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Great Apes and the Law: A complete resource for the legal status of the Great Apes within the United States
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Detailed Discussion of Florida 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 Florida

In Florida, all gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, and gibbons are classified as “wildlife” and they are among the most heavily regulated animals in the state because of the “significant danger” that they pose.[1] It is generally illegal to keep any species of ape as a pet, and a state permit is required to possess those animals for any commercial purpose. Individuals and facilities that possess apes in Florida must comply with a variety of legal requirements which are designed to safeguard the public from the health and safety risks involved with maintaining and exhibiting apes. In addition, all apes must be maintained pursuant to the state’s minimum standards of care, many of which exceed the federal standards of care under the Animal Welfare Act.

Political subdivisions of the state, including counties, cities, and towns also regulate the possession or use of apes within their geographical boundaries. Although there are fairly extensive state-level laws relating to apes, many cities and counties in Florida 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 

The following statutes were not enacted to protect apes exclusively; rather, they protect large groups of animals that include Great Apes. The state’s anti-cruelty statutes protect apes and other animals that are possessed for most purposes from abuse and neglect. Also, Florida has a unique statute that prohibits the commercial exploitation of deformed and disfigured animals for entertainment or exhibition. This law protects apes and all other animals from being exploited based upon a genetic deformation or physical ailment, or from being intentionally disfigured for entertainment purposes.

 

i. Anti-Cruelty Statutes

The state’s anti-cruelty statutes,[2] which essentially prohibit acts or omissions which inflict unnecessary pain or suffering on an animal, generally apply to Great Apes in Florida.[3] Because all apes within the state live in mandatory confinement, the portions of the law which prohibit the confinement of such animals without access to sufficient and wholesome food and water, exercise, or “change of air” are particularly relevant.[4] In addition, apes may be trained or induced to perform for public entertainment by chemical, electrical, mechanical, and manual devices that inflict physical or psychological injuries. Accordingly, the provisions that prohibit any person from unnecessarily overdriving or tormenting, or inflicting unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal may be utilized to protect apes that are physically abused in the course of training, to induce performances, or for any other reason.[5]

All state and local law enforcement officers, including agents employed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Industries (see Section II(B) below), may investigate alleged violations of the state’s anti-cruelty statutes. State law directs all law enforcement officers to arrest, without warrant, any person found violating those provisions.[6] In addition, any county, humane society, or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals or children may appoint agents to enforce the state’s anti-cruelty laws.[7]

Any ape that has been neglected or cruelly treated may be confiscated by law enforcement officers or humane agents. Following the confiscation, a hearing must take place in the county court in which the animal resides to determine whether the ape should be returned to the owner or placed elsewhere. If the evidence indicates a lack of proper and reasonable care of the animal, the burden is on the owner to demonstrate by “clear and convincing evidence” that he or she is able and fit to have custody of the ape.[8]

 

ii. Exhibition of Deformed Animals

It is illegal to exhibit, advertise the exhibition of, or solicit attendees for the exhibition of a crippled, physically distorted, malformed, or disfigured ape for compensation. This statute could potentially be used to prevent the exhibition of apes that have had their teeth removed; those extractions are not only painful and are no longer allowed under the Federal Animal Welfare Act, but they do permanently physically distort the animals. This statute may be enforced by any state or local law enforcement officer, and a violation thereof is a misdemeanor of the second degree.[9] 

 

B. State Agencies and Regulations

In Florida, there are two state agencies that have been granted either constitutional or legislative authority to regulate the import, possession, use, or treatment of apes within the state. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates all wildlife within the state. Because apes are considered wildlife, that agency has a great deal of authority over the captive apes that reside within the state. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has some limited regulatory authority over all animals that are imported or transported within the state. That agency is responsible for ensuring that apes and other animals do not create a public health risk and it may regulate activities, such as importation and transportation of animals, which could facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases.

 

i. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida law authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to regulate the import, possession, and use of wildlife within the state. In delegating that authority, the state legislature directed the agency to designate the types of animals that are considered “Class I,” “Class II,” and “Class III” wildlife, and to establish a permitting program for the possession of those animals.[10] The program is intended to “ensure that permits are granted only to persons qualified to possess and care properly for wildlife.”[11] FWC has determined that all Great Apes are “Class I” wildlife,[12] which means that they “pose a significant danger to people.”[13] Accordingly, they are among the most heavily regulated animals in the state.

It is illegal to import, sell, possess, or use any ape without authorization from FWC.[14] Any person[15] wishing to import or transport a Great Ape must obtain a free permit from FWC which authorizes such movement.[16] Likewise, any person wishing to possess a Great Ape within the state must first obtain a FWC permit; however, the requirements for obtaining a permit to possess an ape are much more extensive than the requirements for a permit to import or transport those animals. Applicants for a permit to possess an ape must: (1) be at least 18 years of age and demonstrate “substantial practical experience” working with apes or other similar species;[17] (2) have an approved facility that meets FWC’s minimum standards;[18] and (3) possess the animal for an approved purpose.[19] In addition, all applicants must complete and submit a “Disaster and Critical Incident Plan,” which documents a course of action to be taken in preparation for disasters or critical incidents,[20] and includes a list of the applicant’s current contiguous land owners or neighbors.[21] Applicants who have had convictions involving captive wildlife violations, unsafe housing of wildlife, illegal commercialization of wildlife, importation of wildlife, or animal cruelty within the (3) years immediately preceding the date of application are not eligible for a permit. Once they are issued a permit to import, transport,[22] or possess a Great Ape, all permittees must comply with the permit requirements,[23] minimum standards of care for apes, and other relevant laws which may vary depending on the purpose for which an ape is possessed.[24]    

In general,[25] all captive apes must receive certain minimum standards of care, regardless of the purpose for which they are possessed. Those general standards govern the housing, feeding, and maintenance of apes. It is illegal to maintain Great Apes “in any unsafe or unsanitary condition, or in a manner which results in threats to the public safety, or the maltreatment or neglect of such [animals].”[26]  All cages and enclosures must be constructed pursuant to particular specifications, which vary depending on the size and species of the ape.[27]  Under state law, cages or enclosures must be much larger than those required under the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). For example, under the AWA, a permanent cage for a single chimpanzee must have at least 25 square feet of floor space, which is approximately 5 feet x 5 feet, but under Florida law a permanent cage for a single chimpanzee over 50 pounds must be at least 20 feet x 12 feet.[28]  In addition to complying with technical specifications for the construction of enclosures, all permittees are responsible for ensuring that the enclosures will safely hold an animal housed therein. Even if a cage, enclosure, barrier, or constraint, is constructed in compliance with FWC’s minimum standards, any condition which results in the escape of an ape or injury to any person is a per se violation.[29] Apes must have “daily” access to clean drinking water and must be provided unspoiled food that is “of a type and quantity that meets the nutritional requirements for the particular species.”[30] The food and water requirements are less specific than those of the Federal AWA, which requires all regulated facilities to feed apes at least once a day and provide water at least twice daily for an hour each time.[31] All facilities that are licensed or registered by the United States Department of Agriculture to breed, sell, display, exhibit, transport, or conduct scientific research on apes must comply with the more specific requirements contained in the AWA. Finally, FWC’s minimum standards for the cleaning and maintenance of cages and other enclosures require that excreta and food waste be removed from in, under, and around cages daily and that walls be spot cleaned daily.[32] Hard floors within cages, the surfaces of housing facilities, and furniture-type fixtures must be cleaned weekly.[33] Again, these requirements differ from those of the Federal AWA in terms of the required frequency of cleanings.[34] All United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed and regulated facilities must comply with the more stringent of the two laws.  

