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Detailed Discussion of Texas 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. Legal Control Over Great Apes in Texas

In 1995, Texas’s Parks and Wildlife Department stopped regulating the possession of exotic animals, including apes, citing insufficient resources to effectively monitor the growing number of exotic pets in the state. For the next seven years, the possession of Great Apes was essentially unregulated at the state level, which predictably made Texas an attractive destination for ape (and other exotic animal) owners. In 2002, the Texas legislature enacted the Dangerous Wild Animal Act, which classifies some species of apes including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans as “dangerous wild animals,”[1] and regulates the possession of those animals. Gibbons are not expressly classified as “dangerous wild animals,” nor are bonobos. The import, possession, use, and treatment of the various species of Great Apes are regulated differently, depending on whether they are considered “dangerous wild animals,” or not. While it is generally legal to keep all species of apes as pets and for commercial and scientific purposes, the possession of “dangerous wild animals” is subject to a variety of legal requirements such as local registration of the animals, liability insurance for damage caused by the animals, and minimum standards of care for the animals. Although there are a few other state-level laws that affect apes, the most significant regulation of those animals occurs at the local level in Texas.

Political subdivisions of the state, including counties, cities, and towns have express statutory authority to regulate Great Apes within their geographical boundaries. In fact, when the Dangerous Wild Animal Act was enacted in 2002, it actually required counties to either ban the possession of “dangerous wild animals,” or to set up a local registration agency and enforce the requirements in the Dangerous Wild Animal Act. According to some estimates, at least 90 percent of all counties in Texas have chosen to ban the possession of some or all species of apes. In addition to county level ordinances, many cities and towns have also enacted ordinances which either prohibit or restrict the possession 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 species of apes that are covered by the law and 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 the several species of 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 regulate public conduct that involves or affects large groups of animals, including apes. The state’s anti-cruelty statutes protect all species of apes that are possessed for most purposes from abuse and neglect. Also, Texas’s Health and Safety Code recognizes certain apes, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans as “dangerous wild animals,” and regulates their possession within the state. Finally, Texas’s Penal Code allows any person to discharge a firearm in any public place if they have a reasonable fear that a gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan will physically injure any person.

 

i. Anti-Cruelty Statutes:

The state’s anti-cruelty statutes,[2] which prohibit the infliction of unjustifiable pain or suffering on an animal, generally apply to all species of apes within the state.[3] Because all captive apes live in mandatory confinement, the portions of the Penal Code that make it a crime to cruelly confine or to “unreasonably” fail to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter, 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 of the Penal Code that prohibit any person from torturing, seriously injuring, or seriously overworking 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 may investigate alleged violations of the anti-cruelty statutes.[6] Under the state’s Health and Safety Code, any ape that has been “cruelly treated”[7] may be confiscated by law enforcement agents and held pending a hearing to determine the disposition of the animal.[8] It is not necessary that a person be convicted for animal cruelty under the state’s Penal Code for a person to permanently forfeit an animal that has been “cruelly treated” under the Health and Safety Code.[9]  A violation of the anti-cruelty provisions in the Penal Code may be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the act and the perpetrators past history of similar convictions.[10]  A criminal conviction under the Penal Code may result in any or all of the following: (1) imprisonment; (2) fines; (3) liability for all costs associated with investigating and prosecuting the violation(s) and for caring for the animal victim(s);[11] and (4) permanent forfeiture of the animal victim(s).[12]

 

ii. Dangerous Wild Animal Act:

Texas’s Health and Safety Code establishes a state-wide regulatory scheme for the possession of “dangerous wild animals,” including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans; collectively those provisions are called the Dangerous Wild Animal Act (DWA).[13] Gibbons are not classified as “dangerous wild animals,” nor are bonobos. However, bonobos are very closely related to chimpanzees and although the legislature did not indicate whether it intended to regulate bonobos, it is likely that the animals would be considered “chimpanzees” and regulated under the DWA. Essentially, the DWA and accompanying regulations establish a county-level registration program for the possession of “dangerous wild animals,” and impose certain requirements for the possession of those animals. Each county in Texas is required to either: (1) enact an ordinance prohibiting the “ownership, possession, confinement, or care” of dangerous wild animals; or (2) implement a local certificate of registration program for the possession of those animals that is administered by a county-level “animal registration agency.”[14]

Any “person”[15] or entity that possesses a gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan must register the ape with the “animal registration agency” in the county in which the animal is located.[16] In order to qualify for a certificate of registration, an applicant must submit: (1) a completed application;[17] (2) proof of liability insurance;[18] (3) a recent photograph of each animal;[19] (4) a photograph and description of the location where each animal will be housed;[20] and (5) a photocopy of a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture if the applicant is a Class A or B dealer or a Class C exhibitor (as defined under the Federal Animal Welfare Act).[21] A certificate of registration must be renewed annually and may be revoked at any time if an “owner”[22] fails to comply with any of the following legal requirements:

1. Liability Insurance: An owner must maintain liability insurance coverage for property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by the ape in a minimum amount of $100,000 for each occurrence.[23]

2. Inspections: An owner must allow the local animal registration agency to inspect a registered ape, the animal’s primary enclosure, and the records relating to the animal, at “all reasonable times.”[24]

3. Veterinary Records: An owner must maintain a separate veterinary care log for each animal.[25]

4. Notice Requirements: An owner must notify the animal registration agency regarding: (1) the permanent relocation, sale, death, or other disposition of a registered ape;[26] (2) an attack of a human by a registered ape;[27] or (3) the escape of an ape.[28]

5. Animal Welfare Act Standards: An owner must comply with the “applicable” Animal Welfare Act (AWA) standards governing: (1) facilities and operations; (2) animal health and husbandry; (3) veterinary care; and (4) transportation of apes.[29] However incongruous, facilities that are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as dealers or exhibitors are expressly exempt from the DWA’s requirement to comply with the AWA standards, even though those licensees must comply with the AWA requirements under federal law.[30]

6. Caging Requirements: All cages and “primary enclosures”[31] must be constructed pursuant to certain standards, as established by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).[32] According to those standards, cages or other enclosures must be much larger than those required under the Federal AWA.[33] 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 Texas’s regulations, the minimum floor space required for a single chimpanzee is 200 square feet, or 20 feet x 10 feet.

7. Certificate Display and Filing: A copy of the certificate of registration must be prominently displayed at the location of the registered animal. In addition, a copy of the certificate of registration must be filed with DSHS within 10 days of issuance.

At first blush, the state’s regulation of apes that are classified as “dangerous wild animals” appears quite comprehensive. However, the overall scope and efficacy of the regulatory scheme is somewhat limited by the extensive list of persons and entities that are entirely exempt from the DWA and accompanying DSHS regulations,[34] including:

1. Local, state, and federal governmental entities and officials acting in an official capacity.

2. Research facilities that are “licensed” by the USDA under the Federal AWA.[35]

3. Facilities that are accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

4. Persons that are transporting injured, ill, or abandoned animals for care or treatment.

5. Licensed veterinarians, permitted wildlife rehabilitators, humane societies and animal shelters that are caring for an injured, ill, or abandoned animal.

6. Transient circuses that are not based in Texas.[36]

7. Television or motion picture companies that are filming in the state.

8. Colleges or universities that possess such animals as mascots.

9. Persons that are transporting such animals in interstate commerce in compliance with the AWA.[37]

10. USDA licensed Class A or Class B dealers that supply primates to research facilities.

11. Persons that are participants in a species survival plan of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and possess such animals as part of the species survival plan.

The possession of a gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan in violation of the DWA, or the sale of those animals to a person that does not have a certificate of registration is a Class C misdemeanor.[38] Each animal involved, and each day that the proscribed activity continues, constitutes a separate offense.[39] In addition to criminal liability, any person that possesses a gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan in violation of the DWA is liable to the county or municipality in which a violation occurs for: (1) civil penalties ranging from $200 - $2,000 for each day that a violation continues;[40] and (2) liability to the county or municipality for the costs associated with investigating the violation and pursuing the civil action.[41] This law does not provide for the seizure or forfeiture of a dangerous wild animal that is possessed illegally.

In addition to enforcement by local law enforcement agencies, the DWA may be enforced by private citizens. Any person who is “directly harmed or threatened with harm” by either (1) a violation of the DWA or by (2) a failure to enforce those laws may sue an owner to enjoin a violation or to enforce the DWA.[42]

 

iii. Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place:

Under Texas law, it is a crime to discharge a firearm in a public place or on or across a public road.[43] However, it is an affirmative defense (meaning a person cannot be prosecuted for the crime) if the shooter had a reasonable fear that a gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan, or other “dangerous wild animal” would physically injure any person.[44]

 

B. State Agencies and Regulations

In Texas, there are two state agencies that have been granted some degree of authority to regulate the import, possession, and treatment of apes. The Department of State Health Services sets minimum standards of care for certain gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans, and the agency regulates certain zoos, circuses, and carnivals within the state. The Texas Animal Health Commission regulates the import of apes that have been infected with, or exposed to, infectious diseases or ticks.

 

i. The Department of State Health Services:

The Texas legislature has delegated a variety of responsibilities to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) which affect the possession, use, and treatment of apes. First, DSHS is responsible for overseeing (but not administering or enforcing) the state-wide “dangerous wild animal” registration program (discussed in II(A)(ii), above) and establishing minimum standards for the care of registered gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans.[45] Second, DSHS’s[46] Zoonosis Control Branch (ZCB) is responsible for licensing and regulating[47] circuses,[48] carnivals,[49] and zoos[50] that exhibit apes in order to “promote humane conditions for animals and protect the public health and safety.”[51]

Pursuant to “emergency” legislation[52] enacted in 1981, no “person”[53] may operate a circus, carnival, or zoo without first obtaining a license from DSHS.[54] All licensees must comply with minimum standards for the housing, care, and transportation of their apes and other animals.[55] ZCB has dedicated enforcement agents who inspect all regulated facilities to ensure that they are in compliance with the licensure requirements and all operating standards.[56] Any facility that is not in compliance with the relevant provisions of the state’s Occupations Code[57] or DSHS’s accompanying regulations[58] must have their license denied, suspended or revoked.[59] The operation of a circus, carnival or zoo without a license is a Class C misdemeanor. In addition to criminal penalties, any violation of the licensure requirement may result in the seizure and permanent forfeiture of any apes that are in danger of being harmed by a “gross violation.”[60]

Despite the “importance” of licensing and regulating zoos, circuses, and carnivals, and the state of “emergency” and “imperative public necessity”[61] under which this section of the Occupations Code was enacted by the legislature, ZCB has never issued one license in the 30 years since the law became effective.[62] Despite the seemingly comprehensive nature of the program, the legislature exempted all zoos, circuses, and carnivals that are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act) from the licensure requirement and DSHS’s minimum standards for regulated facilities. Since all zoos, circuses, and carnivals that exhibit apes, and most other animals, must be licensed by the USDA,[63] there are virtually no exhibitors that must also be licensed under the Occupations Code. However, any zoo, circus, or carnival that exhibits an ape in Texas without a USDA license would also be in violation of the state’s Occupations Code and would be subject to both federal and state penalties.

 

ii. Texas Animal Health Commission:

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) regulates the import and movement of animals within the state to protect animal and human health against infectious diseases and tick infestations. Generally, the agency’s regulatory focus is on agricultural animals, and its regulation of apes is limited. Apes and other circus animals that are imported into Texas from an area of another state or country that is under a state or federal quarantine for tick infestation must be treated for tick infestation or exposure by an inspector from TAHC or the United States Department of Agriculture.[64] Also, if TAHC makes a determination that a “disease of concern” exists among apes entering the state, any ape that is known to be infected, exposed to, or a potential carrier of that disease would not be allowed to enter the state except with express authorization from the agency.[65] According to TAHC, such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.[66] Otherwise, there are no standard import requirements for apes entering the state.

 

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

Under state law, it is legal to possess Great Apes as pets. Some species of apes are considered “dangerous wild animals,” and their possession is heavily regulated; others are not classified as such and their possession is virtually unregulated. Any person that possesses a gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan as a pet must register the animal with the “animal registration agency” in the county in which the animal resides.[67] In addition, owners of those species of apes must maintain liability insurance for damage caused by the animals and must comply with a variety of other care and maintenance requirements, as discussed in Section II(A)(ii), above. Bonobos are not expressly classified as “dangerous wild animals;” however, they are very closely related to chimpanzees, and are often known as “pygmy chimpanzees” and they may be considered “chimpanzees” under the “dangerous wild animal” laws. Therefore, persons wishing to possess a bonobo as a pet may be required to comply with the registration, insurance, and maintenance requirements for “dangerous wild animals.” Gibbons are not listed as “dangerous wild animals” under Texas’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act. Therefore, the sale and possession of those animals as pets is unregulated in Texas.

