Although the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and the Game and Fish Department regulate the importation of some species of apes for certain purposes (see Section II(B)(i), below), the Criminal Code also makes it a crime for any person to knowingly introduce an animal disease or parasite that threatens human health or life. Because humans are closely related to apes genetically, both groups share a wide array of diseases, including hepatitis viruses, pox viruses, and retroviruses.[5] This law makes it illegal for anyone other than governmental or educational researchers to bring an ape into Arizona that he or she knows is infected with a disease or parasite which could pose a threat to humans. A violation of this law is a class 4 or class 2 felony, depending on whether the introduced disease/parasite affects human health or life, respectively.[6]

 

B. State Agencies and Regulations

In Arizona, the Game and Fish Commission and the Game and Fish Department regulate all captive apes within the state. Those agencies administer a licensing program that covers all “restricted live wildlife,” including chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos and regulate the conditions under which those species of apes may be kept. Gibbons are not classified as “restricted live wildlife,” so they are not regulated in the same manner as the other species of apes. Instead, gibbons are subject to a different set of administrative rules that govern the importation, possession, and sale of all other primates in Arizona. Although the importation and sale of gibbons (and other primates) is partially restricted, no state license is required to import or possess those animals and there are no minimum standards for their care.

i. Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Arizona Game and Fish Department

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission (GFC) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (GFD) are jointly responsible for administering and enforcing the state’s wildlife laws in order to “safeguard the interests of the wildlife and people of the state.”[7] To that end, GFC enacts regulations governing the sale, trade, importation, exportation, or possession of wildlife and GFD enforces those regulations throughout the state.[8] All species of apes are considered “wildlife” under state law and the most of Arizona’s rules governing the importation, possession, use, and treatment of those animals are found within GFC’s regulations.[9] In 1988, the agency developed a list of wild animals that are restricted by the state because of the “actual or potentially significant threat” that they pose to indigenous wildlife or to public health and safety.[10] GFC has classified chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos as “restricted live wildlife” because, according to the agency, they are “inherently dangerous animals capable of transmitting disease and causing serious injury or death to human beings.”[11] To date, GFC has not added gibbons to the list of “restricted live wildlife;” as a result, they are regulated differently than the other species of apes.

a. Regulation of Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans, and Bonobos

It is generally illegal to import, transport, possess, sell, or trade chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, or bonobos (collectively “restricted apes”) without a GFD-issued license.[12] Certain individuals may import, transport, and possess restricted apes without a state license for the following purposes: (1) veterinary care;[13] (2) transportation through the state;[14] (3) exhibition in a state or county fair or circus;[15] (4) photography;[16] and (5) advertising purposes other than photography.[17] Also, scientific research facilities that are registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act) may import, possess, transport, purchase, breed, trade, give away, kill, and export restricted apes without a state license.[18] Finally, anyone 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 GFD in writing by May 28, 1989.[19] Restricted apes that are held without a current state license (and that do not qualify for one of the exemptions listed above) may be seized by GFD.[20]

The Game and Fish Department issues the following types of licenses for restricted apes (and other restricted live wildlife):

Private Game Farm License: This license is issued to individuals that are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act) for the commercial use of restricted live wildlife. An individual holding this license may import, possess, buy, sell, display for sale, trade, rent or lease, breed, raise, transport, and export animals that are covered by the license.[21]

Wildlife Holding License: This license is issued for the advancement of science, the promotion of public health or welfare, educational purposes, commercial photography, or to provide humane care to restricted live wildlife.[22] A wildlife holding license authorizes an individual to engage in certain activities listed on a license, which may include importation, exportation, possession, transportation, display for educational purposes, photography for commercial purposes, breeding, purchasing, giving away, or euthanizing any animals covered by the license.[23] Restricted animals (and their offspring) that are held under a wildlife holding license may not be sold, traded, loaned for commercial use, given as a gift, or otherwise disposed of, except as directed by GFD.[24] This license is no longer valid once the primary purpose for which it was issued no longer exists.[25]

Zoo License: This license is issued to U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed “zoos”[26] for the advancement of science, the promotion of public health or welfare, or educational or conservation purposes.[27] This license allows an individual to import, purchase, possess, breed, transport, exhibit, display for educational purposes, sell, give away, trade, and euthanize restricted live wildlife.[28] A zoo license holder may only sell, give away, or trade his restricted animals to another GFD license holder, a scientific research facility or an out-of-state zoo that is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.[29]