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has dedicated law enforcement agents, or “wildlife officers,” who are employed by the agency, and who have the authority to conduct inspections,[35] seize animals,[36] and enforce all provisions of the Florida Wildlife Code and FWC regulations related to the import, transport, possession and treatment of Great Apes.[37] In addition, all other state and local law enforcement officers[38] are required to enforce those laws.[39] The possession of a Great Ape in violation of the Florida Wildlife Code or any regulation adopted by FWC is a misdemeanor of the first degree,[40] which may result in forfeiture of the animal(s),[41] suspension or revocation of a permit,[42] fines, imprisonment, or any combination thereof.[43]

 

ii. Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Pursuant to Florida law and the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (DACS) regulations,[44] any ape imported into the state must be accompanied by an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (OCVI).[45] The OCVI must be issued within the 30 days immediately prior to importation, and must certify that a veterinarian has examined the animal and found no signs of infectious or communicable disease.[46] One copy of the OCVI must accompany the animal to his or her final destination, and another copy must be sent to the Department’s Division of Animal Industry.[47] 

Any ape that is imported into or transported within the state is subject to DACS inspections and/or quarantines.[48] The agency has various “interdiction stations” located throughout the state. Any person transporting an ape must present the animal for a health inspection whenever there is an interdiction station on their route. In addition DACS agents may inspect apes that are located in facilities or transport vehicles outside of the interdiction stations. Any ape that is not accompanied by an OCVI, or that displays symptoms of illness may be quarantined[49] or denied entry into the state.

The Department has dedicated law enforcement agents, who are employed by the agency, and who have the authority to conduct investigations and enforce the laws and regulations regarding animal importation and transportation.[50] In addition, all other state and local law enforcement officers[51] are authorized to enforce those laws and regulations.[52] Any violation of the agency’s regulations relating to the import, inspection, and quarantine of Great Apes is a misdemeanor of the second degree, and in addition to criminal penalties,[53] may incur administrative fines of up to $10,000 per offense.[54] 

 

III. Analysis of State Laws as Applied to Specific Uses  

The statutes and regulations that are discussed in Section II all govern certain aspects of the import, possession, use, or treatment of captive apes that are possessed for various purposes. The laws are not uniformly applicable to all apes; instead, they vary according to 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

It is illegal to possess, sell, or transfer any ape for use as a pet;[55] however, the ban has a grandfather clause. Any ape that was possessed as a pet on August 1, 1980 may be kept for the remainder of his or her life, subject to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s permit requirements and regulations.[56] The Commission sponsors amnesty events to encourage illegal pet owners to relinquish their apes free from the threat of prosecution.[57] In addition, state and county wildlife agencies may accept illegally possessed Great Apes. The voluntary relinquishment of an ape to those agencies will not subject an owner to prosecution for unlawful possession of the animal.[58]

The general possession, maintenance, and housing requirements, discussed in Section II(B)(i) above, apply to all persons that possess Great Apes as pets. In addition, the state’s anti-cruelty laws, discussed in Section II(A)(i) above, protect Great Apes that are kept as pets. These laws are particularly important in ensuring the health and well-being of the remaining pet apes in Florida because the Federal Animal Welfare Act does not protect those animals.

 

B. Possession of Great Apes for Biomedical Research 

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.[59] However, 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. Those records are not submitted to FWC; rather they must be available for inspection upon request.[60] In addition, research facilities must house apes in cages or enclosures which meet FWC’s minimum construction and size requirements. As mentioned before, the state regulations require much larger enclosures for all species of apes than the Animal Welfare Act, and all research facilities in Florida must comply with the state’s standards.[61]

The state’s anti-cruelty statutes, as discussed in Section 2(A) above, do not prohibit acts constituting “torture” or “cruelty” against apes when such acts are committed for “medical science.”[62] However, several local ordinances prohibit the sale, transfer, or use of apes for scientific experiments that involve any “cruel or inhumane treatment.” Section IV, below, includes a partial list of those ordinances. 

 

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. Any individual or facility wishing to import or possess an ape for commercial purposes must secure permits prior to importing or possessing the apes, and must comply with minimum standards of care for the maintenance, transportation, and exhibition of those animals.

Importation: The import requirements of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as discussed in Section II(B) above, apply to all Great Apes imported into the state for commercial purposes.

Possession: A FWC permit is required to possess any Great Ape for commercial purposes.[63] To qualify for a permit, an applicant must meet all personal qualifications and facility requirements discussed in Section II(B)(i) above, and must also demonstrate “consistent and sustained commercial activity in the form of exhibition or sale” of apes.[64] Because it is illegal to possess apes as pets in Florida, there is an incentive for pet owners to attempt to obtain a FWC permit by fraudulently claiming that their pets are maintained for commercial purposes. The requirement that permit applicants must demonstrate consistent commercial activity prevents unscrupulous pet owners from abusing the permit system in order to circumvent the state-wide pet ban. Applicants wishing to possess an ape for exhibition purposes must submit a valid performance bond or cash bond, or other financial responsibility guarantee in the sum of $10,000[65] with the permit application.[66] Once they are issued a FWS permit, all permittees must secure a USDA dealer or exhibitor license,[67] and must comply with all relevant permit requirements, regulations, and statutes, which may vary depending on whether an ape is kept for sale or exhibition purposes.[68]  

Exhibition: In addition to the minimum standards for the treatment of apes, discussed in Section II(B)(i) above, all exhibitors must comply with FWC regulations regarding public contact with apes. In general, apes may not be handled by the public in a manner that will “adversely affect the health, welfare, or safety of the animals, nor expose the public to injury.”[69] Also, exhibitors are required to take reasonable precautions to “minimize the possibility” of disease and parasite transmission.[70] The regulations do not specify which types of precautions would be considered “reasonable” for compliance and enforcement purposes. In order to have “full contact”[71] with the public, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas must be at least six (6) months old, and may not weigh any more than twenty-five (25) pounds.[72] Gibbons must be at least four (4) months old and no more than two (2) years old.[73] “Incidental contact”[74] with the public is allowed with chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas that are at least six (6) months old and weigh no more than forty (40) pounds, and with gibbons that are at least four (4) months old.[75]

Maintenance: All permanent facilities must comply with the minimum caging and facility standards, discussed in Section II(B)(i) above. However, those minimum standards do not apply to Great Apes that are part of mobile animal exhibits. Instead, “performing animals” may be housed in cages[76] that are just large enough for the animal(s) to turn around and stand erect with head clearance, for up to 72 hours at a time without exercise or performances, as long as the animals are not maintained this way for more than 90 days out of each 120 day period.[77] “Non-performing animals” have slightly larger caging requirements. The minimum cage floor space for gorillas is 8 feet x 8 feet; orangutans must have a minimum floor space of 7 feet x 7 feet; adult chimpanzees must have floor space that measures at least 6 ½ feet x 6 ½ feet; and the minimum floor space for chimpanzees up to 50 pounds is 5 feet x 5 feet. The height of all cages must be at least 2 feet above the standing height of the animal therein.[78] The animals may be maintained in those cages, with no exercise requirement, for up to 45 days out of each 90 day period.[79] These standards are actually more restrictive than the AWA standards for traveling exhibits,[80] so all USDA licensed exhibitors in Florida must comply with the more restrictive state law.