The state’s anti-cruelty laws, discussed in section II(A)(i) above, protect all Great Apes that are maintained for personal use as pets. It is illegal for any person to fail to provide a pet ape with “necessary” food, water, care, or shelter. Likewise, it is illegal to abandon, “torture,” cruelly kill, confine or transport a pet ape, or to seriously injure the animal.[68]

 

B. Possession of Great Apes for Biomedical Research 

Pursuant to Texas’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act (DWA), individuals and facilities that possess gorillas, chimpanzees, or orangutans for scientific research must register with those animals with the “animal registration agency” in the county in which the animals reside.[69] In addition, owners of those species of apes must maintain liability insurance for damage caused by the animals and must comply with a variety of other care and maintenance requirements, as discussed in Section II(A)(ii), above. However, research facilities that are “licensed” by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are exempt from the DWA’s registration, insurance, and other requirements. The USDA does not “license” research facilities at all. Rather, the agency “registers” such facilities under the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The distinction between licensure and registration of facilities may seem inconsequential at first glance, but the distinction between the two terms is very clear and significant under the AWA.  Technically then, there are no “licensed” research facilities in the state, and all facilities that are operating without a USDA “license” are NOT exempt from the DWA’s registration program, possession requirements, and standards of care.[70] In other words, all research facilities that possess gorillas, chimpanzees, and apes must comply with the “dangerous wild animal” laws discussed in Section II(A)(ii), above. Bonobos are not expressly classified as “dangerous wild animals;”[71] however, they are very closely related to chimpanzees, and are often known as “pygmy chimpanzees.” As a result, they may be considered “chimpanzees” for regulatory purposes under the DWA. Gibbons are not considered “dangerous wild animals,” so their possession and use for scientific research is unregulated under the DWA. 

The state’s Penal Code, which prohibits the torture, cruel killing and the infliction of serious bodily injury on apes, does not apply to “bona fide experimentation for scientific research.”[72] However, the state’s Health and Safety Code, which authorizes the seizure of “cruelly treated” apes and other animals, does not include an exemption for scientific research. Therefore, any peace officer or animal control officer who has reason to believe that an ape that is possessed or maintained for scientific research has been or is being “cruelly treated” (meaning: tortured, seriously overworked, unreasonably abandoned, unreasonably deprived of necessary food, care, or shelter, or cruelly confined)[73] by any employee or agent of the research facility[74] may seize the animal(s) pursuant to a warrant authorizing the seizure.[75] In addition to permanent forfeiture of the animals, research facilities that cruelly treat their apes may also be liable for all costs associated with the investigation, legal proceedings, and the housing and care of the animal victims.[76]

 

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. Under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act (DWA), the possession of certain species of apes that are classified as “dangerous wild animals” is heavily regulated, while the possession of other species of apes for commercial purposes is largely unregulated. Individuals and facilities that possess gorillas, chimpanzees, or orangutans (“dangerous wild animals”) for certain commercial purposes must register those animals with the “animal registration agency” in the county in which the animals reside.[77] In addition, owners of those species of apes must maintain liability insurance for damage caused by the animals and must comply with a variety of other legal requirements, as discussed in Section II(A)(ii), above. Bonobos are not expressly classified as “dangerous wild animals;”[78] however, they are very closely related to chimpanzees, and are often known as “pygmy chimpanzees.” As a result, they may be considered “chimpanzees” under the “dangerous wild animal” laws and regulated accordingly. Gibbons are not considered “dangerous wild animals,” so their possession and use for commercial purposes is unregulated under the DWA.[79]

The DWA exempts large classes of individuals and facilities that possess gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans from the registration program and other legal requirements. [80] Those exemptions are discussed in Section II(A)(ii), above. Breeders, distributors, and wholesale or retail suppliers (including pet shops) that engage in the commercial sale of gorillas, chimpanzees, or orangutans for any purpose other than for scientific research must comply with the DWA.[81] In addition, all zoos and other commercial exhibitors[82] (including, but not limited to, stationary circuses, carnivals, wild or exotic animal parks, animal acts, animal leasing facilities, and sanctuaries) that are not accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association must comply with the DWA if they possess or exhibit “dangerous wild animals,” including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans.[83] Transient circuses that are based within the state must comply with the aforementioned laws, while transient circuses that are based outside of Texas are generally exempt.[84] Finally, individuals and facilities that train, maintain, and lease gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans for live performances, printed promotions or advertising, or television or motion picture productions must comply with the DWA; however, television or motion picture production companies that temporarily possess those animals for a filming project in Texas are exempt.[85]

In addition to the Dangerous Wild Animal Act, which regulates the possession of gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans by many zoos, circuses, and carnivals, the Occupations Code regulates all zoos, circuses, and carnivals that possess any species of ape.[86] Under the Occupations Code, all zoos, circuses, and carnivals must be licensed by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and must comply with the agency’s minimum standards of care for the maintenance of apes and all other animals exhibited by those facilities.[87] However, all facilities that are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and that are inspected by that agency at least once a year are exempt from the licensure requirement and other relevant provisions of the Occupations Code and DSHS’s accompanying regulations.[88] Because all zoos, circuses, and carnivals that exhibit apes must be licensed by the USDA,[89] there are virtually no commercial facilities with apes that would actually be regulated under this provision of the state’s Occupations Code. The only limited exception would be a zoo, circus, or carnival that is not inspected by the USDA at least annually, but as a practical matter no facilities have sought licensure from DSHS under such circumstances.[90] Any zoo, circus, or carnival that exhibits apes without a USDA Class C exhibitor’s license would not only be operating in violation of the Federal Animal Welfare Act,[91] but would also be in violation of the state’s Occupation’s Code because without USDA licensure, the facility would no longer be exempt from the state’s law.[92]

All apes that are possessed for exhibition and other commercial purposes are protected from abuse, neglect, and other “cruel treatment” under Texas’s Penal Code[93] and the Health and Safety Code.[94] Those laws are discussed in greater detail in Section II(A)(i), above.

 

D. Possession of Great Apes by Sanctuaries

In Texas, there are no laws that define or regulate wild or exotic animal sanctuaries. Any facility can label itself a “sanctuary,” regardless of whether it operates for profit or uses apes for commercial purposes. The state’s Health and Safety Code does regulate “animal shelters,” which the code defines as “a facility that keeps…unwanted animals.”[95] Whether facilities that permanently house unwanted apes fall into this category is a matter of interpretation by various entities including the facilities themselves, local law enforcement agencies, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and ultimately the courts. All animal shelters are required to comply with certain housing and sanitation standards and must employ a veterinarian to conduct an inspection of the facility at least once a year to ensure that it is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Health and Safety Code.[96]

The distinction of whether a facility that houses unwanted apes is considered an “animal shelter,” or not, affects the facility’s legal obligations under the Dangerous Wild Animal Act (DWA). Generally, individuals and facilities that possess gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans (“dangerous wild animals”) must register those animals locally, obtain liability insurance for damage caused by those apes, and must comply with a variety of other requirements under the DWA and DSHS’s accompanying regulations, as discussed in Section II(A)(ii) above. However, there is a limited exemption from the DWA for an “injured, infirm, orphaned, or abandoned dangerous wild animal while being rehabilitated, treated, or cared for by a licensed veterinarian, an incorporated humane society or animal shelter.”[97] In a pending case, a facility in Kerr County, Texas housed dangerous wild animals without registering the animals or complying with any other requirements under the DWA. When the county attempted to enforce those laws, the facility claimed that it is an “animal shelter,” and so is exempt from the DWA. Incidentally, the facility had also not complied with any of the legal requirements for operating an “animal shelter.” As this case illustrates, the laws are not clear as to whether a facility that houses unwanted apes is an “animal shelter,” and because this distinction affects the legal obligations of those facilities the question may be a matter for the courts to resolve.

Whether a facility that houses apes operates for-profit or is a non-profit corporation, or calls itself a “sanctuary” or an “animal shelter,” it is considered a “zoo” under the state’s Occupations Code if it maintains apes “primarily for display to the public.”[98] For a full explanation of a zoo’s legal obligations under the Occupations Code, see Section III(C)

All apes that are possessed by facilities that call themselves “sanctuaries” or that are considered “animal shelters” are protected from abuse, neglect, and other “cruel treatment” under Texas’s Penal Code[99] and the Health and Safety Code.[100] Those laws are discussed in greater detail in Section II(A)(i), above.

 

IV. Local Ordinances

Several provisions within Texas’s statutes and regulations authorize counties and municipalities to prohibit or regulate the possession and use of apes, regardless of whether a would-be possessor has secured a certificate of registration or federal permit to keep those animals.[101] There are many local ordinances in Texas that directly and indirectly govern the possession, use, and treatment of apes. In fact, over 100 counties in Texas prohibit the possession of gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and other “dangerous wild animals,”[102] and state law makes it a Class C misdemeanor to violate those ordinances. 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 Texas have addressed the issue.

Abernathy 2.01.001, 2.01.012: It is illegal to own, harbor, keep, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, and certain zoos, schools, animal exhibitions, or circuses, subject to local permit requirements.

Abilene 6-1 et seq.: It is illegal to harbor or maintain Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, traveling circuses, any veterinary hospitals. (Code 1965, § 5-7; Ord. No. 22-2002, Pt. 1(Exh. A), 5-23-02)

Addison 10-1 et seq.: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Code 1982, §§ 4-1,9)

Alamo Heights 4-51: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Ord. No. 1754, 2-11-08)

Aledo 6-1: Great Apes are specifically excluded from the city’s definition of “pets,” which effectively prohibits the keeping of apes as pets. (Ord. No. 01-01, § 1, 5-17-2001)

Alice 10-1 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, own, maintain, use, or possess any “wild animal” (defined as “animals of a dangerous or ferocious nature as well as animals inclined to do serious bodily harm to humans or other animals”) within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary hospitals, laboratories, and animal dealers, subject to local regulations. (Code 1986, § 4-16 et seq.; Ord. No. 1838, § 1, 3-28-2007)

Allen 3-15: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, or certain zoos, schools, circuses, and other animal exhibitions, subject to local permit requirements. (Ord. No. 1859-8-00, § 1, 8-3-2000; Ord. No. 2867-10-09, § 1, 10-27-2009)

Alpine 10-1, 10-52, 10-93: It is illegal to keep any “wild” or “exotic” animal within the city limits. Great Apes are included within the definition of both terms. Each term has different exceptions to the ban.

