Animal Legal and Historical Center
Great Apes and the Law: A complete resource for the legal status of the Great Apes within the United States
Michigan State University College of Law

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California Great Ape Laws

Statute Name Citation Summary
CA - Abandonment - 597f. Failure to care for animals; duty of peace or humane officers; disposal of abandoned, sick or disabled animals; notice to owner; lien; injured cats and dogs in public places   CA PENAL 597f   Every owner of any animal, who permits the animal to be without proper care and attention, shall, on conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. It shall be the duty of any peace officer, officer of the humane society, or officer of a pound or animal regulation department of a public agency, to take possession of the animal so abandoned or neglected and care for the animal until it is redeemed by the owner. Every sick, disabled, infirm, or crippled animal, except a dog or cat, may, if after due search no owner can be found therefor, be killed by the officer. all injured cats and dogs found without their owners in a public place directly to a veterinarian known by the officer or agency to be a veterinarian that ordinarily treats dogs and cats for a determination of whether the animal shall be immediately and humanely destroyed or shall be hospitalized under proper care and given emergency treatment.
 
CA - Animal Defined - 599b. Words and phrases; imputation of knowledge to corporation   CA PENAL 599b   This statute defines words, such as "animal," as they are used in Title 14, the Malicious Mischief section, of the California Penal Code.  Title 14 is where all of the California Penal Code sections pertaining to animal cruelty are found.  
CA - Circus - 25989.1. Notice to animal control services agency of performances to be conducted   CA HLTH & S 25989.1   This California section provides that any traveling circus or carnival must notify entity that provides animal control services for a city, county, or city and county in which the traveling circus or carnival intends to perform of its intent to perform within that jurisdiction at least 14 days prior to the first performance in that city, county, or city and county. Violation results in a fine of $500 - 2,000 for a first violation, and $1,500 - 5,000 for any subsequent violation.  
CA - Crimes - 597. Cruelty to animals   CA PENAL 597  

This statutes states that anyone who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($ 20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.  The statute also defines specific forms of torture and mistreatment that qualifies as a crime under this section.

 
CA - Crimes, warrants - 599a. Violations involving animals or birds; procedure for issuing warrant; authority of officer; attempts   CA PENAL 599a   If a complainant believes that any provision of law relating to, or in any way affecting, dumb animals or birds, is being, or is about to be violated in any particular building or place, a magistrate may issue and deliver immediately a warrant directed to law enforcement, authorizing him to enter and search that building or place, and to arrest any person there present violating, or attempting to violate, any law relating to, or in any way affecting, dumb animals or birds.  
CA - Cruelty - Part 9. Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals.   CA CORP 10400 - 10406   This set of statutes outlines the rights and responsibilities of corporations that are formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  
CA - Cruelty, exemptions - 599c. Construction of title; game laws; destruction of dangerous animals or reptiles; killing for food; authorized scientific experiments or investigations   CA PENAL 599c   This statute makes it clear that the title is not meant to interfere with “game laws” or the right to destroy venomous reptiles or other dangerous animal. Neither is there an intent to interfere with laws regarding the destruction of certain birds, interfere with the right to kill animals used for food or with scientific experiments.  
CA - Enforcement - Chapter 5. Arrest, by Whom and How Made.   CA PENAL 837, 847   This set of provisions authorizes private citizens to make arrests and explains when and how citizen arrests may be made.  
CA - Entertainment - Title 4. Motion Pictures (use of animals)   CA CIVIL 3504 - 3508.2   This section of laws provides that it is a nuisance to exhibit a motion picture that depicts any intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal where such intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal actually occurred in the production of the motion picture for the purpose of such production created after January 1, 1979. An action may be brought to abate and prevent the nuisance by the relevant county's district attorney or the California Attorney General. Any violation or disobedience of an injunction or order expressly provided for by this title is punishable as a contempt of court by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).  
CA - Fish & Game - Chapter 6.5. Control of Illegally Taken Fish and Wildlife   CA FISH & G 2580 - 2589   This set of laws outlines various violations involving the possession and movement of illegally obtained animals and imposes liability for those activities.  
CA - Fish & Game - Chapter 1. General Definitions   CA FISH & G 1 - 89.1   This chapter includes the general definitions for the Fish and Game Code.  
CA - Importation - Chapter 2. Of Other and Miscellaneous Offenses (653o - 653r)   CA PENAL 653o - 653r   These California laws relate to the importation of certain animals parts for commercial purposes. Under the law, it is unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any polar bear, leopard, ocelot, tiger, cheetah, jaguar, sable antelope, wolf (Canis lupus), zebra, whale, cobra, python, sea turtle, colobus monkey, kangaroo, vicuna, sea otter, free-roaming feral horse, dolphin or porpoise (Delphinidae), Spanish lynx, or elephant. Starting in 2015, it shall be unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any crocodile or alligator. Section 653p makes it unlawful to posses with the intent to sell any part or dead body of any species on the federal endangered species list or species covered under the MMPA. Section 653q makes it illegal to import for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any seal.  
CA - Importation - Chapter 3. Importation of Wild Animals.   CA HLTH & S 121775 - 121870   This California set of law relates to the importation of "wild animals" (defined as any animal of the class Aves (birds) or class Mammalia (mammals) that either is not normally domesticated in this state or not native to this state). The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor. The department may issue a permit to import a wild animal provided that a determination is made that public health or safety will not be endangered.  
CA - Impound - 597t. Confined animals   CA PENAL 597t   This statute requires an animal kept in an enclosed area be provided with an adequate exercise area.  It also states that if the animal is restricted by a leash, rope, or chain, the leash, rope, or chain shall be affixed in such a manner that it will prevent the animal from becoming entangled or injured and permit the animal's access to adequate shelter, food, and water.  
CA - Research Animals - Chapter 5. Regulation of Use of Animals in Diagnostic Procedures and Medical Research   CA HLTH & S 1650 - 1677   This section regulates the use of animals in medical research. The California Department of Health Services is directed to make rules and regulations providing for satisfactory shelter, food, sanitation, record keeping, and for the humane treatment of animals by persons authorized by the board to raise, keep or to use animals medical research. The department is also authorized to inspect any premises where animals used for the purposes of this section are kept. Violations constitute a misdemeanor.
 
CA - Wild Animal - Chapter 2. Importation, Transportation, and Sheltering of Restricted Live Wild Animals.   CA FISH & G 2116 - 2203  

The California Legislature adopted this act based on a findings that wild animals are captured for importation and resold in California and that some populations of wild animals are being depleted, that many animals die in captivity or transit, and that some keepers of wild animals lack sufficient knowledge or facilities for the proper care of wild animals.  It was the intention of the Legislature to regulate the importation, transportation, and possession of wild animals to protect the native wildlife and agricultural interests against damage from the existence at large of certain wild animals, and to protect the public health and safety in this state.  The act defines "wild animal" and classifies them by species.  Among other things, the act also includes inspection and permit provisions that govern the treatment of wild animals and the actions that may be taken where they are concerned.

 

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