The minimum cage sizes for apes housed in permanent facilities also do not apply to Great Apes being held “temporarily” for sale. Instead, they may be kept in cages that are just large enough for the animal(s) to stand up, lie down, and turn around without touching the sides of the enclosure or another animal, with no exercise requirement, for up to 60 days.[81] While the Federal AWA authorizes the use of such cages for travel purposes, it makes no similar provision for the use of travel cages to house apes that are not in transit. Therefore, it is unlikely that USDA licensed dealers would be in compliance with the AWA if they house apes in travel-sized cages, even for temporary periods, if the apes are not actually in transit.

Wildlife officers may inspect a permittee’s records,[82] facilities, and animals at any time.[83] Apes that are maltreated, mistreated, neglected, kept in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, or cared for in violation of the state’s anti-cruelty laws (discussed in Section II(A), above) may be confiscated. However, prior to confiscating apes that are suffering due to abuse or neglect, the agency must give the owner 30 days notice of its intent to seize the animal(s) and an opportunity to correct the violation(s). Possession of an ape in violation of the permit requirements, FWC regulations, or the state laws governing the possession and treatment of apes may result in suspension or revocation of a permit, forfeiture of the affected animals, fines, incarceration, or any combination thereof.  

 

D. Possession of Great Apes by Sanctuaries

In Florida, only state and federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations may operate sanctuaries for captive apes.[84] The sole purpose of those facilities must be to provide “lifetime care for unwanted or infirmed captive wildlife.”[85] In order to legally possess Great Apes, wildlife sanctuaries must possess a FWC permit, as discussed in Section II(B)(i) above.[86] Permitted facilities may not buy or sell apes or allow physical contact between apes and the public.[87] Sanctuaries are not prohibited from displaying apes, but facilities that do exhibit the animals must comply with the bonding or financial security requirements for the commercial exhibition of Great Apes.[88] All permitted sanctuaries must comply with all laws and regulations discussed in Section II, above.

 

E. Possession of Great Apes for Other Purposes

i. Retired Performing Animals

Persons who possess a commercial permit to exhibit an ape may retain possession of the animal after he or she is retired, “for the purposes of providing lifetime care for said wildlife.”[89] As long as a permittee continues to possess a retired ape, he must comply with all permit requirements and laws governing the possession of Great Apes for commercial purposes, discussed in Section III(C) above.

 

ii. Possession of Carcasses or Body Parts

Whenever the possession of a Great Ape is prohibited under state law, the possession of any carcass or portion of the carcass of such animal is also prohibited.[90]   

 

IV. Local Ordinances

Florida is unique among the states because a provision within the state’s constitution grants the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) both regulatory and executive power to regulate wild animals within the state.[91]  This provision has led to conjecture among legal analysts and uncertainty among the populace as to the legal authority of local governments to restrict and regulate the possession of Great Apes. Florida’s constitution[92] and state laws[93] authorize the legislative body of each municipality to enact legislation concerning any subject matter upon which the state legislature may act, except any subject expressly prohibited by the constitution. Although the state’s constitution does not expressly forbid municipalities from enacting ordinances which ban the possession of exotic or wild animals, including Great Apes, at least two Florida Attorney General Opinions[94] and the Fourth District Court of Appeals[95] have declared that FWC has “exclusive” authority to enact rules and regulations governing wildlife, and any local ordinance that conflicts with the agency’s regulations “must give way to the Constitutional mandate establishing the Commission.”[96] According to those opinions, political subdivisions of the state may not prohibit the possession of an animal that is possessed pursuant to a FWC permit. Clearly, those opinions are not shared by a large number of local governments in Florida, which have local ordinances that directly and indirectly govern the possession, use, and treatment of apes. The following list of ordinances[97] is not exhaustive; rather, it is a partial list of local laws that demonstrates how some towns, cities, and counties in Florida have addressed the issue.

Altamonte Springs 74-8.9: Great Apes must be confined to a building, cage, or other secure enclosure and must not be removed unless securely chained, anesthetized, or otherwise restrained.

Atlantis 3-1: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer or give away any ape for scientific experimentation “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment,” and It is illegal to engage in scientific experimentation on apes, “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment.” (Palm beach County Ord. No. 98-22, § 6, 6-16-98)

Avon Park 14-12: Great Apes may not be kept in any residential dwelling unit.  (Ord. No. 8-96, § 10-12, 7-8-1996)

Bay Harbor Islands 4-16, 23-12: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or raise any ape within the town limits. (Ord. No. 477, § 12, 5-8-89; Ord. No. 513, § 1, 3-9-92)

Belleair 10-3: Great Apes are prohibited on any property within the town.

Belleair Beach 6-40: It is illegal to harbor, breed, keep, or raise any ape within the corporate limits of the city. (Ord. No. 03-07, § 1, 4-17-2003; Ord. No. 03-07B, § 1, 7-7-2003; Ord. No. 03-07A, § 2, 8-18-2003)

Belleair Bluffs 76-5: It is illegal - and a public nuisance - to house, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Added 1-16-1978 by Ord. No. 77-14; Amended 8-18-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-05, § 1)

Belleview 134-240: Great Apes are not permitted in residential and agricultural districts within the city.

Biscayne Park 8.4.4: No animal, other than “ordinary household pets” may be bred or raised within the village limits. (Ord. No. 283, § 4, 10-5-93)

Bronson 50-738: Exotic animals may not be kept in, or within one-quarter mile of any residential zone. (1991 LDR ch. 79, § 6.01(G)(29); Ord. No. 2007-03, § 22, 7-17-2007; ord. No. 2007-07, § 13, 11-20-2007)

Brooksville 102-2: It is illegal to keep Great Apes on any land within the city limits. The ban does not apply to animals for sale in licensed pet stores (though it would be illegal to sell an ape for use as a pet in Florida). (Ord. No. 731, § 1, 1-8-2007)

Broward County 4-21: It is illegal for any “person, firm or corporation” to deliver, sell, offer or give an ape to any organization for medical experimentation. (Ord. No. 87-21, § 1, 5-12-87)

Callaway 4-15: It is illegal to keep Great Apes for exhibition or display. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibits, or circuses. (Ord. No. 793, § 2, 5-23-06); 4-16: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to use chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure an animal. (Ord. No. 793, § 2, 5-23-06); 4-87: A local permit is required to keep any “dangerous animal,” including apes, and those animals are not permitted in residential zones of the city. (Ord. No. 793, § 2, 5-23-06)

Chipley 4-10: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to use chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure any animal. (Ord. No. 797, 10-12-99); 4-22: It is illegal to keep any “wild or vicious” animal for exhibition or display. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and animal exhibitions.