Alvarado 6-84: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, control, sell, give away, or transfer any Great Ape. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and educational facilities. (Code 2008, § 90.43)

Alvin 4-6: It is illegal to possess or keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and veterinary hospitals, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 09-E, § 2, 2-19-09); 4-52: Great Apes may not be kept by petting zoos. (Ord. No. 09-E, § 7, 2-19-09)

Amarillo 8-2-1, 8-2-31 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” (defined as “animals of a wild nature or disposition so as to require to be reclaimed and made tame by art, industry or education, or else must be kept in confinement to be brought within the immediate control of the owner…[including, but not limited to] any non-Domestic animal whose normal body weight at maturity is typically fifteen (15) pounds or more”) within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, or traveling circuses and animal shows. (Code 1960, § 4-1; Ord. No. 5585, § 2, 4-8-86; Ord. No. 5929, § 1, 10-15-91; Ord. No. 5990, § 1, 12-15-92; Ord. No. 6591, § 1 et seq., 4-16-2002; Ord. No. 6971, §§ 2, 3, 7-25-2006; Ord. No. 7017, § 1, 1-23-2007; Ord. No. 7020, § 1, 2-6-2007)

Anahuac 92.02: It is illegal to harbor or maintain any “wild animal” whose normal natural weight exceeds forty (40) pounds. Exceptions may be granted for special events hosted by local civic groups. (Am. Ord. 2005-16-003, passed 5-16-2005)

Angleton 4-7: It is illegal to harbor, possess, or own any “wild animal” within the city limits. (Code 1965, § 5-9; Ord. No. 2057, § 3, 4-15-86; Ord. No. 2064, § 3, 5-2-86; Ord. No. 2510, § 1, 12-18-01)

Aransas Pass 4-6: It is illegal to maintain, use, or possess Great Apes within the city limits. (Ord. No. 3600, § 1, 4-1-96); 4-7: It is illegal for animal exhibitions to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. Circuses and performing animal exhibitions must comply with local licensing and insurance requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 3603, § 1, 5-6-96)

Argyle 2.01.001, 2.06.033: It is illegal to keep, own, harbor, or have custody of any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan. The ban does not apply to certain commercial establishments, subject to local regulations. (2004 Code, sec. 2.2001)

Atlanta 2.107: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, and scientific research institutions. (Ordinance 386, adopted 4/3/89, Section 7)

Austin 3-1-1, 3-5-1: It is illegal to keep, harbor, use, possess, or control any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain animal shelters, museums, educational or medical institutions, circuses, traveling exhibitions, veterinary clinics, and wildlife rehabilitators, subject to local regulations. (1992 Code Sections 3-1-3(A) and (F); Ord. 031009-9; Ord. 031211-11)

Azle 2.111: It is illegal to own, possess, exhibit, or harbor any “wild or exotic” animal within the city limits. (Ord. 815-11-01 adopted 11/20/01)

Balch Springs 10-2, 10-144: It is illegal to keep any chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, or any other “wild animal” as a pet, or for display or exhibition. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses. (Code 1984, §§ 14-1-2,9(A); Ord. No. 554-91, § 1, 6-24-1991; Ord. No. 963-02, § 3, 1-14-2002; Ord. No. 2059-08, § 2, 9-22-2008)

Bandera 2.01.001, 2.01.011: It is illegal to harbor or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses and animal shows, and veterinary hospitals. (Ordinance 253, sec. 3-6, adopted 10/20/05)

Bartonville 2.101, 2.501: It is illegal to keep, own, harbor, or have custody of any gorilla, orangutan, or chimpanzee within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.  (Ordinance 334-03 adopted 11/18/03)

Bastrop 2.01.001, 2.06.006: Great Apes are prohibited animals. It is illegal for any animal exhibition to induce any ape to perform “by means of any prod, stick, electrical shock, or chemical or physical force or by causing pain or discomfort.”  (Ordinance 2005-11, pt. 1 (2.202), adopted 2/22/05)

Bay City 14-1: Great Apes are specifically excluded from the city’s definition of “pets,” which effectively prohibits the keeping of apes as pets. (Code 1985, § 4-1)

Baytown 14-1 et seq.: It is illegal to keep or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental entities, zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, veterinarians, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Code 1967, § 5-7; Ord. No. 2566, § 2, 10-26-78; Ord. No. 3140, § 2, 4-23-81; Ord. No. 5051, § 1, 7-14-88; Ord. No. 8636, § 1, 7-22-99; Ord. No. 9283, §§ 2, 3, 12-13-01)

Beaumont 5-11: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to circuses, zoos, and educational institutions. (Ord. No. 84-166, § 1, 12-18-84)

Bedford 18-141: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain temporary educational exhibits, subject to issuance of a local permit. (Ord. No. 07-2860, § 2, 6-12-07)

Bellaire 6-6, 6-15: It is illegal to keep or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits, without “the express consent of the city manager and under such conditions as may be established by the city manager.”

Bellmead 3-5: It is illegal to keep or harbor any “dangerous” animal within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos. (Code 1972, § 3-24; Ord. of 8-8-89, § 1)

Bellville 2.502 et seq.: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research or educational institutions, and circuses. (Ordinance 1048, adopted 1-21-97)

Benbrook 6.12.010, 6.12.080: It is illegal to keep Great Apes within the city limits. (Ord. 1109 § 1 (part), 2001; Ord. 754 § 8, 1985)

Boerne 4-65: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal,” except under such conditions as shall be fixed by the city manager. The ban does not apply to circuses, zoos, and educational institutions, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 90-15, § 10, 11-13-90)

Bonham 2.03.001: Gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees are classified as “dangerous wild animals,” the possession of which requires strict compliance with local registration requirements and regulations. The local regulations do not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.    (Ordinance 1031, sec. 1, adopted 11/26/2001)

Borger 2.01.001: It is illegal to possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to veterinarians and traveling circuses. (1998 Code, sec. 90.06)

Bowie 2.101, 2.106: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Ord. No. 2005-09, Sec. 1, adopted 9-20-05)

Briarcliff 2.04.001 et seq.: Gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees are classified as “dangerous wild animals,” the possession of which requires strict compliance with local registration requirements and regulations. The local regulations do not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. 

Bridgeport 2.600: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, own, harbor, or possess any gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee, or any other “wild animal capable of or inclined to do serious bodily harm to humans or other animals.” The ban does not apply to certain zoos, scientific research facilities, circuses, and veterinarians. (Ordinance 01-35 adopted 10/16/01)

Brownfield 2.101, 2.109: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (1965 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3, Article I, Section 3-9)

Brownsville 10-221: It is illegal to harbor, have, keep, or possess gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and “any other animal[s] typically found in a zoo.” The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, and educational institutions.

Brownwood 14-4: It is illegal to harbor, maintain, possess, or sell Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses, and veterinary hospitals. (Code 1995, § 91.05; Ord. No. 02-22, § 2, 5-14-2002)

Bryan 10-18: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain animal dealers and zoos. (Code 1988, § 4-19; Ord. No. 909, § 1, 5-10-1994)

Buda 4.04.001, 4.04.006, 4.04.007: It is illegal to own, possess, or have custody of any Great Ape for display, training, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, or veterinary hospitals. It is illegal to keep apes as pets, unless licensed to do so by the state parks and wildlife department (which, as a practical matter, does not issue such licenses). It is illegal to conduct, train an animal for, or attend any event in which any animal engages in unnatural behavior, is mentally or physically harassed, abused, or stressed, or is induced to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Ordinance 900605-1, sec. 3.07-8, adopted 6/5/90)

Bulverde 2.02.004: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos and persons holding a valid state license. A variance may be granted to certain state and federal licensees, subject to local regulations.

Burleson 6-8: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain circuses, performing animal exhibitions, zoos, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. No. B-749-06, § 1(3-8), 4-13-2006)

Burnet 14-35, 14-124: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, have custody of, sell, give away, or transfer any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain AZA accredited zoos, circuses, or educational institutions. (Ord. No. 2006-09, §§ 2, 3, 3-14-06); 14-122 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for exhibition or display purposes. Circuses and zoos that exhibit apes may be exempt, but must obtain local permits and certificates of registration and are subject to stringent local regulations. The ban and regulations do not apply to certain AAZA accredited zoos, research institutions, government agencies, wildlife rehabilitators, and motion picture production companies. (Ord. No. 2006-09, §§ 2, 3, 3-14-06)

Cameron 2.01.001, 2.01.007: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 2006-06-05-013, sec. 2-3, adopted 6/5/06)

Canton 94.09: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research facilities, and circuses. (Ord. 2008-06, passed 3-18-2008)

Canyon 91.21: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any “wild animal” whose normal mature weight exceeds forty (40) pounds. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses, and performing animal shows. (Ord. 583, passed 10-1-87)

Carrollton 91.037: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet or for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses.

Castroville 14-30: It is illegal to keep, harbor, own, maintain, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos and circuses. (Ord. No. 01-024, § II, 10-8-01)

Cedar Hill 3-71 et seq.: It is illegal to own, sell, or transfer Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain temporary commercial activities, motion picture production companies, direct and exclusive suppliers of nonhuman primates to biomedical research companies, participants in an AZA species survival plan, and wildlife rehabilitators, subject to local insurance requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 2002-104, § 1, 3-26-02)

Cedar Park 2.08.001 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, house, harbor, maintain, or have custody of any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, and certain governmental agencies, research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, educational facilities, carriers, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.

Chandler 2.01.001, 2.01.004, 2.06.001: It is illegal to harbor, keep, or maintain any “wild or exotic animals” within the city limits. The latter provision (2.06.001) may create an exception to the ban for  AZA accredited zoos, and certain governmental agencies, research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, educational facilities, carriers, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ordinance 04-03, sec. 90.60, adopted 4/13/04)

Chico 90.01, 90.70: It is illegal to harbor, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Am. Ord. 06-2006-01, passed 6-6-06)

Cibolo 10-83: It is illegal to keep, possess, or have custody of any Great Ape for display, training, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions and circuses. It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet, unless licensed to do so by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. (Ord. No. 830, § 608.033, 1-22-2008); 10-84: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. No. 830, § 608.034, 1-22-2008)

Cleburne 91.13: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor Great Apes within the city limits. (68 Code, § 5-30)  (Am. Ord. 10-2001-77, passed 10-9-01)

Coleman 2.01.001, 2.08.015: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits for any purpose. (Ordinance 993 adopted 11/20/01)

Colleyville 14-26: A local permit is required to own or possess a Great Ape within the city limits. Permittees must obtain liability insurance and comply with all local regulations.

Colorado City 2.01.001, 2.01.005: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (1989 Code, ch. 2, sec. 11)

Columbus 2.04.001 et seq.: It is illegal to buy, sell, possess, keep, suffer, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to veterinary hospitals, zoos, circuses, or performing animal exhibitions, subject to local permit requirements. (2001 Code, sec. 6-161 et seq.)

Commerce 10-5: It is illegal to maintain any “wild animal” which is considered dangerous by city officials. (Ord. No. 06-07, § 1, 8-15-06)

Conroe 10-7: It is illegal to keep or harbor a Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.  (Code 1966, § 3-8; Ord. No. 1781-07, § 2, 2-8-2007)

Coppell 9-1-1, 9-1-17: It is illegal to own, possess, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain permitted zoos, schools, animal exhibitions, circuses, and governmental entities. (Ord. No. 95687)

Copper Canyon 2.01.011: It is illegal to possess any Great Ape within the town limits. (2001 Code, sec. 2.200); 2.04.001: In 2008, the town adopted chapter 822(E) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which regulates (but does not prohibit) the possession of “dangerous wild animals.” This provision appears to have no effect on the prior ban, since 822.116 specifically states that subchapter 822(E) “does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.” (Ordinance 08-261 sec. 4, adopted 11/10/08)

Copperas Cove 3-1, 3-68: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. There is no exception to the ban. (Ord. No. 2001-01, §§ 1, 2, 3-20-01)

Corpus Christi 6-1, 6-153: It is illegal to possess any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 026046, § 1, 12-14-2004); 6-57: Certain commercial establishments, including: auctions, performing animal exhibits, and other exhibitions may request limited permission to possess apes for the duration of a commercial permit, subject to compliance with local requirements and regulations (or a waiver). (Ord. No. 026046, § 1, 12-14-2004); 6-152: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. No. 026046, § 1, 12-14-2004)

Corsicana 2.100, 2.800: It is illegal to keep, house, or maintain any “monkey” or “other such animal.” The ban does not apply to certain circuses and animals in transit through the city. (Ordinance 2632 adopted 8/18/09)

Coryell County Ordinance No. 2006-001: It is illegal for any person, except a USDA licensed Class C exhibitor, to possess a gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan within the county. Such exhibitors must comply with local registration requirements and regulations. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.

Crowley 10-10: It is illegal to possess or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to circuses, amusement parks, or zoos. (Code 1980, ch. 2, § 9(B))

Cuero 90.01, 90.05: It is illegal to keep, possess, own, control, harbor, maintain, or have custody of any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, certain governmental agencies, research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, educational facilities, carriers, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. ('66 Code, Ch. 8.0, Art. I-A, § 8)  (Ord. 85-08, passed 10-3-85; Am. Ord. 02-02, passed 1-3-02)

Dallas 7-5.1, 7-6.1: It is illegal to own any Great Ape for any purpose, or to sell, exchange, give away, or transfer apes for use as pets. The ban does not apply to certain governmental agencies, research facilities, AZA accredited zoos, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, educational facilities, carriers, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, participants in a species survival plan of the AZA, and special events. (Ord. 26024)

Dallas County 6-193: It is illegal to own, harbor, or have custody of any Great Ape, except as otherwise specifically permitted by state or federal law.  (Ord. No. 2001-1997, 10-16-2001; Ord. No. 2003-1302, 7-22-2003)

Dayton 2.201, 2.234: It is illegal to possess, keep, or allow any Great Ape within any residence or within three hundred (300) feet of any residence. This provision makes it illegal to keep apes as household pets. (Ordinance 258 adopted 6/16/86)

Decatur 3-176 et seq.: It is illegal to keep or possess any Great Ape for display or exhibition purposes, or for any other purpose. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, certain research facilities, government agencies, and wildlife rehabilitators.  (Ord. No. 01-10-10, art. 12, 11-13-01)

Deer Park 14-71 et seq.: Any person wishing to keep a Great Ape within the city limits must register the animal and comply with local security and housing regulations. (Code 1991, § 5-12 et seq.)