Applicants for those GFD licenses must meet certain pre-licensure requirements and have facilities that meet the department’s minimum standards.[30] Anyone who has had their “live wildlife privileges” suspended or revoked by any state or the federal government is ineligible for licensure. Likewise, any person who has been convicted of illegally possessing wildlife within the previous three years cannot obtain a state license; any license issued to an ineligible individual is void.[31] Licenses expire on December 31 each year and must be renewed annually.[32]

Licensees must maintain their restricted ape(s) according to the following minimum standards of care:[33]

Facility Construction and Maintenance: All facilities must be designed and constructed in a manner as to reasonably prevent an animal’s escape or the entry of unauthorized individuals. They must also be:

  1. Structurally sound;
  2. Maintained in good repair;
  3. Regularly cleaned;
  4. Equipped with electrical power that is in compliance with building codes and installed so that animals cannot come into contact with wiring or electrical apparatus;
  5. Designed with a drainage system or other methods of preventing the buildup of excess water or sewage in the enclosures; and
  6. “[M]aintained to minimize the potential of vermin infestation, disease, and unseemly odors.”[34]

When a facility is cleaned with water and chemicals, adequate measures must be taken to ensure that animals are not sprayed with water or physically exposed to chemicals. Indoor facilities must be equipped with the following elements:

  1. Heating and cooling systems to protect animals from temperature extremes;
  2. Adequate ventilation to provide animals with fresh air and minimize drafts, odors, and moisture condensation;
  3. Lighting that is utilized in regular, natural cycles. Outdoor facilities must provide shade from direct sunlight and shelter from the elements, “to prevent any discomfort or harm to the animals.”[35]

Space Requirements: Facilities must be large enough that animals have adequate freedom of movement and exercise “as is characteristic to each animal’s natural behavior and physical need.”[36] Animals that naturally climb, including apes, must have climbing apparatus.

Psychological Well-Being of Primates: “The facility and holding area shall be structured to reasonably promote the psychological well-being of any primate held under a special license.”[37]

Food and Water: Animals must be fed sufficient quantities of nutritionally appropriate, uncontaminated, food and must be supplied with potable water “as often as necessary” for their “health and comfort.”[38] Food and water receptacles must be kept clean and sanitized at all times.

Animal Safety: “No animal shall be exposed to any human activity or environment that may have an inhumane or harmful effect upon the animal that is inconsistent with the purpose of the special license.”[39] Animal enclosures may not be located near physical conditions that may threaten their health, like garbage collection sites or pools of standing water. Also, animals that are housed together must be compatible and may not threaten the health, life, or well-being of one another.

Animal Health: Generally, license holders are required to designate a licensed veterinarian in Arizona as the “primary treating veterinarian” for each species held under a license. That veterinarian is required to examine the animals and inspect the licensee’s facilities at least once a year. “Every animal shall receive veterinary care whenever it appears that the animal is ill, wounded, diseased, infected by parasites or behaving in a substantially abnormal manner, including but not limited to exhibiting loss of appetite or disinclination to normal physical activity.”[40] When an animal is suspected of having, or diagnosed with, an infectious disease, the animal must be isolated and the facility must be sanitized. If chemicals are used to sanitize the facility, all residue of those chemicals must be reasonably eliminated before animals are returned to the facility.

Animal Handling: The license holder must ensure that animals are cared for by a sufficient number of properly trained personnel. When an animal must be handled, the licensee must ensure that the handling does not cause unnecessary discomfort, behavioral stress, or physical injury to the animal. “Any restraint used on any animal shall be humane in nature and not likely in either its design or use to cause physical harm or discomfort to the restrained animal except when discomfort is necessary to control the animal due to its size or strength.”[41]

Transport: Animals must be transported in a careful and humane fashion. “No animal shall be transported in any manner that poses a substantial threat to the life, health, or behavioral well-being of the animal.”[42] Anyone transporting animals must provide them with adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, ventilation, and necessary medications.

Exhibition: Animals must be exhibited in a manner that minimizes the risk of harm to the animals and the public. This includes maintaining a sufficient amount of space between the animals and the viewing public.