Cinco Bayou 10-2: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to use chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure any animal. (Okaloosa County Ord. No. 92-25, § 19, 11-3-92)

Citrus County 14-56: Circuses are heavily regulated, including a prohibition on inducing any animal to perform “by means of prod, stick, electrical shock, chemical or physical force, deprivation of food and/or water, or by causing pain or discomfort.” (Ord. No. 2009-A13, § 1, 8-25-09)

Clearwater 8.03: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain research and educational institutions, veterinary hospitals, zoos, and animal dealers. (Code 1980, § 91.04)

Coconut Creek 5-8: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Ord. No. 204-85, § 1, 12-12-85)

Crestview 10-19: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer or give away any ape for scientific experimentation which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment. Traveling animal exhibits are generally banned. It is illegal to conduct or attend any activity “in which any wild animal engages in unnatural behavior or is wrestled, fought, mentally or physically harassed, or displayed in such a way that the animal is abused or stressed mentally or physically.” (Ord. No. 1061, §§ 2, 3, 8-26-02)

Dania Beach 5-2: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Ord. No. 2001-019, § 1, 7-10-01; Ord. No. 2007-029, § 2, 11-27-07)

Davie 4-22: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any wild animal, including Great Apes, within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, pet shops, medical and educational facilities, or “other places licensed for the showing or keeping of wild animals.” (Code 1964, § 3A-2)

Daytona Beach Shores 4-9: Great Apes must be confined to a building, cage, or other secure enclosure and must not be removed unless securely chained, anesthetized, or otherwise restrained.  (Ord. No. 84-22, § 9, 10-24-84)

Deerfield Beach 10-3: It is illegal to keep, maintain, possess, or harbor a Great Ape in any residential zone within the city. (Code 1979, § 3203; Ord. No. 1998/012, § 1, 5-26-98)

DeLand 4-6: It is illegal to keep “wild animals” within the city limits.

Deltona 14-3: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or raise an ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos and animals shelters.

Destin 4-21: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to use chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure any animal. (Ord. No. 65.3, § 21, 3-19-90)

Escambia County 10-20: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer or give away any ape for scientific experimentation which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment. Traveling animal exhibits are generally banned. It is illegal to conduct or attend any activity “in which any wild animal engages in unnatural behavior or is wrestled, fought, mentally or physically harassed, or displayed in such a way that the animal is abused or stressed mentally or physically.” (Code 1985, § 1-4-19)

Fernandina Beach 18-7, 18-8: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” as a pet, or for exhibition or display purposes. This ban does not apply to zoos. It is illegal to conduct or attend any activity “in which any wild animal engages in unnatural behavior or is wrestled, fought, mentally or physically harassed, or displayed in such a way that the animal is abused or stressed mentally or physically” or which involves the use of chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices that will cause or is likely to cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. No. 96-42, § 1, 1-7-97)

Flagler Beach 5-17: It is illegal to house, keep, or maintain any “wild animal,” or to breed or sell apes within the city limits. (Ord. No. 2002-30, § 1(Exh.A), 12-12-02; Ord. No. 2009-11, § 2, 6-25-09; Ord. No. 2009-13, § 5, 8-6-09); 5-21: No person shall “promote, conduct, or permit exploitative live animal contests, performances, or exhibitions, in which animals are encouraged, forced, or trained to perform in an exploitive manner.” (Ord. No. 2002-30, § 1(Exh.A), 12-12-02; Ord. No. 2009-11, § 2, 6-25-09)

Fort Lauderdale 6-13: It is illegal to possess a Great Ape as a pet, or for display or exhibition. This ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, or performing animal exhibitions. (Code 1953, § 6-13.1; Ord. No. C-81-84, § 2, 9-29-81); 6-5: It is illegal to “own, keep, [or] maintain” a Great Ape in, or within 75 feet of, any residential district. (Code 1953, § 6-4; Ord. No. C-81-84, § 2, 9-29-81)

Gilchrist County 7.15.02: A special use permit is required to keep, raise, or breed Great Apes, which are not permitted in any residential zone within the county. Permittees must comply with local land use regulations.

Golden Beach 6-1: It is generally illegal to keep a Great Ape on any residential lot. (Code 1989, § 9.01(B))

Gretna 5.11: “Exotic animals” are prohibited.

Gulf Breeze 4-2: It is illegal to keep “wild animals such as those traditionally seen caged in zoos and which are in excess of ten pounds” within the city limits. (Code 1976, § 4-43; Ord. No. 5-90, § 27, 7-2-90)

Gulfport 5-14: It is illegal to keep, maintain or have any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 77-4, § 2, 4-25-77; Ord. No. 77-7, § 1, 6-7-77; Ord. No. 77-15, 11-10-77)

Hallandale Beach 6-2: It is illegal to keep a dangerous animal of any kind within city limits. This ban does not apply to properly permitted zoos and circuses. (Code 1980, § 6-2; Ord. No. 2002-19, § 1, 10-15-2002)Code 1980, § 6-2)

Hardee County 2.09.00: It is illegal to breed or maintain any “wild animal” that “poses a threat to human safety” within the county. This ban does not apply to zoos, pet shops, animal shelters, treatment centers, medical and scientific facilities, and other locations where the showing and maintenance of such animals is permitted.

Haverhill 10-1: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer, or give away any ape for scientific experimentation “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment,” and it is illegal to engage in scientific experimentation on apes, “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment.” (Palm Beach County Ord. No. 98-22, § 6, 6-16-98)

Hernando County IV.6: Great Apes are not permitted in residential districts. Keeping apes in agricultural districts is considered a “special exception use,” subject to county approval. (Ord. No. 98-25, § 4, 10-13-98; Ord. No. 2000-07, § 6, 5-9-2000; Ord. No. 2003-02, § 10, 2-11-03; Ord. No. 2004-03, § 20, 2-24-04; Ord. No. 2004-11, § 15, 8-3-04)

Hialeah 10-2: It is illegal to harbor, maintain, or control any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1952, §§ 5.1, 5.2, 5.4; Code 1960, §§ 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; Ord. No. 2048, § 1, 1-9-1968; Ord. No. 99-28, § 1(6-2), 2-23-1999; Ord. No. 2008-63, § 1, 8-26-2008)

