Primate Rescue Center

AZ Bans Individuals from Possessing Primates as Pets

Erika Fleury December 04, 2015

Arizona has passed a new regulation that bans people from having primates as pets, and it took effect on December 5, 2015.

The state Game and Fish Commission approved the policy, which makes future ownership of primates such as furry baboons, macaque monkeys, and capuchin monkeys illegal.The Governor's Regulatory Review Council recently approved the measure.

"Primates are highly social and intelligent animals, and private citizens are ill-equipped to provide for them sufficiently," Kellye Pinkleton, Arizona state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said. "These animals belong in the wild and in accredited zoos, not someone's backyard or basement."

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, individuals who currently own primates are "grandfathered" in, which means they can continue to possess the animals under rule R12-4-425 (Restricted Live Wildlife Lawfully Possessed without License of Permit Before the Effective Date of Article 4 or Any Subsequent Amendments). However, they must tell the department the number of primates and species they possess, the purpose of the possession, and describe how the primate is uniquely and permanently marked for identification purposes. Owners must do all of that within 30 calendar days.

The rule does not affect research institutions, or people that have a special license, the department said.

Arizona is the 27th state to prohibit the private possession of dangerous primates.

- Tucson News Now

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