Laws and Regulations Regarding Primates Kept as Pets

Many states have outlawed owning a primate, this will probably increase in time. Check with your state, county, city, and communities to find if owning an exotic pet is legal. Home Owners Associations may also prohibit them. Primate ownership can be regulated by any level of government. Should you decide to still obtain a monkey in a state that does not allow it, you will find yourself with a broken heart when they come and have the monkey removed from your home. ALWAYS FOLLOW STATE AND COUNTY REGULATIONS!!!

The best way to be sure is to ask for the enforcement officer of the Division of Wildlife, or Fish and Game Department for your state (each state has a slightly different name but all do the same thing), and ask them where you can find your state's ANIMAL ORDINANCE. I would not mention that you want a monkey. Simply ask to see the ordinance. If the state does not prohibit them, then move to your county and ask the animal control officer the same question. If you mention a monkey they may tell you they are illegal or give you the run around even though there is no law. Get it in writing either for or against ownership. You can ask for the list of prohibited species and see if all primates are banned, just apes, or none at all. ZONING LAWS, such as commercial or residential classification, may also put a hamper on your ability to own a monkey. Although a certain city may not ban monkeys as a whole, they may regulate where in the city you can house them. For example it needs to be a rural location zoned for agriculture, and "wild animals" are illegal in commercial/residential areas.

If they are illegal as pets then you can't get a permit to have one. I have been asked if there is a way around a ban. Possible in some areas, but not recommended. You would have to apply for an exhibitor/breeder license from the USDA for zoological/educational purposes, BUT you would have to meet all USDA standards. This would include meeting experience requirements, allowing unannounced visits to your property for inspections, getting expensive insurance, and "working" your animals (taking them to schools for educational shows, etc). Depending on what state you live in and what USDA officer is in charge in your area, you may not even be able to get a permit unless you are ACTUALLY exhibiting (proof of shows, advertising materials, etc.) Not easy to get, especially someone with no prior primate experience, AKA they know it is just a pet. So you can pretty much rule that option out, and move to another city/state where they are legal. Depending on the permit/permits required. You may need to apply with your state's Division of Wildlife AND your county may also require a permit or registering with them. Each state, city, & county has different laws, so you will have to do the research on levels.

Below is the contact information for each state’s Wildlife department. It is YOUR responsibility to contact them and find out what the legal requirements are in your state. Laws are constantly changing so please call even though my web site says they are legal. If it says there is No Regulation you MUST still contact your county to check local legality. This was the last updated April 2008. It is impossible for me to stay informed as to new laws especially in each county etc. If you become aware of additional legislation, or know the specifics of your state I would appreciate an email with the information and sources so that I may update this page. Thank you.
NOTE: When traveling with a primate a Health Certificate is required for entry in all states, as well as a travel/entry permit.

(Laws for other Countries is after the US State by State laws)

No regulation
Division of Fish and Game
Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (334) 243-3465
Wildlife and Freshwater Fish Wildlife Section (334)242-3469
Dept. of Agricultural (USDA)
Animal Industries (334) 240-7255
Animal Care (334) 396-9808

Dept. of Fish and Game (907)465-4190 or 465-4100

State Permit for Great Apes only (require being bonded)
Game and Fish Dept. (602) 942-3000 or 942-4006

No Regulation
Dept. of Fish and Game (501) 223-6300 or 223-6359

BANNED- Restricted Species Requirements
Dept. of Fish and Game (916)653-6420

Division of Wildlife (303)297-1192 or 291-7440

State Permit System- Proposed ban likely to pass for great apes, large primates, and other exotics.
Dept. of Environmental Protection (806)424-3011

State Permit System
Division of Fish and Wildlife (302)739-5295 or 739-5297

State Permit System-Great Apes and baboons banned as personal pets. Permits required for all others in Class II and Class III.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (904)488-3641 or 488-6253
Main FWC Page click on licenses/permits then Wildlife Dealers, Importers, Owners & Exhibitors
Main Permits Page
Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife (Rule: 68A-6.004) You must click on the word icon to open regulations. (If someone does not have Word send me an email and I will send in PDF or other format.)
Class III permit Application For squirrel monkeys, marmosets, tamarins, capuchins, spider, and woolly monkeys
Husbandry Form
Captive Wildlife Critical Incident-Disaster Plan