Hialeah Gardens 14-6: A local permit is required to possess Great Apes, and in the case of such animals, “there shall be a presumption against the issuance of a permit.” (Code 1985, § 90.04)

Holly Hill 10-2: It is illegal to house, keep, or maintain a Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1984, § 5-26; Ord. No. 2606, § 2, 2-27-01)

Hollywood 92.60: It is illegal to display Great Apes on public property for any entertainment purposes. It is illegal to display such animals anywhere within city limits if they are sick, crippled, or in a condition “contrary to public decency.” ('72 Code, § 6-64 ; Am. Ord. O-2005-12, passed 7-6-05)

Indian River Shores 90.01: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the town limits. (1978 Code, § 3.01; Ord. No. 110, 1-27-72; Ord. No. 258, 1-28-82)

Inverness 5-1: Circuses are heavily regulated, including a prohibition on inducing any animal to perform “by means of prod, stick, electrical shock, chemical or physical force, deprivation of food and/or water, or by causing pain or discomfort.” (Citrus County Ord. No. 2009-A13, § 1, 8-25-09)

Jupiter Inlet Colony 3-2: It is illegal to keep, possess, or maintain any Great Ape within the municipality. (Ord. No. 97-80-4, § 1, 11-3-80); 3-3: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer, or give away any ape for scientific experimentation “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment,” and it is also illegal to engage in scientific experimentation on apes, “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment.” (Palm Beach County Ord. No. 98-22, § 6, 6-16-98)

Kenneth City 14-97: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or possess Great Apes within the city limits. (Code 1976, § 4-1.1)

Key West 10-13: Great Apes are not permitted in residential zones. (Code 1986, § 53.21)

Lake County Zoning Ordinance 3.01.03: Great Apes are not permitted in residential zones, and are considered a “conditional use” in agricultural zones.

Lake Worth 6-4: It is illegal to keep apes as pets. (Ord. No. 87-33, § 1, 11-2-87); 6-1: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer, or give away any ape for scientific experimentation “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment,” and it is illegal to engage in scientific experimentation on apes, “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment.” (Palm Beach County Ord. No. 98-22, § 6, 6-16-98)

Lauderdale Lakes 10-9: It is illegal to keep any wild animal in or within 100 feet of any residential zone. (Ord. No. 08-29, § 2, 10-28-2008)

Layton 126-107: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (LDR 2002, § 15.04)

Leon County 4-39: It is illegal to “promote, conduct or permit” exploitive animal exhibitions, in which animals “perform unnaturally,” including, but not limited to roadside zoos or menageries. (Ord. No. 05-02, § 1, 1-25-05)

Levy County 50-738: Exotic animals may not be kept in, or within one-quarter mile of any residential zone. (1991 LDR ch. 79, § 6.01(G)(29); Ord. No. 2007-03, § 22, 7-17-2007; ord. No. 2007-07, § 13, 11-20-2007)

Lighthouse Point 10-7: It is illegal to keep or maintain any Great Ape within residential districts. (Code 1979, § 5-9)

Longboat Key 91-02: It is illegal to keep or maintain any ape within the town limits. ('71 Code, § 4-1.5) (Ord. 77-28, passed 12-7-77; Am. Ord. 92-07, passed 3-2-92)

Lynn Haven 10-3: It is illegal to keep a Great Ape for display or exhibition without written permission from the city. This requirement does not apply to pet shops, zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions. (Ord. No. 693, § 1, 6-27-00)

Madeira Beach 10-2: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or raise Great Apes within the city limits. This ban does not apply to certain educational and research facilities, veterinary hospitals, and retail animal dealers. (Code 1983, § 4-101(A),(B))

Maitland 4-6: It is illegal to keep or maintain wild animals within the city limits. (Code 1971, § 4-5)

Marathon 5-21: It is illegal to keep “wild” animals in any residential zone within the city limits. (Code 1999, § 3-21)

Margate 4-61, 4-62: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. This ban does not apply to zoos, circuses and other animal exhibits, educational and scientific institutions, and veterinary clinics. (Ord. No. 78-18, § 2, 7-19-78; Ord. No. 78-41, §§ 2, 3, 11-1-78)

Martin County 9.89: Great Apes that are at least 6 months old and weigh no more than 40 pounds may be allowed to have only “incidental” contact with the public. Such contact must not “adversely affect the health, welfare, or safety of the animals.” (Ord. No. 628, pt. 1, 2-11-2003)

Mary Esther 4-19: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to use chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure any animal. (Ord. No. 93-20, § 19, 3-1-93)

McIntosh 2.03.02: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits.

Miami Beach 10-9: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any animal whose “natural actions and presence” may pose a threat to human health and safety. This ban does not apply to circuses and animal exhibitors. (Code 1964, § 4-6.10)

Miami Shores Village 5-3: It is illegal to keep Great Apes in the village. (Code 1971, § 4-3)

Miami Springs 90-01, 90-02: It is illegal to keep, maintain, house, raise, or breed Great Apes within the city limits. (Code 1962, § 5-1 and 5-2; Ord. 184, passed 2-8-54)

Nassau County 6-55: It is illegal to keep Great Apes as pets or for display, training, or exhibition. This ban does not apply to accredited zoos. (Ord. No. 2004-58, § 16, 12-13-04); 6-57: It is illegal to conduct or attend any activity in which a Great Ape “engages in unnatural behavior or is wrestled, fought, mentally or physically harassed, or displayed in such a way that the animal is abused or stressed mentally or physically” or where a performance is induced through the use of chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering.” (Ord. No. 2004-58, § 18, 12-13-04)

New Smyrna Beach 18-131 et seq.: Any person in possession of a Great Ape must comply with local registration, confinement, disaster plan, and warning sign requirements. (Ord. No. 26-00, § 1(7-21(1-4)), 5-9-2000)

Niceville 4-39: It is illegal to keep or maintain any “wild, untamed and undomesticated” animal within the city limits. This ban does not apply to parks, zoos, pet shops, medical and scientific institutions, or other facilities that are licensed to show or keep such animals. (Ord. No. 599, § 15(1), 7-8-86)

North Bay Village 91.02: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or raise Great Apes within the city limits. (1964 Code, § 13-7(v); Ord. 90-09, passed 5-22-90; Ord. No. 02-16, § 1, 6-25-02)

North Lauderdale 10-8: A local permit is required to possess Great Apes, and in the case of those animals, “there shall be a presumption against the issuance of a permit.” (Code 1976, § 4-8(a)--(d); Ord. No. 94-7-873, § 2, 7-12-94)

North Palm Beach 4-6: It is illegal to keep, possess, or maintain Great Apes within the village limits. However, the village manager has the authority to authorize such possession upon the submission of a written request. (Code 1970, § 4-6; Ord. No. 206-70, § 2)

North Port 10-81: It is illegal to possess any “wild animal” that has not been born and raised in captivity. This ban does not apply to certain zoos and scientific and educational facilities.