Del Rio 5-3, 5-17: It is illegal to raise, possess, harbor, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to the temporary possession of apes by certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, governmental entities, research institutions, wildlife rehabilitators, and veterinarians. (Ord. No. 84-30, § 1, 6-26-84; Ord. No. 2000-49, § 1 et seq., 12-5-00; Ord. No. 2001-07, § 1, 2-13-01; Ord. No. 2005-62, § 2, 10-25-05)

Denison 4-6: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan within the city limits. The ban does not apply to the exceptions enumerated in Section 822.102(a), Health and Safety Code of Texas. (Code 1965, § 4-9; Ord. No. 4077, 11-19-01)

Denton 6-2, 6-30: It is illegal to harbor, own, or exhibit any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, or certain zoos, research institutions, individual researchers, schools, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses, subject to local permit requirements. (Ord. No. 2000-460, § 1, 12-19-00; Ord. No. 2003-309, § 2, 9-16-03; Ord. No. 2006-330, §§ 1, 8, 12-12-06; Ord. No. 2008-059, § 1, 3-4-08)

DeSoto 2.100, 2.700, 2.800: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. A reading of the latter two provisions together creates an exception to the ban, as it relates to gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees for AZA accredited zoos, and certain governmental agencies, research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, educational facilities, carriers, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. There is an exception to the ban as it pertains to gibbons and bonobos, for certain zoos, governmental entities, schools, and pet distributors, subject to local permit requirements and regulations.

Dickinson 4-11, 4-401 et seq.: It is illegal to buy, sell, possess, or keep any monkey or other “wild or exotic” animal within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary hospitals, zoos, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses, subject to local permit requirements and stringent regulations. (Ord. No. 310-97, § 2, 4-22-97)

Double Oak 2.100, 2.1200, 2.2301 et seq.: The town’s ordinances classify Great Apes as “prohibited animals,” “wild animals,” and as “dangerous wild animals.” The cross-classification creates some ambiguity as to their legal status. It appears that the possession of such animals is prohibited within the town limits. It is unclear whether there are exceptions to the ban.

Dublin 10-105: It is illegal to harbor, maintain, possess, or sell any “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses, and veterinary hospitals. (Ord. No. 7-10-00-4, art. II, § 2, 7-10-2000; Ord. No. 1-13-03-1, art. II, § 2, 1-13-2003)

Dumas 18-1, 18-11: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1976, § 18-1; Ord. No. 1011, §§ 1,28, 11-21-2005)

Duncanville 4-19: It is illegal to keep or harbor any chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan within the city limits, without exception. It is also illegal to keep or harbor any bonobo or gibbon, however a special use permit may be issued to certain zoos, scientific research or educational facilities, animal exhibitions and circuses, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 1576, § 3, 7-20-99; Ord. No. 1757, § 2, 10-2-01; Ord. No. 2026, §§ 1, 2, 5-15-07)

Eagle Pass 6-15: It is illegal to own, possess, or keep any “wild or vicious” animal as a pet or for training, display, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and veterinary hospitals. (Ord. No. 01-20, 6-12-2001)

Early 5-22: It is illegal to possess any Great Ape (which are deemed “contraband”) within the city limits. (Ord. No. 2009-07, 4-28-09)

Eastland 4-6: It is illegal to own, possess, confine, or care for any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 689, 9-22-04)

Edgecliff 2.01.001, 2.01.010: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the town limits. The ban does not apply to the possession of apes if they are certified for medical, biological, or other scientific research or study. (1987 Code, ch. 2, sec. 4(D); Ordinance 222 adopted 12/10/87)

Edinburg 91.09: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain special events, research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. 3342, passed 3-17-09)

El Campo 8-4: It is illegal to harbor or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1988, ch. 2, § 4.05)

El Lago 3-16, 3-22: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 181A, §§ I,VI, 6-15-92; Ord. No. 181C, § 2, 7-21-97)

El Paso 7.08.090: It is illegal to keep any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. 16229 § 1 (part), 2006)

Ennis 4-20: It is illegal to keep any gorilla, orangutan, or chimpanzee within the city limits. (Ord. No. 02-4-7, § I, 5-6-02)

Euless 10-7: It is illegal to possess or sell any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1974, § 3-2)

Farmers Branch 18-1, 18-4, 18-6: It is illegal to keep, board, possess, harbor, or house any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to medical research projects, veterinary hospitals, circuses, amusement parks, and zoos. (Code 1969, § 6-10; Ord. No. 2759, §§ 2,4, 3-1-2004)

Fair Oaks Ranch 2.01.001, 2.04.003: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” for training, display, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to certain animal shelters. It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” as a pet, unless licensed to do so by the state parks and wildlife department. Notwithstanding the ban, the city has an additional ordinance declaring that “dangerous wild animals” shall be governed by the Texas Health and Safety Code, section 822.101 et seq., which regulates, but does not prohibit the possession of gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees. This provision appears to have no effect on the ban, since 822.116 specifically states that subchapter 822(E) “does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.”

Ferris 91.001, 91.080: It is illegal to possess or maintain any “wild animal” (meaning, “any mammal…which is not naturally tame or gentle, but is of a wild nature or disposition; or because of its size, vicious nature, or other characteristics would constitute a danger to human life, other animals, or property if not kept or maintained in a safe manner or in secure quarters) in the city for more than 12 hours without a permit. Permits may be issued to certain zoos, research institutions, researchers, animal rehabilitation organizations, schools, circuses, and animal exhibitions. (Ord. 599, passed 9-6-2005; Am. Ord. 656, passed 1-7-2008)

Flatonia 2.01.002: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The city may grant exceptions “from time to time,” for special events such as circuses, menageries, and animal auctions. (2001 Code, art. 2.700)

Flower Mound 6-1, 6-201 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the town limits. The ban does not apply to governmental agencies, certain circuses, zoos, wildlife rehabilitators, research facilities, and educational institutions.  (Code 1989, ch. 2, § 10.02)

Forest Hill 22-7: Any Great Ape in the city must be kept in a “cage in a safe manner” at all times. (Code 1976, § 7-7)

Forney 2.102, 2.601: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet or for sale, display, or exhibition. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions.

Fort Stockton 5-6: It is illegal to harbor or keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses and traveling shows, veterinary hospitals, or wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. No. 87-105, § 5-7, 8-11-87)

Fort Worth 6-1, 6-62: It is illegal to sell, offer for sale, barter, trade, own, maintain, use, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, and certain zoos, research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, educational or scientific institutions or societies, museums, nature centers, wildlife rehabilitators, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 10553, § 1, 3-27-90; Ord. No. 13537, § 1, 7-29-98; Ord. No. 16022, § 4, 7-6-04; Ord. No. 16009, § 3, 4-18-06)

Fredericksburg 4-1, 4-15: It is illegal to keep a Great Ape as a pet or for sale, display, or exhibition purposes. The sale, display, and exhibition ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 16-001, § 4-15, 1-23-2006)

Friendswood 10-10: It is illegal to buy, sell, own, or keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to veterinary hospitals, zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Code 1974, § 3-40; Ord. No. 88-21, § 1, 3-20-1989; Code 1994, § 10-11; Ord. No. 2001-25, § 1(3-42), 1-7-2002)

Friona 2.108: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (1983 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3, Section 3-8)

Frisco 14-3, 14-11: It is illegal to own, harbor, shelter, or have custody or control of any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain government agencies, research facilities, AZA accredited zoos, veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, and animals in transit. (Ord. No. 08-01-06, § 11, 1-15-2008)

Galena Park 2.601 et seq.: It is illegal to possess, keep, or allow any Great Ape within any residence or within three hundred (300) feet of any residence. This provision makes it illegal to keep apes as household pets.

Galveston 7-1, 7-40: It is illegal to possess or keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, or veterinary hospitals. (Ord. No. 07-031, § 2, 4-26-07)

Galveston County 822.102: It is illegal to import any Great Ape into the county. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.

Garland 22.19: It is illegal to keep, harbor, transfer, sell, or convey any “wild” or “exotic” animal within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, educational institutions, veterinarians, and wildlife rehabilitation facilities. (Ordinance 6125, sec. 1, adopted 5/1/07)

Georgetown 7.05.180: It is illegal to keep any “wild or dangerous animal” for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to theatrical exhibits and circuses. (Ord. 95-10 § 2 (part)); 7.05.200, 7.05.230: A local permit is required to possess any Great Ape as a pet. Permittees must carry liability insurance and comply with local regulations. The permit requirement and regulations do not apply to AZA accredited zoos, and certain research institutions, government agencies, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. 95-10 § 2 (part))

Giddings 2.01.002, 2.01.008: It is illegal to own, harbor, maintain, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The Chief of Police may grant written permission to keep such animals contingent upon a determination that the apes(s) would not constitute a threat to public health or safety.

Glenn Heights 2.01.001, 2.08.001 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental entities, circuses, zoos, and research and educational institutions.

Godley 91.01, 91.05: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, performing animal exhibitions, and commercial animal establishments. (Ord. 10-8-07, passed 10-8-2007)

Gonzales 2.101, 2.108: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet, unless licensed to do so by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (the department does not issue such licenses). Any person wishing to possess apes for display, training or exhibition purposes must register the animals with local authorities. Zoos, circuses, performing animal exhibitions, and veterinary hospitals are exempt from the registration requirement.

Graham 5-1: It is illegal to import or keep any Great Ape within the city limits. A special permit may be issued to import apes into the city for entertainment, exhibition, or other approved purpose, subject to the approval of the city manager. (Ord. No. 293, §§ 1--4, 10-19-61)

Granbury 2.01.001, 2.01.002: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to circuses, performing animal exhibitions, zoos, and commercial animal establishments. (1991 Code, sec. 2.1000)

Grand Prairie 5-1, 5-31: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 5537, § 1, 2-28-96; Ord. No. 6539, § 1, 11-20-01)

Grapevine 6-1, 6-4: It is illegal to keep or harbor Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to properly zoned pet shops, auctions, zoos, circuses, and animal exhibitions, that have “proper facilities for the restraint and care of such animals,” and that are in compliance with any other conditions set by local authorities. (Ord. No. 71-29, Pt. I, 10-5-71; Ord. No. 88-40, § 3, 6-7-88)

Greenville 4.01.001, 4.01.014: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet, or for sale, display, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, performing animal exhibitions, or animals kept for educational purposes. (1990 Code, sec. 2.1000)

Groves 5-4: It is illegal to possess, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to veterinary hospitals, or to circuses, zoos, and certain educational institutions, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 83-03, § 1, 3-14-83)

Gun Barrel City 90.08: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, trade, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, scientific research facilities, and circuses. (Ord. 98-014, passed 5-26-98; Am. Ord. 00-022, passed 8-22-00; Am. Ord. 02-015, passed 4-23-02)

Haltom City 10-140, 10-141: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for display, exhibition, or any other purpose. (Ord. No. O-2007-009-04, § 1, 2-26-07)

Harker Heights 90.07: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. 92-08, passed 4-23-92)

Haslet 2.01.001, 2.07: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits.