The state of FL has one of the most comprehensive laws in the country. Class III animals require that the applicant be 16 years old, a husbandry form, a permit application, a contingency plan form, and structural caging requirements be met. Class III animals include Squirrel Monkeys, Marmosets, and Tamarins. Capuchins, wooly, and spider monkeys are Class III animals, BUT require the regulations of class II animals be followed except land, perimeter fence, and buffer zone requirements.
Class II animals require:
-Applicant must be at least 18 years old - 1,000 hours of documented experience listing the date, time, place, species, and type of experience gained during that time. (Up to 500 hours may be substituted by zoology courses. If the applicant is unable to document experience, as an alternative, the applicant may take a two-part written examination. The successful completion of a written examination for the particular species or family administered by the Division of Law Enforcement, together with the documentation of not less than 100 hours of substantial practical experience may substitute for the 900 hours.)
- 2 letters of recommendation from persons knowing you have said experience (1 being licensed).
- Permit Application
- Husbandry form
- Disaster/contingency plan form
-Land: The facility shall not be constructed on less than two and one-half contiguous acres of property owned or leased by the applicant. -Perimeter Fence: The cages of the facility shall be bounded by a fence not less than 8 feet in height, constructed of not less than 11 ˝ gauge chain link or strength equivalent, or as an alternative, a fence of not less than six feet in height, with a two foot, 45 degree inward angle overhang. The inward angle fencing and vertical fencing shall be constructed of 11 ˝ gauge chain link or strength equivalent. This fencing is to prevent the escape from the property of any wildlife that may escape from primary caging. - Meet all structural caging requirements for each species, as well as any other specifications such as nest boxes, and enrichment items.
-Buffer one: The facility shall contain a “buffer zone” of not less than 35 feet between the caged wildlife and the facility property line.
NOTE: Florida is unique in that ONLY Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission can ban/regulate exotics and other wildlife in the state. No county in Florida can ban private possession of wild/exotic animals. FWC has sole jurisdiction. They can only regulate their enclosures. All enclosures housing animals must meet the city's/county's building codes.

BANNED- The DNR does offer a Wild Animal License that is for retail or wholesale wild animal business (dealers) and for exhibition to the public. That license requires a USDA license.
Dept. of Natural Resources
Game and Fish Division (404)656-0778 or 656-35-3523

BANNED (Require being bonded)
Land and Natural Resources (808)587-0377 or 5448-2681

No Regulation
Fish and Game Dept.(208) 334-3736 or 327-7025

No Regulation
Dept. of Conservation (217)782-7305 or 782-2965

State permit for Great Apes only
Division of Fish and Wildlife (317)232-4080 or 232-4040

Dept. of National Resources (515)281-4508 or 281-5638

No Regulation
Dept. of Wildlife and Parks (316)671-5911

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources (502)564-4224 or 564-3176

Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries (504)765-2800 or 765-2821

State Permit System
Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (207)287-2571 or 289-3651

Dept. of Natural Resources (410)260-8540

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (617)727-3151

No Regulation
Dept. of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division (517)373-1263

Dept. of Natural Resources (612)296-4507 or 296-3344

Exotics Animals Require Registration with County- Pending State Permit legislation proposed.
(Illegal in St. Louis, Kansas City, Branson) Chapter 578, Miscellaneous Offenses, Section 578.023

State Permit for Great Apes, Baboons, & Macaques Only
Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (601)364-2214 or 364-2022

Regulated- not certain if ban or permit system
Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (406)444-2950 ot 444-2535

No Regulation
Game and Parks Commission (402)471-5462 or 464-0641

No Regulation
Dept. of Wildlife (702)688-1500 or 688-1549

New Hampshire
Require permit for out of state persons passing through to other state.
Fish and Game Dept. (603)271-3421 or 271-2461

New Jersey
Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife (609)984-0839 or 292-6685

New Mexico
Dept. of Game and Fish (505)827-7934

New York
BANNED- Grandfathered animals must be registered
Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish and Wildlife (518)457-3400 or 439-7635

North Carolina
No Regulation- Various counties have bans
Wildlife Resources Commission (919)62-4370 or 733-7291

North Dakota
State Permit System
Game and Fish Dept. (701)221-6335

No regulation- Pending state permit system proposed
Dept. of Natural Resources (614)265-6300 or 265-7027

State Permit System
Dept. of Wildlife Conservation (405)521-3851 or 521-2739 (Info given to me by owner in state: Call Oklahoma City Wildlife Conservation Department, and ask for the "Law Enforcement Division." Ask for an application for a "Commercial Wildlife Permit." Fill it out and have game warden come to inspect the property, sign the application, and then you send it back with the fee. You will recieve a card which must be renewed each July. Your Game Warden will inspect each year as well. )

State Permit System For Grandfathered animals. Effective January 1, 2010 all Wild animals are banned. Permits may be given up to Jan 1, 2011 on special case basis. Animals can not be replaced.
Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (541)872-5260

State Permit System
Game Commission (717)782-4250 or 7875740

Rhode Island
State Permit System
Division of Fish and Wildlife (401)277-3576 or 789-3094

South Carolina
No Regulation
Wildlife and Marine Resources Division (803)734-3833 or 734-3888

South Dakota
No Regulation
Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks (605)773-3485 or 773-3381

Wildlife Resources Agency (615)781-6585 or 781-6610

State Permit for Great Apes, and Baboons Only- Many counties have bans on exotics.
Parks and Wildlife Dept. (512)389-4419 or 389-4822

Banned as per law (R657-3)
Main DEFRA page on Dangerous Wild Animal Act of 1976
Schedule of "Dangerous Wild Animals" which Require a Permit
Licenses will be given by local authorities. Where the local authority grant a licence it shall impose conditions on the licence covering issues such as:
-a requirement that the animal be kept only by a person or persons named on the license;
-restrictions on the movement of the animal from the premises as specified on the licence; and
-a requirement that the license holder has a current insurance policy which ensures both license holders and others against any liability caused by the animal.

Animal Welfare Act 2006 Owners of Animals must FOllow the regulations set forth in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Animal Welfare Act 2006 Main page