North Redington Beach 14-1: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the town limits. (Code 1985, § 4-1)

Oak Hill 8-37: It is illegal to transfer an ape to any facility for use in vivisection, or to an animal dealer who sells animals for vivisection. (Ord. No. 2007-08, § 22, 5-14-2007)

Oakland Park 4-8: It is illegal to own, keep, or maintain a Great Ape in any residential district of the city. (Ord. No. O-95-15, § 2, 10-18-95)

Ocean Ridge 10-1: It is illegal to shelter, maintain, or possess any “wild animal” within the town limits. (Code 1993, § 10-1; Ord. No. 557, § 2.B.8., 8-8-2005)

Okaloosa County 5-39: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to use chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure any animal. (Ord. No. 92-25, § 19, 11-3-92)

Palm Beach 10-9: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or possess any Great Ape within the town limits. (Ord. No. 9-96, § 1(4-3), 5-14-96; Ord. No. 9-03, § 1, 2-11-03; Ord. No. 7-08, § 1, 4-8-08); 10-10: A permit may be granted for temporary possession of such animals, subject to certain requirements. (Ord. No. 9-96, § 1(4-15), 5-14-96; Ord. No. 11-96, § 1, 7-9-96; Ord. No. 26-04, § 1, 11-9-04; Ord. No. 11-06, § 2, 10-10-06; Ord. No. 13-10, § 1, 7-13-10)

Palm Beach County 4-6: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer, or give away any ape for scientific experimentation “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment,” and it is illegal to conduct such experiments on apes. (Ord. No. 98-22, § 6, 6-16-98)

Palm Beach Gardens 14-1, 14-3: It is illegal to keep Great Apes in any residential zone. Also, they are not allowed in non-residential zones, unless such possession is part of, or incidental to, a permitted or conditional use within a non-residential zone. (Code 1987, § 91.01 et seq.; Ord. No. 17-1997, § 1, 11-20-97)

Palm Beach Shores 10-2: It is illegal to keep, possess, or maintain a Great Ape within the town limits. (Code 1977, § 4-3; Ord. No. O-01-00, § 1, 6-19-00)

Panama City 4-18: It is illegal to keep a Great Ape for display or exhibition. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibits. (Code 1982, § 5-18; Code 1992, § 5-18; Ord. No. 1857, § 1, 11-13-2001); 4-19: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using a “chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual device” that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering. (Code 1982, § 5-17; Code 1992, § 5-19; Ord. No. 1558, § 7, 11-24-1992; Ord. No. 1857, § 1, 11-13-2001)

Panama City Beach 5-52: It is illegal to keep a Great Ape in any residential zone within the city. (Code 1985; Ord. No. 694, § 1, 3-8-01); 5-53: A local permit is required to keep a Great Ape in any non-residential district of the city. (Code 1985, § 5-53; Ord. No. 694, § 1, 3-8-01); 5-93: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform in any exhibition using a “chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual device” that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering.

Parker 10-15: It is illegal to keep a Great Ape for display or exhibition purposes. This ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibits. (Ord. No. 07-314, § 2, 3-20-07); 10-16: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform in any exhibition using a “chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual device” that is likely to cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. No. 07-314, § 2, 3-20-07); 10-86 et seq.: A local permit is required to possess any “dangerous animal,” subject to compliance with local regulations. No such animal may be kept in a residential zone, nor be kept or exhibited at a roadside stand or market located along a public street or highway, a shopping plaza, a gas station, or a shopping mall. (Ord. No. 07-314, § 2, 3-20-07)

Pensacola 4-2-9: Any “wild or ferocious animal” must be securely caged or kept under the charge of an armed guard. (Code 1968, § 62-18)

Pinellas Park 5-209: It is illegal to keep or possess a Great Ape within the city limits. This ban does not apply to licensed circuses, zoos, fairs, amusement parks, pet shops, or educational and scientific institutions. (Ord. No. 2478, 5-14-1998; Ord. No. 3197, 11-25-2003)

Ponce Inlet 10-21 et seq.: The owner of a Great Ape must register the animal and comply with local regulations regarding tattoos, confinement, muzzling, restraint, escape procedures, public warnings, insurance, and inspections. (Code 1984, § 4-96; Ord. No. 2004-25, § 8, 11-17-2004; Ord. No. 2009-11, § 1, 8-20-2009)

Port Orange 10-12: It is illegal to keep a Great Ape on any residential property. (Ord. No. 1992-31, § 13, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 1993-4, § 2, 3-16-93; Ord. No. 2003-7, § 2, 4-22-03)

Port St. Lucie 94.02: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Ord. 09-77, § 1, passed 10-12-09); 92.13: Circuses and travelling animal shows are regulated, but not prohibited. Any traveling exhibitor must secure a local permit, carry liability insurance and have a veterinarian on duty. (Ord. 93-51, passed 12-6-93; Am. Ord. 96-96, passed 12-16-96; Am. Ord. 09-77, § 1, passed 10-12-09)

Quincy 10-6: It is illegal to possess a Great Ape as a pet, or for display or exhibition. This ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, or performing animal exhibitions. (Code 1958, § 6-16; Ord. No. 917, § 6, 1-9-01)

Riviera Beach 4-3: It is illegal to raise or keep Great Apes within the city limits for any purpose other than as ordinary household pets. This ban does not apply to animal hospitals. (Code 1957, § 5-4)

Royal Palm Beach 5-5: It is illegal to own, keep, or maintain any “wild animals” that are “not ordinarily kept as pets” within the village limits. (Ord. No. 137, § 1.1, 2-8-79; Ord. No. 462, § 1, 11-4-93)

Sebastian 18-32: It is illegal to keep, raise, harbor, or possess any dangerous wild animal within the city limits. This ban does not apply to certain zoos, educational and scientific facilities, shelters, and treatment centers. (Ord. No. O-93-14, § 1, 1-26-94)

Sebring 4-1: It is illegal to keep or maintain Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to circuses and other temporary shows. (Code 1981, § 4-1)

Seminole County 20.23: Great Apes must be confined to a building, cage, or other secure enclosure and must not be removed unless securely chained, anesthetized, or otherwise restrained. (Ord. No. 72-10, § 5, 12-19-72; Ord. No. 74-8, § 9, 10-29-74; SCC, § 4-19, 9-27-77; Ord. No. 84-19, § 10, 3-13-84)

Sewalls Point 10-3: It is illegal to keep, raise, or maintain any animal, other than dogs, cats, and birds, within the town limits. (Code 1978, § 3-33; Ord. No. 290, exh. A, 1-15-2002)

Shalimar 10-125: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to induce an ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner is likely to hurt or injure the animal. (Ord. No. 94-03, § 19, 1-25-94)

South Daytona 4-11, 4-17, 4-19: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet, or for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions. It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to induce an ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner is likely to hurt or injure the animal. (Ord. No. 77-17, § 9 et seq., 9-27-77)

