The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a notice of intent to add non-human primates to the list of potentially dangerous wild quadrupeds and non-human primates at their Dec. 8 meeting.
Possession of certain potentially dangerous primates poses hazards to public safety and health and maybe detrimental to the welfare of the animals.
The size and strength of non-human primates coupled with their unpredictable, predatory nature could result in severe injury or death when an attack on humans occurs. There is also no approved rabies vaccine for non-human primates.
The proposed rules would make it illegal to possess, purchase, sell or import non-human primates within Louisiana.
Some exemptions to these rules include zoos accredited by the American Zoological Association (AZA), research facilities as defined in the Animal Welfare Act including but not limited to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Primate Center, Tulane National Primate Research Center and Chimp Haven Inc. located in Shreveport, and any person transporting a non-human primate through Louisiana if the transit time is less than 24 hours and the animal is kept in confinement at all times.
Animal sanctuaries accredited by AZA can apply for an exemption from LDWF. Permitted sanctuaries are prohibited from breeding or selling non-human primates. The permit period will be one year and must be renewed annually.
By applying for and receiving a permit from LDWF, disabled people who use trained non-human primates can have one monkey and people that legally possessed non-human primates prior to rule ratification may continue to keep those animals.
Permit holders are required to keep their non-human primates in such a manner as to prevent public contact and must report any escapes within 24 hours to LDWF. They are also prohibited from transporting their animals to any public places that includes among other places schools, malls and hospitals.
Any public comment on this issue can be submitted to Philip Bowman, Fur and Refuge Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, prior to Feb. 2, 2006.
EDITORS: For more information, contact Philip Bowman at 225-765-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.