Hearne 2.01.001, 2.04.001 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. Local authorities may issue permits to possess apes temporarily, subject to certain conditions. The ban does not apply to certain commercial dealers and zoos.  (Ordinance adopted 3/24/86, sec. D)

Heath 93.01, 93.25: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for sale, display, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses. A local permit is required to possess any ape as a pet. Permittees must comply with relevant local regulations. (2005 Code, § 9-2-15)

Hedwig Village 10-31 et seq.: It is illegal to raise, breed, or keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 523, § 2, 10-10-2002)

Hemphill 4-188 et seq.: Chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas must be registered with the local animal control office. (Ord. No. 128, 11-13-2001)

Henrietta 4-11, 4-18: It is illegal to own or possess any “wild” or “undomesticated” animal within the city limits. The ban does not apply to approved veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, auctions, circuses, public zoos, government agencies, laboratories, and research facilities. (Ord. No. 7721-1, §§ 12, 16, 9-1-77; Ord. No. 8308, § 7, 8-8-83)

Hewitt 10-90: It is illegal to keep or harbor any “wild or exotic animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain approved circuses, rodeos, or parades. (Code 1984, § 3-11)

Hickory Creek 2.07.001 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, own, harbor, or have custody of any chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (1999 Code, sec. 2.902); It is illegal to keep, own, harbor, or have custody of any bonobo or gibbon within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain federally licensed commercial establishments, subject to local permit requirements. (1999 Code, sec. 2.903)

Highland Park 2.01.003: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (1971 Code, sec. 3-3)

Highland Village 14-1, 14-6: It is illegal to own, possess, confine, or care for any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 03-913, § 1, Exh. A, 5-13-2003)

Hill Country Village 10-2, 10-22: It is illegal to own or possess any Great Ape within the village limits. (Ord. No. 905, § 10.23, 4-15-2004)

Hilshire Village 2.100, 2.800: It is illegal to keep or possess any “wild animal” within the city limits. (Ordinance 323, adopted 12/17/87, Section 8)

Hollywood Park 10-6: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the town limits. (Code 1985, § 3.400; Code 1989, § 4-5)

Hondo 2.01.001, 2.01.008: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (1995 Code, art. 2.600(a)–(d))

Horseshoe Bay 2.01.001, 2.06.001: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 07-10-16A, sec. VIII(a), adopted 10/16/07)

Houston 6-51 et seq.: It is illegal to possess, harbor, keep, sell, offer for sale, or transfer any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary hospitals, zoos, animal shelters, refuges, sanctuaries, medical or educational facilities, carriers, and temporary productions or exhibitions, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 99-404, § 1, 4-28-99)

Hunters Creek Village 8-1: It is illegal to raise, keep, or breed any animal other than “household pets” within the city limits; 8-81: It is illegal to possess or keep any Great Ape within any residence or within 300 feet of any residence or building used for human habitation. (The two provisions, when read together seem to effectively outlaw the possession of Great Apes for any purpose, since they cannot be possessed, raised, or bred unless they are “household pets,” yet are not allowed to be kept in or near any household.) (Code 2002, § 2.600; Ord. No. 336, §§ 1--3, 12-18-1979)

Huntsville 8-7: It is illegal to keep, possess, or have control of any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1961, § 6.01.08; Ord. No. 82-10, 4-20-1982; Ord. No. 95-22, 8-8-1995; Ord. No. 2001-32, 12-11-2001)

Hurst 4-2, 4-43: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, have custody of, sell, give away, or transfer any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, educational institutions, governmental entities, or wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. No. 2026, § 1(Exh. A), 8-14-07)

Hutto 2.01.001, 2.01.007: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, and to certain zoos, school, circuses, and animal exhibitions, subject to local permit requirements. (2004 Code, art. 2.1200)

Ingleside 14-1, 14-51: It is illegal to keep, own, maintain, use, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 841, § 1 (Exh. A), 8-27-02)

Iowa Park 2.01.001, 2.01.013-.015: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet or for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (1993 Code, sec. 4-23 et seq.)

Irving 6-1, 6-34 et seq.: It is illegal to harbor a Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental entities, veterinarians, transient circuses and temporary animal shows, commercial film or television studios, AZA accredited zoos, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, educational institutions, medical and research facilities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to biomedical research facilities, and participants in an AZA species survival plan. In addition, the city may issue a “prohibited animal permit,” which authorizes the possession of apes subject to compliance with local regulations and requirements. (Ord. No. 8597, § 1, 1-26-06; Ord. No. 8863, § 1, 9-20-07; Ord. No. 8882, § 1, 11-1-07; Ord. No. 8925, § 1, 3-13-08; Ord. No. 8934, §§ 1, 2, 4-4-08)

Jasper 5-5: It is illegal to keep or maintain any “dangerous wild animal” within the city limits. (Code 1967, § 6-18; Ord. No. 10-95-1, 3-13-95)

Jersey Village 10-81 et seq.: It is illegal to possess, keep, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1977, § 3-36 et seq.)

Joshua 2.01.001, 2.04.003, 2.05.003, 2.05.004: It is illegal to keep or sell and Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain wildlife educational centers. (Ordinance 471-2009, art. IV, adopted 1/15/09)

Junction 2.01.001, 2.03.004: It is illegal to harbor or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses and shows, and veterinary hospitals. (Ordinance 05-0110-01, sec. 18, adopted 1/10/05)

Justin 2.100, 2.1000: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, scientific research facilities, educational institutions, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Ord. No. 389, § 1, 6-13-05)

Kaufman 18-31, 18-48: It is illegal to keep, maintain, harbor, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. O-32-01, § 2, 1-14-2002)

Keller 3-100, 3-162: It is illegal to keep, display, or exhibit any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 579, § 1, 4-18-89; Ord. No. 1078, § 2, 12-4-01; Ord. No. 1114, § 5, 9-3-02; Ord. No. 1159, § 5, 10-7-03)

Kennedale 3-1, 3-7: It is illegal to own, possess, confine, or care for any gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan, or any other “wild animal” within the city limits. (Ord. No. 381, § 1, 11-8-07; Ord. No. 415, § 1, 11-9-08)

Kerrville 18-1, 18-75:  It is illegal to harbor or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient animal shows and circuses, or veterinary hospitals. (Code 1968, art. 10-I-3(c)(5))

Kingsville 9-3-9: It is illegal to keep, own, maintain, use, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary facilities, educational institutions, and commercial variety shows. (1962 Code, § 6-3-11; Ord. 93006, passed 4-12-93)

Kirby 91.02, 91.31: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Ord. 2007-629, passed 3-1-07)

Krugerville 2.102, 2.111, 2.123: It is illegal to own, harbor, exhibit, or breed any Great Ape within the city limits. The possession and exhibition ban does not apply to government entities and certain zoos, research institutions, researchers, schools, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses, subject to local permit requirements and regulations.

Krum 2.101, 2.108: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 0017-08-2006, sec. 2-3, 2-16, adopted 8/7/06); 2.702: The city adopted Section 822 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which regulates (but does not prohibit) the possession of “dangerous wild animals.” This provision appears to have no effect on the Great Ape ban, since 822.116 specifically states that subchapter 822(E) “does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.” (Ordinance 0017-08-2006, sec. 2-12(b), adopted 8/7/06)

Kyle 5-1, 5-41, 5-128 et seq.: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, have custody of, sell, give away, transfer, display, or exhibit any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain AZA accredited zoos, transient circuses, educational institutions, wildlife rehabilitators, research facilities, government agencies, and motion picture production companies. (Ord. No. 287-1, §§ 35, 122 et seq., 2-1-2005)

La Porte 14-225 et seq.: Any person wishing to possess a gorilla, orangutan, or chimpanzee within the city limits must comply with local registration requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 93-1922-A, § 6, 1-29-03)

Lago Vista 2.237: It is illegal to keep, raise, harbor, use, or possess any “wild…mammal…which by its nature…has the capability of inflicting serious bodily injury to humans,” in or within five thousand (5000) feet of the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, museums, shelters, educational or medical institutions, circuses, traveling exhibitions, veterinary clinics, and wildlife rehabilitators, subject to local regulations. (Ordinance No. 93-09-16-01 Adopted 9/16/93)

Lake Dallas 18-1, 18-321 et seq.: A local permit is required to keep or sell any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 159-A, § 2-37, 1985; Code 1989, § 6.40.030)

Lake Jackson 10-1, 10-84: Any person wishing to possess a Great Ape within the city limits must secure permission from the city council and comply with local regulations. (Ord. No. 79-709, § 1, 10-15-79; Code 1958, § 3-22(b)--(f); Ord. No. 03-1729, § 1, 10-5-2003; Ord. No. 09-1895, § 1, 1-5-2009)

Lake Worth 2.100, 2.800: It is illegal to own, possess, confine, or care for any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, veterinary hospitals, or pet stores, subject to local regulations. (1987 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 2, Section 8C)

Lakeside 90.01 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, harbor, possess, or have custody of any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan within the town limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, and suppliers nonhuman primates to research facilities. (Ord. 233, passed 9-13-2001)

Lampasas 10-176: Any person wishing to possess a Great Ape within the city limits must secure a local permit.

Lancaster 2.106, 2.115: Any person wishing to possess any Great Ape within the city limits must secure express consent of the city manager and comply with all contingencies. (1994 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 2, Article 2.100, Section 2.115)

Laredo 6-1, 6-46, 6-80, 6-100: It is illegal to own, keep, sell, trade, transfer, barter, give away, maintain, or engage in a transaction involving a Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 2010-O-029, § 1, 3-15-10)

League City 18-17: It is illegal to sell, possess, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary hospitals, zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses, pursuant to local permit requirements. (Code 1968, § 5-17; Ord. No. 94-02, § 2, 1-27-1994)

Leander 2.101, 2.205: It is illegal to import, sell, give away, transfer, possess, keep, or have custody of any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, or educational facilities.

Leon Valley 2.01.001, 2.01.015: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain transient circuses, pet shops, and zoos. (1972 Code, sec. 4.322); 2.06.001 et seq.: The city adopted the language of V.T.C.A., Health and Safety Code, sec. 822.101 et seq., which creates a conflict in the local ordinances regarding the possession of gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans, but bonobos and gibbons are still prohibited. This provision appears to have no effect on the Great Ape ban, since 822.116 specifically states that subchapter 822(E) “does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.”

Lewisville 3-1, 3-65 et seq., 3-88: It is illegal to keep, sell, display, exhibit, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos and performing animal exhibitions that possess a local permit and keep the animals within the city limits temporarily. (Ord. No. 1999-2-95, § I, 2-6-95; Ord. No. 2338-5-98, § I, 5-18-98; Ord. No. 2473-8-99, § IA, 8-9-99; Ord. No. 2673-4-2001, § 1, 4-2-01; Ord. No. 2942-06-2003, § I, 6-2-03; Ord. No. 3139-11-2004, § I, 11-1-04; Ord. No. 3163-01-2005, § I, 1-24-05; Ord. No. 3293-12-2005, §§ 1--4,23, 12-19-05; Ord. No. 3456-06-2007, §§ 1, 2, 6-4-07; Ord. No. 3644-01-2009, § 1, 1-26-09)

Liberty Hill 2.02.006: It is illegal to harbor, keep, or maintain Great Apes within the city limits. The city council may grant exceptions “from time to time, such as for special events.” (Ordinance 08-O-02, sec. 9, adopted 1/14/08)

Little Elm 18-1, 18-70: It is illegal to sell, offer for sale, barter, trade, keep, own, maintain, use, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, educational institutions, museums, laboratories, nature centers, educational or scientific associations, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. No. 960, § 2, 6-16-2009)

Live Oak 4-1, 4-33: It is illegal to own or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 1302, § 33, 3-13-07)

Livingston 6-227 et seq.: It is illegal to possess, confine, or care for any chimpanzee, orangutan, or gorilla within the city limits. The ban does not apply where specifically permitted by federal or state law. (Ord. No. A-637, § 1(4-90), 10-9-2001); 4-2: Circuses, carnivals and zoos shall not be permitted on city property and are expressly prohibited. (Code 1970, § 3-2; Ord. No. A-608, § 3-2, 5-9-2000)

Llano 14-1, 14-36 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet. It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for sale, display or exhibition purposes. The latter ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 1058, § 14, 11-20-2006; Ord. No. 1065, § 14, 3-5-2007)

Lockhart 10-1, 10-10: It is illegal to keep any chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan within the city limits. (Ord. No. 00-10, § I, 6-20-00; Ord. No. 01-27, § I, 11-20-01)

Longview 13-13: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, harbor, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research institutions, animal exhibitions, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. No. 3141, § 3, 8-8-02)

Lorena 6-101 et seq.: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, harbor, or import any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, and certain humane societies, animal control officers, wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary hospitals, circuses, research facilities, educational institutions, and motion picture production companies.