GFD may inspect facilities prior to issuing licenses to ensure that an applicant’s facilities comply with the state’s minimum standards. Also, all license holders are required to allow the agency to inspect their facilities, animals, and any required records.[43] All licensees must submit an annual report to GFD that includes information on the acquisition, current location, and disposition of restricted apes and details activities performed under their license during the previous year.[44] If a license holder fails to comply with any license conditions,[45] the state’s minimum standards of care, other GFC regulations, and relevant federal, state, and local laws,[46] GFD may take any or all of the following actions: (1) file criminal charges; (2) suspend a license; (3) seize any animals covered by a license; and (4) humanely dispose of seized animals.[47] Additionally, if a disease or other emergency condition exists that poses an immediate threat to the public or the welfare of animals, the agency has the authority to order a licensee to cease all permitted activities and to quarantine or dispose of any contaminated or threatened animals.[48]

b. Regulation of Gibbons

Gibbons are not classified as “restricted live wildlife,” and as a result, those apes are not regulated in the same way as chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans. However, the state’s Game and Fish Commission (GFC) has developed a separate set of regulations governing the importation and possession of primates (except the four “restricted” species of apes) in order to minimize public health and safety risks associated with keeping those animals.[49]  Under GFC’s primate regulations, it is illegal to import, buy, sell, give away, or trade an “infant”[50] gibbon,[51] but anyone can legally possess, exhibit, and export infant gibbons; no state permit or license is required to conduct those activities.[52] GFC does not restrict the importation, possession, breeding, sale, or exhibition of non-infant gibbons and no state license or permit is required to conduct those activities. [53]

Although GFC’s primate regulations do not restrict the possession of gibbons or set minimum standards for their care, all primate owners must comply with certain rules to protect the public health and safety. All gibbons (and other primates) that enter the state must test negative for certain zoonotic diseases[54] and GFD must have those test results before the animal is imported.[55] Gibbons must be confined on their owner’s property at all times, except during importation, exportation, or transport to a veterinarian or to another location within Arizona to be sold.[56] If a gibbon bites or scratches a human, the animal must be examined by a veterinarian and tested for certain diseases, as required by GFD; the results of those tests must be forwarded to the agency.[57] The owner of a gibbon that tests positive for certain diseases or that bites or scratches a human on more than one occasion must comply with GFD’s directives regarding the confinement or disposal of that animal.[58]

c. Enforcement

Arizona’s Game and Fish Department has dedicated law enforcement officers who enforce the state’s Game and Fish laws and GFC regulations. In addition, all county, city, and town law enforcement agents are “ex officio special game rangers” and are required to enforce these laws.[59] Generally, any person who violates the rules governing the possession, transport, and sale of apes is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.[60] However, certain offenses involving apes are more serious crimes. For example, it is a class 6 felony to knowingly sell or trade an ape that was imported or purchased in violation of the state’s Game and Fish laws or GFC’s regulations. Also, even when an ape is possessed in compliance with the foregoing laws, GFD may seize, quarantine, or hold any ape that is held in a manner that poses an actual or potential threat to other wildlife, or the safety, health, or welfare of the public.[61]

 

III. Analysis of State Laws as Applied to Specific Uses

The statutes and regulations discussed above each govern certain aspects of the import, possession, use, or treatment of captive apes. The laws are not uniformly applicable to all apes; instead, they vary according to the species of ape and the particular purpose for which an ape is possessed. In the U.S., captive apes are generally possessed for use as pets, scientific research subjects, for exhibition or other commercial purposes, or they are retired and live in sanctuaries. The remainder of this section discusses how the state’s laws affect apes that are possessed for those purposes.

 

A. Possession of Great Apes as Pets

Arizona does not allow chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, or bonobos to be imported, possessed, or sold as pets. However, anyone who lawfully possessed one of those types of apes prior to April 28, 1989 may continue to possess that animal as long as he or she notified the Game and Fish Department (GFD) in writing by May 28, 1989. GFD does not issue licenses to keep those four species of apes as pets, so anyone keeping a pet ape under the “grandfather clause” is not required to have a state license for that animal. See Section II(B)(i)(a), above. 

Gibbons may be imported, possessed, bought, and sold as pets, subject to certain restrictions which vary depending on whether the animal is an infant or not. See Section II(B)(i)(b), above.

