Release Date: 04/06/2006


The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a resolution to add non-human primates to the list of potentially dangerous wild quadrupeds at their April 6 meeting.

The resolution addresses concerns of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) that possession of certain potentially dangerous primate pose hazards to public safety and health.  Size and strength of non-human primates coupled with their unpredictable, predatory nature could result in severe injury or death in the event of attack on humans.  Additionally, there is no approved rabies vaccine for non-human primates. 

The approved 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.

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.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 225-765-2835 or mdavidson@wlf.louisiana.gov.