Lubbock 4-33, 4-34: It is illegal to keep, sell, offer to sell, give away, or transfer ownership of any “dangerous wild animal” (meaning gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan under state law). The possession ban does not apply to governmental agencies, and certain zoos, wildlife education centers, animal exhibitions. Certain animal dealers and animal establishments may apply to permanently keep the dangerous wild animals that they possessed when the ordinance was enacted. (Ord. No. 2006-O0025, § 1, 3-8-06)

Lucas 2.01.001: Great Apes may not be kept as pets. (1995 Code, sec. 11-1; Ordinance adopting Code)

Lufkin 91.075 et seq.: It is illegal to own, possess, exhibit, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. Permits may be issued to certain zoos, research institutions, researchers, wildlife societies, wildlife rehabilitators, educational facilities, animal exhibitions, and circuses. ('72 Code, § 5-103(a)-(h)) 

Luling 14-49: It is illegal to keep “wild animals” within the city limits, except under such conditions as shall be fixed by the city manager. The ban does not apply to the possession of apes for exhibition purposes by circuses, zoos, and educational institutions. (Code 1966, § 5-18)

Lumberton 4-219: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research institutions, circuses, and permittees. (Ord. No. 00-1147, § 8.1, 1-24-2000; Ord. No. 08-1174, § 8.1-3, 4-14-2008)

Mansfield 90.01, 90.19: Any person wishing to possess a Great Ape must secure a local permit and comply with all relevant local regulations. (Ord. 1405, passed 11-11-02)

Manvel 8-1, 8-3: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 97-03, § 3(1—14), 5-20-1997; Ord. No. 97-25, § 3, 12-4-1997)

Marble Falls 6-2, 6-2.1: It is illegal to harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 90-O-7A, § 2, 7-10-90)

Marshall 4-26, 4-27: It is illegal to import, keep, or maintain “animals ferae naturae.” The ban does not apply to certain transient circuses and animal shows. (Ord. No. O-68-36, § 1, 12-12-68; Ord. No. O-85-32, 6-27-85; Ord. No. O-94-07, § 1, 3-10-94)

McAllen 14-1: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet. (Ord. No.  2010-25, § I, 4-26-10); 14-3: It is illegal to keep or harbor any “dangerous animal” within the city. (Code 1966, § 5-3); 14-81 et seq.: Great Apes are classified as “wild animals,” which are all declared to be “vicious animals,” which are subject to stringent local regulations. (Code 1966, § 5-54; Ord. No. 2004-50, § 1, 6-28-04; Ord. No.  2010-25, § I, 4-26-10)

McKinney 26-1, 26-39: It is illegal to sell, offer for sale, keep, own, maintain, use, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, and certain zoos, research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, educational institutions, museums, nature centers, educational or scientific associations and societies, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 2009-10-070, § 2, 10-6-09)

Melissa 2.1300: It is illegal to harbor, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. Exceptions may be granted to circuses, menageries, and animal auctions.

Mesquite 4-11: It is illegal to keep any “dangerous animal” (defined as an animal that is “inherently not subject to domestication and including but not limited to…any animal for which there is not state department of health approved rabies vaccine”) within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos and scientific research facilities. (Code 1960, § 4-57)

Mexia 2.1001 et seq.: Great Apes are prohibited within the city. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, and certain research institutions and government agencies. (Ordinance 2000-12 adopted 7/18/00)

Midland 6-2-6:  It is illegal to harbor, have, keep, or possess any “wild animal” (defined as an animal that is “typically found in a zoo”). The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, educational facilities, wildlife rehabilitation agencies, veterinary hospitals, and temporary exhibition permittees. (Ord. No. 6430, 8-14-1984; Ord. No. 6823, 4-26-1988; Ord. No. 7135, 11-26-1991)

Midlothian 2.01.001, 2.01.010: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (Ordinance 2005-48, sec. 20, adopted 10/25/05)

Mineola 6-74 et seq.: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, have custody of, sell, give away, or transfer any “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, educational facilities, and nature preserves. (Ord. No. 07-01-22A, § 5-70, 1-22-2007)

Mineral Wells 18-1, 18-6: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits (and Great Apes are specifically prohibited for use as pets). (Code 1970, § 6-34)

Missouri City 10-11: It is illegal to keep any “wild animals” within the city limits. (Code 1981, § 4-8(c), (d))

Monahans 4-1, 4-24: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Ord. No. 976, Art. 7, 4-23-96)

Morgans Point 6-1 et seq.: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to commercial animal dealers and zoos. (Ord. No. 95-347, § 6, 5-10-1995)

Morton 2.01.001, 2.03.002: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any “wild animal whose normal weight exceeds forty (40) pounds.” (2001 Code, sec. 2-6(B))

Mount Vernon 4-14: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, trade, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, certain animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, transient circuses, universities, and motion picture production companies. (Ord. No. 2002-5, § 1, 5-14-02)

Mount Pleasant 97.20: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, trade, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, animal shelters, veterinarians, circuses, motion picture production companies, educational facilities, and carriers. (Ord. 2002-1, passed 2-19-02)

Murphy 14-1, 14-51 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, sell, offer to sell, give away, or transfer any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain government agencies, zoos, wildlife educational centers, animal exhibitions, commercial animal dealers and establishments (that may not sell the animals). (Ord. No. 09-02-786, § 2, 2-16-2009)

Navasota 2.01.001, 2.01.006: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain commercial dealers and zoos. (1978 Code, sec. 5-4)

Nederland 10-1: Any person wishing to possess a Great Ape within the city limits must comply with local registration requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 2001-21, §§ 1—15, 11-26-01)

Needville 10-1, 10-8: It is illegal to possess, keep, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and veterinary hospitals. (Ord. No. 67-01, § 9, 3-14-2001)

New Braunfels 6-1, 6-78: It is illegal to own, possess, or have custody of any “wild or vicious animal” for display, training, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and veterinary hospitals. It is illegal to keep any ape as a pet, unless “licensed to do so by the state parks and wildlife department.” (Code 1961, § 3-12); 6-79: It is illegal to conduct, train an animal for, or attend any event in which any animal engages in unnatural behavior; is mentally or physically harassed, abused, or stressed; or is induced to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Code 1961, § 3-13)

North Richland Hills 14-251 et seq.: It is illegal to keep or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, and certain research institutions, government agencies, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Code 1975, § 4-251et seq.)

Northlake 2.101, 2.103: It is illegal to possess, keep, or harbor any “wild animal” within the town limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, animal shelters, educational and medical institutions, transient circuses and exhibitions, or veterinary clinics.

Oak Point 2.100, 2.900: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 99-14, 7-13-1999; Ord. No. 2001-01, 3-20-2001; Ord. No. 2002-06, 3-8-2002)

Oak Ridge North 10-1, 10-20: It is illegal to keep, possess, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary hospitals, accredited zoos, animal shelters, animal sanctuaries, medical or educational facilities, carriers, and animal trainers. (Ord. No. 004-03, § 2, 3-31-03)

Odessa 2-1-10: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” (defined as an animal “typically found in a zoo”) within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, educational institutions, or permitted temporary animal exhibits. (Ordinance 97-13, sec. 2, adopted 4/8/97; 1957 Code, sec. 4-17)

Orange 2.308: It is illegal to possess or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to medical research institutions, circuses, amusement parks, and zoos. (1982 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3, Section 3H; Ordinance adopting Code)

Palestine 14-8: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research institutions, circuses, and animal shelters. (Code 1968, § 6-8; Ord. No. O-32-99, 11-22-99)

Palmhurst 6-3: It is illegal to keep or harbor any “dangerous animal” within the city.

Pampa 2.01.001: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain commercial animal dealers and zoos. Local authorities may authorize the temporary possession of such animals for certain purposes. (1987 Code, sec. 4-1)

Panhandle 2.100, 2.400: It is illegal to keep, own, or harbor any “wild animal” within the city limits. (1993 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3, Article 3, Sec. 3-13)

Pantego 2.01.002, 2.07.001, et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to animal exhibitions. (Ordinance 97-12, sec. I (6.44.020), adopted 12/8/97)

Paris 5-10: It is illegal to maintain any “wild animals, which may be considered dangerous by the chief of police.” Temporary possession permits may be issued to keep such animals for a specific period of time. (Code 1970, § 4-10)

Parker 92.03: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. 414, passed 12-17-1996; Am. Ord. 560, passed 10-26-2004; Am. Ord. 625, passed 7-1-2008)

Pasadena 6-67 et seq.: It is illegal to sell, possess, keep, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinary hospitals, zoos, medical or educational facilities, transient festivals and special events, subject to local permit requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 85-228, § 1, 11-19-85)

Pearland 6-2, 6-21: It is illegal to keep, possess, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos. (Ord. No. 528, § 1(22), 9-22-86)

Piney Point Village 6-2: It is illegal to possess “wild animals” within the city limits. (Ord. No. 270, §§ 1, 2, 4-12-65)

Pittsburg 2.100, 2.1000 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, and certain zoos, circuses, wildlife rehabilitators, or research and educational institutions.

Plano 4-1, 4-181: It is illegal to possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental agencies, zoos, and wildlife educational centers.  (Ord. No. 2009-2-13, § I(4-1000), 2-17-09); 4-182: It is illegal to transfer ownership of any Great Ape. The ban does not apply to the transfer of apes to certain wildlife rehabilitators, wildlife educational centers, zoos, or other facilities capable of legally caring for such animals. (Ord. No. 2009-2-13, § I(4-1001), 2-17-09)

Pleasanton 92.01, 92.18: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet, or for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Ord. 1221, passed 1-3-2002)

Port Aransas 4-10: A local permit is required to have, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1980, Ch. 2, § 5)

Port Arthur 10-1, 10-3: It is illegal to possess, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to veterinary treatment facilities, and certain zoos, circuses, or educational institutions, subject to local regulations. (Code 1961, §§ 4-6, 35)

Port Neches 14-31, 14-34: It is illegal to keep any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan within the city limits. (Ord. No. 2001-17, § 2, 12-6-2001)

Portland 3-61 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, own, maintain, use, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 893, §§ 7-01, 02, 11-15-94)

Prairie View 2.101, 2.102: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 072792A adopted 8/24/92)

Princeton 10-3, 10-41: It is illegal to keep, harbor, possess, own, or have custody of any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 88-006, § 8, 8-16-1988; Ord. No. 2001-11-13-C, § III, 11-13-2001)

Prosper 2.01.001, 2.01.005: It is illegal to keep, own, confine, possess, care for, or sell any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 01-30, sec. 3(VIII), adopted 12/11/01)

Richardson 5-1, 5-14: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any “wild animal” (defined as an animal that is “not naturally tame or gentle but is of a wild nature or disposition and which, because of its size, vicious nature, or other characteristics, would constitute a danger to human life or property). The ban does not apply to certain governmental entities, zoos, research institutions, animal exhibitions, and circuses. (Code 1966, § 3-1; Ord. No. 3170-A, § 1 et seq., 4-13-98; Ord. No. 3455, § 1, 3-22-04)

Richland Hills 6-1, 6-74: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, have custody of, sell, give away, or transfer any gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee, or any other “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain medical or scientific facilities, educational institutions, circuses, carnivals, zoos, veterinarians, or wildlife rehabilitators (Ord. No. 810-97, § 1 et seq., 1-28-1997; Ord. No. 894-01, § II, 4-10-2001; Ord. No. 918-01, § 1, 11-13-2001; Ord. No. 1001-05, § 1, 1-11-2005; Ord. No. 1118-08, §§ 1, 2, 7-8-2008; Ord. No. 1119-08, § 1, 7-8-2008)

River Oaks 2.01.001, 2.01.005: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits.

Roanoke 2.102: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape as a pet. (Ordinance 86-117 adopted 6/17/86, Article II)

Robinson 4-40: It is illegal to keep any “dangerous” animal within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos. (Ord. No. 285, art. I, § 15, 5-10-88)

Rockport 18-48: It is illegal to keep any “exotic animal” within the city limits. (Ord. No. 888, § 21, 3-26-91; Ord. No. 1118, § 1, 7-25-00; Ord. No. 1270, § 5, 11-18-03; Ord. No. 1281, § 1, 3-9-04); 18-36: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits, except under such conditions as shall be fixed by the animal control department. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, and educational institutions, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 888, § 9, 3-26-91; Ord. No. 1118, § 1, 7-25-00)

Rollingwood 2.01.001, 2.01.015: It is illegal to keep, maintain, use, or have any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain wildlife rescue groups and similar organizations, subject to local registration requirements and regulations. (1987 Code, ch. 7, subch. A, sec. 13)

Roma 10-1, 10-5: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 153, § 8, 4-23-1990)

Rosenberg 4-1, 4-5, 4-137 et seq.: It is illegal to possess, keep, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, or veterinary hospitals, subject to local permit requirements and regulations. (Code 1960, § 4-8; Ord. No. 90-55, § 2, 9-4-90)

Round Rock 2.300, 2.500: It is illegal to own, harbor, or maintain any Great Ape, without written permission from the Chief of Police pursuant to a finding that the animal does not constitute a threat to public health or safety.