There are no minimum standards of care for any species of pet apes. This is problematic from a welfare standpoint because the Federal Animal Welfare Act[62] (which does set minimum standards of care for apes) does not cover pet apes. As a result, pet apes may be maintained in complete isolation for life in bare cages with nothing but food and water. The state’s anti-cruelty laws, discussed in Section II(A)(i) above, do protect Great Apes that are kept as pets. So, while state law does prohibit the outright abuse and extreme neglect of those animals, it does nothing to ensure that pet apes are maintained in a manner that promotes their physical, psychological, and social well-being.

 

B. Possession of Great Apes for Biomedical Research

Scientific research facilities that are registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act) may import, export, possess, sell, and transport all species of “restricted” apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos). No state permits or licenses are required; and the scientific use of those apes is not otherwise regulated by the state. See Section II(B)(i)(a), above. 

Gibbons may be imported, possessed, bought, and sold for scientific research, subject to certain restrictions which vary depending on whether the animal is an infant or not. See Section II(B)(i)(b), above.

There is little state-level control over the housing, care, or treatment of laboratory apes. Although the Game and Fish Commission sets minimum standards of care for many “restricted” apes in Arizona, those standards do not apply to apes kept for scientific research. The Federal Animal Welfare Act does set minimum standards of care for laboratory apes, but those standards cannot be enforced by state or local law enforcement agents. The state’s anti-cruelty laws may protect laboratory apes that are neglected, mistreated, or unnecessarily injured; however those laws do not prohibit or restrict activities that are regulated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

 

C. Possession of Great Apes for Entertainment and Other Commercial Purposes

The commercial use of apes generally includes breeding, sale, display and exhibition of those animals. As discussed in Section II(B)(i), Arizona regulates the commercial use of the various species of apes differently. On one hand, a Game and Fish Department (GFD) license is generally required to import, possess, and use “restricted” apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos) for commercial purposes. GFD issues three types of licenses to keep those apes for commercial use: (1) zoo license; (2) private game farm license; and (3) wildlife holding license. Those licenses are explained in detail in Section II(B)(i)(a), above. “Restricted” apes may be imported, transported, and possessed without a state license for certain commercial activities, including: (1) exhibition in a state or county fair or circus; (2) photography; and (3) advertising purposes other than photography. Any person or entity that is not exempt from the state’s licensure requirement must meet various pre-licensure qualifications and post-licensure conditions in order to legally import, possess, and use apes for commercial purposes. Also, all GFD licensees are required to comply with the state’s minimum standards for the housing, care, and treatment of apes. Those standards are discussed in Section II(B)(i)(a), above.

Unlike the requirements for “restricted” apes, there are no state licensing requirements for gibbons. However, the state does restrict the trade in infant gibbons (and other primates) to protect the public health and safety. Under the Game and Fish Commission’s general primate regulations, it is illegal to import, sell, and give away (or otherwise transfer) infant gibbons. It is still legal to breed gibbons for commercial purposes, but the offspring cannot be sold or otherwise transferred until they are no longer “infants.” Non-infant gibbons may be imported as long as they are free from certain infectious diseases, and may be sold or given away without restriction. All gibbons, regardless of their age, can legally be exhibited throughout the state. As discussed in Section II(B)(i)(b), Arizona has no minimum standards of care for gibbons. Although the Federal Animal Welfare Act does require federally licensed exhibitors and animal dealers to maintain gibbons pursuant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s minimum standards of care, those laws cannot be enforced by the state.

The state’s anti-cruelty laws generally apply to apes that are possessed for commercial use; however those laws do not prohibit or restrict activities that are regulated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. See Section II(A)(i), above.

 

D. Possession of Great Apes by Sanctuaries

Arizona law does not define animal “sanctuaries,” nor does it provide any standards regarding the establishment of such facilities. This means that any facility could label itself an animal “sanctuary” regardless of whether it operates for profit or maintains apes for commercial purposes. The possession of apes by “sanctuaries” is regulated in the same manner as the possession of apes for exhibition and other commercial purposes (discussed in Section III(C), above).