Springfield 4-15, 4-16: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions. It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to induce an ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner is likely to hurt or injure the animal. (Ord. No. 449, § 2, 5-1-2006); 14-87 et seq.: A local permit is required to possess any “dangerous animal,” subject to compliance with local regulations. No such animal may be kept in a residential zone or exhibited at a roadside stand or market located along a public street or highway, a shopping plaza, a gas station, or a shopping mall. (Ord. No. 449, § 2, 5-1-2006)

St. Lucie County 1-4-28: Traveling animal shows are regulated, but not prohibited. Traveling exhibitors must secure a local permit, carry liability insurance and have a veterinarian on duty. (Ord. No. 95-28, Pt. A, 9-12-95)

St. Pete Beach 14-1: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Code 1960, § 4-1; Code 1983, §§ 4-1, 4-2)

St. Petersburg 4-2: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain licensed pet shops, circuses, zoos, and menageries. (Code 1973, § 8-8)

Stuart 8-1: Great Apes that are at least 6 months old and weigh no more than 40 pounds may be allowed to have only “incidental” contact with the public. Such contact must not “adversely affect the health, welfare, or safety of the animals.” (Martin County Ord. No. 628, pt. 1, 2-11-2003)

Sumter County 4-9: Any person in possession of a Great Ape must comply with local registration, housing, and safety requirements. (Ord. No. 2006-10, § 10, 3-28-06; Ord. No. 2010-02, § 6, 1-26-10)

Sunrise 4-2: It is illegal to keep any animal with “vicious or dangerous propensities, in either its wild or domestic state.” (Code 1972, § 4-2)

Surfside 10-3: It is illegal to keep “nondomestic” animals as pets. (Code 1960, § 5-2)

Tallahassee 4-8: Animal exhibitors may not use any substance or device which induces an ape to perform by causing pain, suffering or discomfort. (Ord. No. 10-O-15AA, § 1, 2-24-2010)

Tequesta 10-4: It is illegal to keep, possess, or maintain a Great Ape within the village limits. (Code 1977, § 4-3)

Treasure Island 6-1: It is illegal to keep any animal, except household pets, within the city limits. (Code 1985, § 5-1)

Valparaiso 10-12, 10-13: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions. It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner is likely to hurt or injure the animal. (Ord. No. 370, § 4-18, 6-14-93)

Washington County 12-75: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions. (Ord. No. 2005-5, § 2-E, 3-24-2005); 12-35: It is illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure the animal. (Ord. No. 2005-5, § 1-J, 3-24-2005)

Wellington 14-1: It is illegal to deliver, sell, offer or give away any Great Ape (or any other animal) for scientific experimentation “which involves any cruel or inhumane treatment,” and it is illegal to conduct such experiments on apes. (Palm Beach County Ord. No. 98-22, § 6, 6-16-98)

Wildwood 5-34: Any person in possession of a Great Ape must comply with local registration, housing, and safety requirements. (Sumter County Ord. No. 2006-10, § 10, 3-28-06; Ord. No. 2010-02, § 6, 1-26-10)

 

 


 

[1] Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Captive Wildlife Categories, available at http://www.myfwc.com/license/wildlife/captive-wildlife/ (last visited Sept.16, 2010).

[3] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 828.12; But see, discussion infra Section IIIB (discussing the inapplicability of the state’s anti-cruelty laws to apes used in scientific research).

[5] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 828.13; See also discussion infra Section IV (listing all the local ordinances that make it illegal for any animal exhibition or circus to induce a Great Ape, or any other animal, to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices in a manner which will, or is likely to, hurt or injure the animal).

[9] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 828.073; Upon conviction, an offender may be sentenced to up to 60 days imprisonment, and may be fined up to $500. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.082;  Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.083.

[10] “Captive wildlife” is defined as “[a]ny wildlife…maintained in captivity for exhibition, sale, personal use, propagation, preservation, rehabilitation, protection or hunting purposes.” Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-1.004

[13] Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Captive Wildlife Categories, available at http://www.myfwc.com/license/wildlife/captive-wildlife/ (last visited Sept.16, 2010).

[15] The term “ person” includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1.01.

[16] Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68-5.001; Permits are issued for the following purposes: traveling to Florida with pets, zoo to zoo transfers, dealer to dealer transfers, and out of state dealer to instate buyer transfers. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Conditional, Prohibited, or Nonnative Species Permit Information, available at http://www.myfwc.com/license/wildlife/captive-wildlife/. (last visited Sept 17, 2010).

[17] “Substantial practical experience” may be demonstrated with documentation of at least (1) year (consisting of at least 1000 hours) working in the care, feeding, handling and husbandry of the species of Great Ape for which the permit is sought, or of another similar species. Documented post-secondary educational experience in zoology or other relevant biological sciences may be substituted for up to six months or 500 hours of the requisite experience. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022.

[18] Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022; If the permanent facility is located out of state, the permit requirements apply when the Great Ape is traveling within the state. Id.

[19] See discussion infra Section III (discussing permitted uses of Great Apes); Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0011; See also, Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-5.004 (discussing the bases for denial of a permit application).

[20] Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022. Forms may be obtained by submitting a request to: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600, or at www.myfwc.com/permits.

[22] The following requirements apply for Great Apes in transit: (1) any container or package containing the animal(s) must bear the name and address of the shipper and the cosignee, and must specify the scientific name, common name, and number of each species included in the shipment; (2) animals must have access to fresh air, free of engine exhaust fumes and injurious drafts; (3) animals must have adequate protection from the elements and extremes in temperatures; (4) animals must be fed daily and given water twice daily; (5) fecal matter and food waste must be removed from the animals container daily; (6) animal’s must be transported in cages or enclosures which (a) are labeled “Live Animal,” and marked with the common and scientific name and number of such species inside (trailers containing animals must be similarly marked); (b) are of sufficient strength and security to prevent escape; (c) have openings for emergency removal of the animals; (d) include only compatible animals; (e) are generally large enough that each animal can turn, stand erect, and lie naturally; (f) are constructed to ensure that excreta does not fall on animals in lower cages when such cages are stacked. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.005.

[23] See, Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-5.004 (listing general requirements for permittees).

[24] See discussion infra Section III (discussing permitted uses and relevant regulations).

[25] Note that the following regulations do not apply to research facilities. See discussion infra Section IIIB.

[27] Id. The following requirements apply to facilities, cages and enclosures for Great Apes:

SAFETY ENTRANCE

All cages or enclosures must have a safety entrance, which shall include: a double-door mechanism, interconnecting cages, a lock-down area, or other comparable devices, that are constructed of materials that are of equivalent strength as that prescribed for cage construction for that particular species.

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

All cages or enclosures constructed of chain link or other approved materials shall be well braced and securely anchored at ground level. Cages shall be constructed using metal clamps, ties or braces of equivalent strength as the material required for cage construction for the particular species. Cages or enclosures using the ground as flooring must meet the following requirements: (1) If the animal digs or borrows, the enclosures shall have a footer (at least 3 feet deep) or bottom apron constructed of concrete, chainlink or equivalent strength material, which must be securely attached to the bottom of the enclosure fencing or wall and extend inward into the enclosure a minimum of 3 feet, and which must be buried; (2) If the floor is affected by erosion, measures must be taken which are capable of ensuring the structural integrity of the enclosure.