Rowlett 6-2, 6-7: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet or for sale, display, or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, or circuses. (Code 1982, § 9-1-13)

Royse City 2.01.001, 2.01.008: It is illegal to keep, own, harbor, possess, confine, or sell any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 01-11-265, sec. 3, adopted 11/13/01); 2.02.111: The city adopted chapter 822(E) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which regulates (but does not prohibit) the possession of “dangerous wild animals.” This provision appears to have no effect on the Great Ape ban, since 822.116 specifically states that subchapter 822(E) “does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.”

Sachse 2-1, 2-25: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet or for sale, exhibition, or display purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, and performing animal exhibitions. (1988 Code)

Saginaw 6-32, 6-38: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental agencies, zoos, research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, circuses, carriers, and suppliers of non-human primates to research facilities, subject to local registration requirements and regulations.  (Ord. No. 2004-02, §§ 2, 8, 4-6-04; Ord. No. 2005-09, §§ 1, 2, 5-17-05)

San Angelo 3.100, 3.1700: It is illegal to own, possess, exhibit, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to the temporary possession of apes by certain zoos, circuses, performing animal exhibitions, governmental entities, research institutions, wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, and carriers, subject to local regulations. (Sec. 5, Ordinance adopted 9/18/07)

San Antonio 5-1, 5-16, 5-110, 5-150: It is illegal to own, keep, sell, trade, transfer, barter, give away, maintain, or act as a dealer in any transaction involving any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government owned and operated or publicly operated facilities, and certain zoos, medical institutions and research facilities. Circuses, zoos, and animal exhibitions must secure a permit to possess apes. (Ord. No. 2010-06-17-0555, § 1, 6-17-10)

San Marcos 6.071: It is illegal to keep any gorilla, orangutan, or chimpanzee within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental agencies, zoos, wildlife educational centers, animal exhibitions, animal dealers, and animal establishments. (Ord. No. 2008-62, § 3, 12-18-08); 6.072: It is illegal to sell, offer to sell, give away, or transfer ownership of any such animal. The ban does not apply to transfer of animals to certain wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife educational centers. (Ord. No. 2008-62, § 3, 12-18-08)

San Saba 2.01.001, 2.01.008: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet. It is also illegal to keep any Great Ape for sale, display, or exhibition purposes. The latter ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ordinance 2009-19, sec. 14, adopted 10/13/09)

Santa Fe 2.2: It is illegal to harbor or maintain any “wild animal” whose normal adult weight exceeds forty (40) pounds. The city council may grant exceptions to the ban for “special events.”

Savoy 90.01, 90.30: It is illegal to own, harbor, shelter, or have custody of any gorilla, orangutan, or chimpanzee within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, carriers, circuses, and motion picture production companies. (Ord. 06-12-19, passed 12-19-2006)

Schertz 14-1, 14-166, 14-167: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and veterinary hospitals. It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. No. 08-H-04, § I, 1-29-2008)

Seabrook 10-1, 10-9, 10-10: It is illegal to buy, sell, possess, keep, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain permitted zoos and performing animal exhibitions, subject to local regulations. (Code 1976, § 5-22; Code 1996, § 10-9, 10)

Seagoville 5.01.001, 5.01.010: It is illegal to keep or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, and educational institutions, subject to local regulations. (1977 Code, sec. 4-7)

Sealy 10-33, 10-47: It is illegal to possess, keep, permit, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain wildlife rehabilitators and zoos. (Ord. No. 96-06, § 24, 5-8-1996)

Seguin 14-5: It is illegal to harbor or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits.

Sherman 2.01.001, 2.01.020: It is illegal to own, harbor, shelter, or have custody of any chimpanzee, gorilla, or orangutan within the city limits. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, and certain government agencies, research facilities, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, and transporters. (1991 Code, sec. 4-17)

Shiner 2.04.001 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan within the city limits. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.

Shoreacres 6-36, 6-206: It is illegal to sell, possess, keep, permit, suffer, cause, or allow any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary hospitals, zoos, performing animal exhibitions, and circuses, subject to local permit requirements. (Ord. No. 96-07, § 14, 6-24-1996; Ord. No. 2003-28, § 13, 11-24-2003)

Silsbee 6-7: It is illegal to keep “wild animals” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to circuses, zoos, and educational facilities. (Ord. No. 03-11, § 3-9, 9-25-2003)

Slaton 2.01.001, 2.01.004 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 698 adopted 1/8/08); 2.04.009: This provision, which conflicts with the aforementioned ban, establishes a process whereby a permit may be obtained for the possession of “wild animals,” subject to local regulations, and exempts certain entities from the permit requirement. (Ordinance 674A adopted 3/14/06)

Snyder 6-146 et seq.: It is illegal to keep Great Apes as pets. A “prohibited animal” permit may be issued to certain zoos, research institutions, animal rehabilitation organizations, or temporary animal exhibitions and circuses, subject to local regulations. (Ord. No. 942, 1-16-2006)

Sonora 14-226: It is illegal to keep “wild animals” as pets. Such animals may be possessed for public exhibition, scientific, or educational purposes, subject to local permit requirements and regulations. (Code 1981, § 5-39; Ord. No. 465, § 1(5-39), 9-19-95; Ord. No. 609, § 2, 6-16-09)

South Houston 4-4: It is illegal to keep, house, cage, or exhibit any “wild animal.” The ban does not apply to certain temporary circuses and animal shows subject to local permit requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 530, §§ 1, 2, 6-15-65)

Spearman 2.02.001 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any “wild animal” whose normal mature weight exceeds forty (40) pounds. The ban does not apply to certain zoos or transient circuses and animal shows. (Ordinance 605, sec. 3-10, adopted 9/17/91)

Spring Valley Village 2.101, 2.800: It is illegal to keep or possess any "wild animal" within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain wildlife rehabilitators, subject to local regulations. (Ordinance 231, Book I, Section 1, adopted 10-23-90) 

Springtown 2.01.001, 2.01.007: It is illegal to keep any “wild animals” within the city limits.

Stephenville 90.09: Great Apes are prohibited within the city limits. The ban does not apply to AZA accredited zoos, certain research facilities, and government agencies. (`75 Code, §§ 3-138 and 3-139)  (Ord. 1997-8, passed 7-1-98; Am. Ord. 1998-24, passed 11-17-98; Am. Ord. 2005-26, passed 11-1-05)

Sugar Land 3-20: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (Ord. No. 1722, § 1, 12-16-2008)

Sunnyvale 2.101, 2.120: It is illegal to own, possess, exhibit, or harbor any Great Ape within the town limits.

Surfside Beach 8-22: It is illegal to possess or keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 93-05, § 2(5), 6-8-1993)

Sweeny 90.01, 90.11: It is illegal to keep, maintain, or harbor any “wild animal” within the city limits. (Ord. 103-87, passed 6-16-87)

Sweetwater 6-3: It is illegal to own, possess, confine, or care for Great Apes within city limits. (Ord. of 1-1-77, Art. II, § 2; Ord. No. 98-03, 1-13-98; Ord. No. 2006-5, 5-16-06)

Taylor 4-1, 4-6: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, or to certain zoos, schools, circuses, or animal exhibitions, subject to local permit requirements. (Ord. No. 2009-7, § 17, 2-12-09)

Terrell 3-10: It is illegal to harbor, keep, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 2321, Art. I, 1-2-07)

Texarkana 4-1, 4-19: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 085-09, § 1, 7-27-09)

Texas City 18-3: It is illegal to import any Great Ape. The ban does not apply to government agencies, AZA accredited zoos, and certain research facilities, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, animals in transit, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA.

The Colony 5-25 et seq.: It is illegal to own a Great Ape as a pet or to sell any such animal within the city limits. It is illegal to own, possess, or exhibit any ape; however the ban does not apply to governmental entities, or to certain individuals, zoos, research institutions, wildlife societies, animal exhibitions, circuses, and animal rehabilitation organizations, subject to local permit requirements. (Ord. No. 10-1843, § 1, 1-5-2010)

Trinidad 94.25: Great Apes are classified as “contraband” and are strictly prohibited within the city. (Ord. 2008-012, passed 11-18-2008; Ord. 2009-005, passed 2-17-2009)

Troup 2.09.001 et seq.: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, circuses, and research institutions.

Troy 2.01.001, 2.02.001, 2.02.003: It is illegal to maintain, keep, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinarians, medical and scientific research institutions, educational facilities, circuses, zoos, traveling shows, and auction barns, subject to local regulations. (Ordinance 2303-07-09-01, sec. 6-3, adopted 9/10/07)

Tyler 14-14: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, harbor, or exhibit any Great Ape in or within five thousand (5000) feet of the city. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research institutions, researchers, and animal exhibitions. (Ord. No. O-96-13, 2-21-96)  (Ord. No. 0-2004-78, 9/22/04)

Universal City 3-1-40, 3-1-104, 3-1-105: It is illegal to own, possess, or maintain any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain animal shelters, veterinary hospitals, and commercial animal breeding or sales establishments. (Ord. No. 585-A-2010, Art. XII, § 2, 2-2-10)

University Park 2.200: It is illegal to possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 94/18 adopted 4/20/94)

Uvalde 6.04.020: It is illegal to keep, maintain, possess, or control any “wild animal” (defined as “an animal of those species which, as a matter of common knowledge, are naturally ferocious, unpredictable, dangerous, mischievous, or not by custom devoted to the service of mankind) within the city limits. The ban does not apply to zoos, circuses, or menageries.

Van 4-1, 4-53: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, harbor, or possess any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, research institutions, animal exhibitions, and wildlife rehabilitators. (Ord. of 12-7-2006, § 14)

Vernon 8-1, 8-45 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, harbor, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, and research facilities. (Code 1969, § 4-22; Ord. No. 1472, § 14, 1-23-2007)

Victoria 4-1, 4-5: It is illegal to sell or keep any “wild or vicious” animal as a pet. It is illegal to keep, raise, feed, or maintain any such animal for display or exhibition purposes. The ban does not apply to zoos. (Ord. No. 92-12, § 1, 4-21-92)

Vidor 6-1 et seq.: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. A special use permit may be granted by the city council authorizing the possession of an ape. (Ord. No. 1009, § 2, 9-26-2002)

Waco 5-95: It is illegal to import, possess, keep, have control of, sell, give away, or transfer any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, and educational institutions. (Ord. No. 1999-30, § 1, 8-17-99)

Wake Village 90.61: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to circuses, zoos, and educational institutions, subject to local regulations. (Ord. 14-09, passed 10-12-2009)

Watauga 2.100: It is illegal to keep Great Apes as pets. (1977 Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3, Article 1, Section 1)

Waxahachie 6-78: It is illegal to own, possess, confine, care for, or transport any gorilla, orangutan, or chimpanzee within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain government agencies, research facilities, AZA accredited zoos, transport of such animals for veterinary treatment, veterinarians, animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitators, transient circuses, motion picture production companies, universities, suppliers of nonhuman primates to research facilities, and participants in a species survival plan of the AZA. (Ord. No. 2254, 8-2-04)

Weatherford 6-2-1, 6-1-12, 6-2-13: It is illegal to own, possess, harbor, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ord. No. 237-2007-03, § 2.105, 2-27-07)

Webster 14-1, 14-17: It is illegal to keep, possess, or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos. (Ord. No. 97-08, § 1(Exh. A), 6-17-97)

Weslaco 22-19, 22-22, 22-27: It is illegal to house, keep, feed, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain commercial animal enterprises. (Code 1969, § 6-14; Ord. No. 90-31, § 8.3 et seq., 12-18-1990)

West University Place 14-1, 14-11: It is illegal to possess or keep any Great Ape as a pet, or within 300 feet of a building used as a residence.  (Code 2003, § 5.012)

Westlake 14-33: It is illegal to own or harbor any Great Ape without securing written permission from the town manager, which is contingent upon a finding that the animal will not constitute a threat to public health or safety. (Ord. No. 347, § 4, 2-14-2000)

Westworth 2.01.001, 2.01.007: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. (Ordinance 198, sec. 8, adopted 2/11/03); 2.01.012: The city adopted section 822.101 et seq. of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which regulates (but does not prohibit) the possession of “dangerous wild animals.” This provision appears to have no effect on the aforementioned ban, since 822.116 specifically states that subchapter 822(E) “does not affect the applicability of any other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of this state or a political subdivision of this state.”