 

E. Possession of Great Apes as Service Animals

In recent years, the question of whether “restricted” apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos) can legally be kept as service animals was raised when a diabetic woman in Arizona attempted to keep a chimpanzee as an assistance animal in spite of the state’s ape ban. It is generally illegal to keep chimpanzees and all other “restricted” apes without a license from the Game and Fish Department (GFD). As discussed in Section II(B)(i) above, that agency does issue a “wildlife holding license” which authorizes the importation and possession of “restricted” apes for specific purposes[63] if certain conditions are met. However, GFD does not issue licenses to keep chimpanzees and other “restricted” apes as pets or service animals because the agency has determined that the possession of those animals in private homes poses a threat to public health and safety. Despite the state’s ban, the diabetic woman imported a chimpanzee with the intention of keeping him as a service animal, claiming that she was entitled to do so under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).[64] GFD promptly notified the woman that her possession of the chimpanzee was illegal under state law and she was not entitled to an exemption in light of the public health, safety, and welfare risks involved with keeping “restricted” apes. In September of 2007, the chimpanzee’s owner sued the State of Arizona, the Game and Fish Commission, and the Director of the Game and Fish Department in federal court claiming that they had violated her rights under the federal disability laws. According to the plaintiff in Pruett v. Arizona, the ADA requires the state to make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled individuals; and in her case this meant the state must waive its ban on possessing “restricted” apes so that she can keep a chimpanzee in her home as a service animal. The District Court found that the plaintiff’s chimpanzee is “unnecessary” and “inadequate” to meet her disability-related needs and the animal is not a “reasonable” accommodation under the ADA because he threatens the health and safety of the community.[65] As a result, Arizona is not required to waive its ban on the importation and possession of “restricted” apes for disabled individuals.

On the other hand, gibbons are not classified as “restricted live animals” and as discussed in Section II(B)(i)(b), those apes may be kept as service animals or for any other purpose, subject to federal permit and licensure requirements.

 

IV. Local Ordinances

Certain provisions within Arizona’s state statutes authorize counties and local municipalities to prohibit or regulate the local possession and use of Great Apes, regardless of whether a would-be possessor has secured a federal or state license to keep those animals.[66] As a result, there are a variety of local ordinances in Arizona that directly and indirectly govern the possession, use, and treatment of apes. The following list of ordinances is not exhaustive; rather, it is a partial list of local laws that demonstrates how some towns, cities, and counties in Arizona have addressed the issue.

Apache Junction 6-1-1, 6-1-10: It is illegal to harbor, maintain, or control any ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain educational institutions, circuses, zoos, and educational or entertainment events, subject to local permit requirements. (Ord. 1310, passed 4-15-2008)

Payson 90.04, 90.17: It is illegal to own, keep, or harbor any Great Ape without the written permission of the Chief of Police. Such permission is granted only when the Chief of Police determines that the health and safety of the ape will be adequately cared for and the animal will not pose a risk to public health and safety. (`82 Code, § 6-2-3); 90.18: It is illegal to maintain an ape within 75 feet of an inhabited house or occupied building of an adjoining property, unless the owner of the adjoining property has provided written consent. (`82 Code, § 6-2-4)  (Am. Ord. 500, passed 6-26-97) 

Peoria 4-9: It is illegal to keep any “dangerous” wild animals without first having registered the animal with the City. The registration list, owner’s name and address, and the type of animal is deemed a public record subject to disclosure. (Code 1977, § 7-1-3; Ord. No. 96-31, 6/4/96, Amended; Ord. No. 01-175, 11/20/01, Amended)


[1] Pruett v. Arizona, 606 F. Supp.2d 1065, 1070 (D. Ariz. 2009).

[5] Notice of Final Rulemaking: R12-4-426. Possession of Primates, Ariz. Admin. Reg., Vol. 6 Issue 2 (Jan. 7, 2000).

[6] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-2912.

[9] See also, Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-306 (statute prohibiting the importation, transportation, sale, or possession of any live wildlife except as authorized by the Commission or as defined in Title 3, Chapter 16 of the Agriculture Code).

[10] To determine whether an animal represented an actual or potentially significant threat to public health and safety, the Commission investigated whether the animal could carry disease, posed a physical threat, could inflict property damage, and could create a nuisance. Pruett v. Arizona, 606 F. Supp.2d 1065, 1074 (D. Ariz. 2009).

[11] Pruett v. Arizona, 606 F. Supp.2d 1065, 1070 (D. Ariz. 2009).