PROPERTY

The property on which the facility is located (1) must be owned or leased (for at least one (1) year from the date of application) by the applicant; (2) must be free of restrictions (including county and municipal ordinances) which would interfere with the applicants ability to comply with all the construction and enclosure requirements; (3) must be at least five acres; (4) must provide for a minimum thirty-five foot buffer zone between the caged animal(s) and the property line; and (5) must not be located within an area that is zoned solely for residential use (except where the primate is less than twelve months old).

FENCING

The cages of the facility must be surrounded by a fence that is at least eight (8) feet high.

SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS FOR CHIMPANZEES (OVER 50 POUNDS), GORILLAS, AND ORANGUTANS

Materials: Outdoor facilities and indoor escape route barriers must consist of steel bars, two-inch galvanized pipe, masonry block, or materials of equivalent strength.

For chimpanzees less than 50 pounds, the minimum construction standard is nine-gauge chain link or the equivalent.

Size:  (A) Chimpanzees and Orangutans: (1) Under 50 pounds: for one animal, the cage must be 8’x6’ and 6’ high. For each additional animal, double the original floor area; (2) Over 50 pounds: for one or two animals, the cage must be 20’x12’ and 8’ high. For each additional animal, increase the floor space by 50 percent of the original floor area. (B) Gorillas: For one or two animals, the cage must be 28’x24’ and 10’ high. For each additional animal, increase the floor space by 50 percent of the original floor area.

Other: The cage must have a shelter and perching area or platform (in the case of gorillas, at least three feet high), that will accommodate all the animals simultaneously.

Moats: Wet or dry moats may be substituted for the required fencing, subject to FWC approval and specifications.

SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS FOR GIBBONS

Materials: Outdoor facilities and indoor escape route barriers must be constructed with material that is at least 11 ½ gauge chain link or the equivalent.

Size: For one or two animals, the cage must be 8’x10’ and 8’ high; for each additional animal, the cage size must increase by 25 percent of the original area.

Other: The cage must have perching areas and shelters that will accommodate all the animals at once, and must have horizontal climbing apparatus.

Moats: Wet or dry moats may be substituted for the required fencing, subject to FWC approval and specifications.

MANDATORY ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT ELEMENTS

Such environmental enrichment items include: gnawing and chewing items; and devices which provide physical stimulation or manipulation, including boxes, balls, mirrors, foraging items, etc.

EXCEPTIONS TO MINIMUM CAGING REQUIREMENTS

Great Apes in transit, that are part of a mobile exhibit, or that are receiving veterinary treatment do not qualify for the minimum housing requirements.

[28] Id.

[31] 9 C.F.R § 3.82; 9 C.F.R § 3.83.

[34] 9 C.F.R § 3.75; 9 C.F.R § 3.84.

[38] “Law enforcement officer” means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed full time by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof; who is vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests; and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, criminal, traffic, or highway laws of the state. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 943.10.

[40] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.231; Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.4015; The possession of a Great Ape in violation of any FWC regulation by a person who has had a permit permanently revoked is a felony of the third degree. Id.

[42] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.4015; See also, Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-5.004 (discussing factors to be considered by FWC in determining whether to deny, suspend, revoke, or deny renewal of any permit).

[44] See generally, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 585.08 (discussing the legal authority of the Department relative to the import of Great Apes into the state).

[45] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 585.145.

[50] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 570.073; See also, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 585.007 (discussing the authority to compel any person or officer charged with a duty under Chapter 585 to perform the same by mandamus, injunction, or other extraordinary remedy upon the application and in the name of the Department).

[51] “Law enforcement officer” means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed full time by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof; who is vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests; and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, criminal, traffic, or highway laws of the state. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 943.10.

[53] Upon conviction an offender may be sentenced to up to 60 days imprisonment, and may be fined up to $500. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.082;  Fla. Stat. Ann. § 775.083.

[54] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 585.007; See also, Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.002 (detailing the administrative sanctions and fines for violations of the import, inspection, and quarantine regulations).

[56] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.3762; See also, Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0021 (discussing permit requirements).

[58] Id.

[63] See, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.3761 (discussing permit fees and disclosure requirements, and exemptions); Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.002; Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0022.

[64] Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0024; “Consistent and sustained commercial activity” may be demonstrated by: (A) a regular media advertising campaign, or internet web site; (B) signs, billboards or flyers advertising commercial wildlife services or operations; (C) regular business hours during which a facility is open for commercial activity; (D) written business conducted on printed letterhead, indicating the name of the company or business; (E) documented exhibition of wildlife to the public, with or without a charge; (F) sale of wildlife including attempts or offers to sell, barter, trade, or exchange animals. Id.

[65] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.374; In lieu of the $10,000 financial responsibility guarantee, an applicant may secure a general liability insurance policy with minimum limits of $2 million per occurrence and $2 million annual aggregate. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0024.

[71] “Full contact” is defined as situations in which an exhibitor or employee handler maintains proximate control and supervision, while temporarily surrendering physical possession or custody of the animal to another. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0023.

[74] “Incidental contact” is defined as situations in which an exhibitor or employee handler maintains control, possession and supervision of an animal while permitting the public to come into contact with the animal. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0023.

[76] Cages must have secure locking devices, and must be constructed of steel, case hardened aluminum, alloy or strength equivalent material. If bars are used, bars shall be spaced no more than 2 inches apart. Any cage that the public can access must be equipped with a physical barrier, which is made of a material to prevent the public from coming in contact with the animal. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.005.

[78] For each additional animal within the same cage, one-third more cage length is required. The cage construction  requirements are the same as those for performing animals. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.005.

[80] 9 C.F.R § 3.87; 9 C.F.R § 2.131.

[81] The 60 day limit may be extended, subject to certain requirements. Either the animals or their cages are supposed to be permanently marked so that FWC inspectors can tell how long the animals have actually been confined in such cages. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0041.

[82] Requisite documents include the source and supplier of the Great Ape(s), and records of acquisitions, sales, transfers, births, and deaths of all animals. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0023.

[86] If an animal is being imported from out-of-state, the sanctuary must secure FWC import permits and comply with DACS import requirements. See discussion supra Section IIB.

[88] Fla. Admin. Code Ann. 68A-6.0025; See discussion supra Section IIIC (discussing bonding requirements for commercial exhibitors).

[91] Art IV, § 9, Fla. Const.

[92] Art VIII, § 2, Fla. Const.

[93] Fla. Stat. Ann. § 166.021.

[94] Op. Att'y Gen. Fla. 2002-23 (2002); Op. Att'y Gen. Fla. 80-04 (1980).

[95] City of Miramar v. Bain, 429 So.2d 40 (Florida 1983).

[96] Id. at 42.

[97] See generally, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 379.304 (discussing local animal control and cruelty ordinances).

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