Wharton 14-208: It is illegal to keep, harbor, hold, sell, offer to sell, or transfer any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain veterinarians, accredited zoos, animal shelters or sanctuaries, medical or scientific facilities, educational institutions, carriers, and production companies. (Ord. No. 2002-7, 4-08-02)

White Oak 10-31, 10-36: It is illegal to keep any “wild animal” within the city limits. (Ord. No. 870414, § 4.16, 4-14-87)

White Settlement 8-1, 8-145 et seq.: It is illegal to possess or maintain any Great Ape within the city limits. A permit for the possession of such animals may be issued to certain zoos, research institutions or laboratories, educational researchers, animal rehabilitation organizations, schools, animal exhibitions, and circuses, subject to local regulations. (Code 2004, § 2.701; Ord. No. 2220-02, 12-17-2002)

Whitney 2.01.001, 2.06.003: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to governmental entities, or to certain zoos, animal exhibitions, circuses, and schools, subject to local permit requirements.

Wichita Falls 14-1, 14-422: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, veterinary hospitals, or medical and educational institutions. (Ord. No. 21-2009, § 1, 3-3-2009); 14-387: It is illegal to induce any ape to perform using chemical, mechanical, electrical or manual devices in a manner that will likely cause physical injury or suffering. (Ord. No. 21-2009, § 1, 3-3-2009)

Willis 90.002, 90.090: It is illegal to own, keep, harbor, or have custody of Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to the temporary possession of apes for certain purposes, subject to local registration, safety, and insurance requirements. (Ord. 07-0116A, passed 1-16-2007)

Wills Point 8-118 et seq.: It is illegal to keep, display, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. (Code 1981, § 4.30; Ord. No. 02-03)

Winnsboro 2.01.001, 2.01.008: It is illegal to import, offer for sale, keep, maintain, or harbor any Great Ape within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain scientific research institutions and circuses.

Wolfforth 2.01.001, 2.03.002: It is illegal to keep any gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan, or other “wild animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to certain governmental agencies, zoos, wildlife education centers, and animal exhibitions. Animal dealers and animal establishments may apply for permission to permanently keep the dangerous wild animals that they possessed when the ordinance was enacted. (Ordinance 379, sec. 2.01.018, adopted 8/4/08); 2.03.003: It is illegal to sell, offer to sell, give away, offer to give away, or transfer ownership of any gorilla, chimpanzee, or orangutan. (Ordinance 379, sec. 2.01.019, adopted 8/4/08)

Woodway 3-19: It is illegal to keep, maintain, harbor, or possess any “wild animal” whose normal mature weight exceeds ten (10) pounds. The ban does not apply to certain zoos, transient circuses and animal shows, veterinary treatment facilities, and temporary possession of such animals for research purposes, subject to local permit requirements and regulations. (Ord. No. 08-12, § II, 8-25-08)

Wylie 18-1, 18-8: It is illegal to keep any Great Ape as a pet or for sale, display, or exhibition purposes. (Ord. No. 87-57, § 16, 10-13-1987; Ord. No. 89-2, § 5, 1-10-1989; Code 1991, ch. 2, § 14.00; Code 1997, § 18-8)

 


 

[3] However the anti-cruelty provisions of the Penal Code do not apply to Great Apes that are subjects of scientific experimentation. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 42.092.

[5] Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 42.092; See also, discussion infra Section IV (listing 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).

[6] See generally, Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Ann. § 2.12 (listing persons that are considered “peace officers”); Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 821.021 et seq.

[7] The term “cruelly treated” means tortured, seriously overworked, unreasonably abandoned, unreasonably deprived of necessary food, care, or shelter, cruelly confined, or caused to fight with another animal. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 821.021.

[12] Id.

[14] Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0552 (Sept. 4, 2002).

[15] “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, joint stock company, foundation, or association of individuals. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.101.

[16] “Animal registration agency” means the municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where a dangerous wild animal is kept or a county sheriff in an area that does not have an animal control office. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.101; Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[17] The application generally only requires the name and address of the applicant and a complete description of each animal, though each animal registration agency may require additional disclosures. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[18] An owner of a dangerous wild animal must maintain liability insurance coverage for property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by the animal in a minimum amount of $100,000 for each occurrence. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.107.

[19] The photograph must have been taken within the 30 days prior to filing the application. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[20] The description of the location where the animal will be kept must include a statement of the dimensions of the primary enclosure and a scale diagram of the entire premises, including the location of any perimeter fencing and any residence on the premises. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[21] Dealers and exhibitors must be licensed pursuant to the Federal Animal Welfare Act. 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.

[25] The log must include the identification of the animal; the date, type and nature of each treatment; and the name of the attending veterinarian, if applicable. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.112.

[26] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.109; It is illegal to permanently relocate a dangerous wild animal without first notifying the animal registration agency in writing of the exact location to which the animal will be relocated and provides the agency with certain requisite information about the new location. Id.

[27] Notice of an attack must be given within 48 hours. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.110.

[28] An owner must immediately notify the animal registration agency of an escape and is liable for all costs associated with apprehending and confining the runaway. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.110.

[31] “Primary enclosure” means any structure used to immediately restrict an animal to a limited amount of space including a cage, pen, run, room, compartment, or hutch. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.101.

[32] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.111; 25 Tex. Admin. Code § 169.131; The Health and Safety Code refers to the State Board of Health as the agency that is charged with setting minimum standards. However, the State Department of Health and the State Board of Health were abolished in 2004 and absorbed into the Department of State Health Services. The legislation has not been amended to reflect the agency reorganization.

The following minimum caging and facility standards apply to all facilities for gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans:

SAFETY FEATURES, ENCLOSURES

All cages or primary enclosures must be equipped with a safety entrance and structural safety barriers to prevent any public contact with the animals. Primary enclosures less than one thousand (1,000) square feet must be covered at the top to prevent escape.

PERIMETER FENCE

A perimeter fence that is at least 8 feet high must be constructed around outdoor primary enclosures and exercise areas. If the fence material allows objects to be passed through, there must be a three foot buffer-zone between the outer perimeter of the animal’s territory and the fence itself.

SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS FOR CHIMPANZEES, GORILLAS, AND ORANGUTANS

Materials: Outdoor facilities must be constructed of steel bars, 2-inch galvanized pipe, masonry block, or their strength equivalent or greater. Potential escape routes of indoor facilities must be secured with steel bars, 2-inch galvanized pipe, or the equivalent.

Perches and Shelters: Primary enclosures must include both perches and shelters that will accommodate all the residents simultaneously.

Climbing Structures: Primary enclosures must have “horizontal and vertical climbing structures,” that are “appropriate” for the species.

MINIMUM PRIMARY ENCLOSURE SIZE BY SPECIES

Chimpanzees: Minimum floor space = 200 square feet for the first animal and 100 more square feet for each additional animal; Minimum height = 8 feet.

Orangutans: Minimum floor space = 200 square feet for the first animal and 200 more square feet for each additional animal; Minimum height = 10 feet.

Gorillas: Minimum floor space = 300 square feet for the first animal and 200 more square feet for each additional animal; Minimum height = 8 feet.

MANDATORY ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT ELEMENTS

Such environmental enrichment items include noninjurious devices to provide physical stimulation or manipulation compatible with the species, such as: boxes, balls, mirrors, or foraging items.

EXCEPTIONS TO MINIMUM CAGING STANDARDS: RESEARCH ANIMALS

An animal registration agency may authorize variances to the caging requirements (except for the total area of the primary enclosure), if the agency has “good cause” to do so and it will not compromise the public’s health and safety or the animal’s welfare.

 

[35] 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.; The USDA does not “license” research facilities at all. Rather, the agency “registers” such facilities. Technically, there are no “licensed” research facilities in the state, and all facilities that are operating without a “license” are NOT exempt from the state’s registration program, possession requirements, and standards of care.

[36] This exception applies to non-resident transient circuses as long as the dangerous wild animal in question is an integral part of the circus performance, and the animal resides in Texas only during the time the circus is performing in Texas or for no more than 30 days if the circus is performing outside of the United States. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.102.

[38] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.113; Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.23.

[39] Id.

[41] Applicable costs include reasonable costs of investigation, attorney’s fees, and expert witness fees. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.114.

[42] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.115; See also, Brief of Amicus Curiae, Tuma v. Kerr County Texas, No. 4-10-00478-CV (Tex. App. Oct. 7, 2010). “Threatened with harm” is a state of mind by which the person perceives a threat. The only test applicable under the statute for the trial court to undertake is whether the plaintiff is a member of the community that could be threatened with harm by violations of the “dangerous wild animal” laws. The violation creates the threat. Any citizen of the county in which there are violations of the DWA, is “threatened with harm.” Id.; But see, Tuma v. Kerr County, No. 04-10-00478-CV, slip op. at 3 (Tex. App. Nov. 29, 2010) (Citizen plaintiff does not have standing under the DWA because she lives ten miles from the facility with “dangerous wild animals” and so is not “directly threatened with harm.”).

[43] The discharge of a firearm in a public place or on or across a public road is a Class B or C misdemeanor, respectively. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 42.01; Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.22; Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 12.23.

[46] The Department of Health and the State Board of Health were abolished in 2004 and absorbed into the Department of State Health Services. The legislation has not been amended to reflect the agency reorganization.

[48] “Circus” means a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for public entertainment. Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 2152.001.

[49] “Carnival” means a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for public entertainment. Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 2152.001.

[50] “Zoo” means any mobile or stationary premises where living animals that normally live in a wild state are kept primarily for display to the public. Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 2152.001.

[51] Tex. S. Comm. on Health Services, Bill Analysis, 1981 Reg. Sess., SB 476; Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 2152.052.

[52] Tex. S. Comm. on Health Services, Bill Analysis, 1981 Reg. Sess., SB 476.

[53] “Person” means an individual, association, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, joint-stock company, foundation, or political subdivision. Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 2152.001.

[61] Tex. S. Comm. on Health Services, Bill Analysis, 1981 Reg. Sess., SB 476.

[62] E-mail from Pamela J. Wilson, RVT, Med, CHES, Zoonosis Control Branch, Department of State Health Services to the author (Oct. 4, 2010) (on file with the author). 

[64] Tex. Agric. Code Ann. § 167.026.

[65] E-mail from Gene Snelson, General Counsel, Texas Animal Health Commission (Jan. 14, 2011) (on file with the author).

[66] Id.

[67] “Animal registration agency” means the municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where a dangerous wild animal is kept or a county sheriff in an area that does not have an animal control office. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.101; Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[69] “Animal registration agency” means the municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where a dangerous wild animal is kept or a county sheriff in an area that does not have an animal control office. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.101; Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[74] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 821.004. “The knowledge and acts of an agent or employee of a corporation in regard to an animal transported, owned, or used by or in the custody of the corporation are the knowledge and acts of the corporation.” Id.

[77] “Animal registration agency” means the municipal or county animal control office with authority over the area where a dangerous wild animal is kept or a county sheriff in an area that does not have an animal control office. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.101; Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.103.

[82] Counties, municipalities, and agencies of the state are exempt from the provisions regulating “dangerous wild animals,” so zoos and other facilities that are owned and maintained by those governing bodies are exempt as well. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.102.

[84] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.102. Gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans that are owned by and in the custody and control of a transient circus company that is not based in this state are exempt if: (A) the animal is used as an integral part of the circus performances; and (B) the animal is kept within this state only during the time the circus is performing in this state or for a period not to exceed 30 days while the circus is performing outside the United States. Id.

[90] E-mail from Pamela J. Wilson, RVT, Med, CHES, Zoonosis Control Branch, Department of State Health Services to the author (Oct. 4, 2010) (on file with the author). 

[95] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 823.001.

[96] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 823.003.

[97] Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 822.102; See, e.g., Brief of Amicus Curiae, Tuma v. Kerr County Texas, No. 4-10-00478-CV (Tex. App. Oct. 7, 2010) (discussing the effect of “animal shelter” status on a facility’s obligations under the DWA).

[102] 2010 Tex. Reg. 239214 (Oct. 22 2010).

 

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