[15] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-407(A)(4). Any person who imports, possesses, or transports an ape pursuant to this exemption must: (1) possess evidence of lawful possession of the ape and keep that evidence with the ape; (2) ensure that the ape does not have any physical contact with the public; (3) keep the ape under complete control by safe and humane means; and (4) ensure that the ape does not remain in the state for more than 60 consecutive days. Id.

[16] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-407(A)(4). Any person who imports, possesses, or transports an ape pursuant to this exemption must: (1) possess evidence of lawful possession of the ape and keep that evidence with the ape; (2) ensure that the ape does not have any physical contact with the public; (3) keep the ape under complete control by safe and humane means; and (4) ensure that the ape does not remain in the state for more than 60 consecutive days. Id.

[17] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-407(A)(5). Any person who imports, possesses, transports, or exports an ape pursuant to this exemption must: (1) possess evidence of lawful possession of the ape; (2) keep the ape under complete control by safe and humane means; (3) ensure that the ape does not have physical contact with the public and is not photographed with the public; (4) not charge a fee to the public to view the ape; and (5) ensure that the ape is exported within 10 days of importation.

[19] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-425. Individuals holding restricted apes under this exemption may only dispose of those animals by exportation, euthanasia, transfer to a GFD-licensee who is authorized to keep that species of ape, or as directed by GFD. Offspring of restricted apes held under this exemption must be disposed of by exportation, euthanasia, or as directed by GFD. Id.

[23] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-417(B). GFD may only issue a wildlife holding license when it determines that issuing the license is in the best interest of the ape(s), it will not adversely impact other wildlife in the state, and it does not pose a threat to public health or safety. Id.

[26] “Zoo” means a commercial facility open to the public where the principal business is holding wildlife in captivity for exhibition purposes. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-101.

[28] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-420(A). Zoo licenses are only issued when GFD determines that issuing the license is in the best interest of the restricted ape(s) and it will not adversely impact other wildlife in the state.  Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-420(D).

[33] Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-428.  In addition to the following minimum standards of care, GFD may impose additional requirements of the housing, care, or treatment of restricted apes or other animals if it becomes necessary to meed the needs of a particular animal or to ensure public health and safety. Id.

[42] Id.

[45] The Department has the authority to place additional stipulations on a special license at the time of application or renewal if necessary to conserve wildlife populations, prevent introduction and proliferation of wildlife diseases, prevent wildlife from escaping, or for public health or safety. Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-409(F).

[49] Notice of Final Rulemaking: R12-4-426. Possession of Primates, Ariz. Admin. Reg., Vol. 6 Issue 2 (Jan. 7, 2000); “Primate” means a non-human animal in the order Primate not listed in R12-4-406(G)(4) (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos are excluded from the definition of “primate” because they are listed in R12-4-406). Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-426(A).

[50] “Infant” means an animal weighing less than 50% of the weight of an adult as identified in “The Pictorial Guide to Living Primates,” Pogonias Press 1996, and not including any later edition. Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-426(A)(2).

[54] “Zoonotic” means a disease that can be transmitted to humans from other animals. Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-401. Specifically, all gibbons must test negative for: tuberculosis, Simian herpes B virus, and Simian immunodeficiency virus, in addition to any other zoonotic disease that pose a serious health risk as determined by GFD. Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-426(C).

[59] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-104. Any peace officer who knowingly fails to enforce the Game and Fish laws or GFC regulations is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-309(E).

[63] The purpose of the license must be for the advancement of science, wildlife management, or promotion of public health or welfare; education; commercial photography under specific conditions; or for humane treatment of live wildlife. Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-417.

[64] 42 U.S.C.A. § 12131 et seq.

[65] Pruett v. Arizona, 606 F. Supp.2d 1065, 1079 (D. Ariz. 2009); There are very few chimpanzees in private homes. Possessing a nonhuman primate is like having an eternal three-year-old, and chimpanzees are more challenging to care for and handle than many other primates. A chimpanzee's average life span is approximately sixty to seventy years. Adult chimpanzees are large, strong, and often aggressive, and adult males typically reach eighty to two hundred pounds in weight. The size or weight of a chimpanzee does not necessarily determine its behavior or serve as an accurate predictor of future behavior, including aggression or dominance. A bond between a human and a chimpanzee does not guarantee there will not be future aggression by the chimpanzee. Id. at 1071.

[66] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9-240; Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 11-251; Ariz. Admin. Code R12-4-409(E).

 

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