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Detailed Discussion of Colorado Great Ape Laws



Hanna Coate


Animal Legal & Historical Center
Publish Date:
2011
Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law

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I. Regulation of Great Apes in Colorado

Since 1994, Colorado’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA) has banned the import, possession, sale, and transfer of apes. However, the ban is somewhat limited and there is little state-level regulation of apes beyond that. Generally, it is illegal to import, possess, or sell apes for use as pets; but federally licensed exhibitors (like circuses, zoos, animal acts, and some wildlife sanctuaries), scientific research facilities, and disabled people can freely import, possess, buy, and sell those animals. PACFA does not regulate the possession, use, or treatment of apes by those exempt individuals and facilities. Furthermore, although the Colorado Department of Natural Resources licenses individuals and facilities that possess wild or exotic animals and regulates the housing and care of those animals, the agency does not apply the state’s licensure requirements or regulations to apes. Colorado’s anti-cruelty laws protect some apes – including those that are possessed by private individuals and research facilities -from abuse and neglect, but they do not protect apes that are possessed by federally licensed exhibitors.

Political subdivisions of the state, including counties, cities, and towns also regulate the possession or use of apes within their geographical boundaries. Because of the large gaps in the state-level laws relating to apes, many cities and counties in Colorado have enacted stricter local laws governing the possession and use of those animals. Typically, local ordinances either: (1) ban the possession of apes for certain purposes, or entirely; (2) regulate activities involving apes; or (3) set minimum standards for the care and treatment of apes.

The various sources of law governing the import, possession, use and treatment of Great Apes are not uniformly applicable to all apes within the state. Instead, each statute and regulation must be analyzed according to the particular purpose for which an ape is possessed. The following discussion begins with a general overview of the various state statutes and regulations affecting Great Apes. It then analyzes the applicability of those laws to the possession and use of apes for specific purposes, including their possession as pets, for scientific research, for commercial purposes, and in sanctuaries. The discussion concludes with a compilation of local ordinances which govern the possession and use of apes within geographic subdivisions of the state.

 

II. Sources of State Laws

There are two types of state-level laws that govern the import, possession, use, and treatment of apes: (1) statutes, and (2) regulations. Statutes are laws that are enacted by the state legislature and regulations are laws that are enacted by state agencies. Without an express delegation of power from the state legislature, agencies have no authority to issue and enforce regulations. This delegation of power comes from a statute that directs an agency to accomplish a general goal, like regulating the importation of apes to prevent the spread of infectious diseases or setting minimum standards of care for captive apes. Once an agency is directed to accomplish a general goal, it has the authority to establish and enforce regulations that are consistent with that goal. On the other hand, some state statutes are self-implementing, which means they are complete and in effect without the need for regulations and enforcement by administrative agencies. Those statutes, which are in Section A below, directly regulate the conduct of the citizenry rather than directing an agency to do so. Section B identifies the state agencies that have been authorized by the state legislature to regulate certain aspects of the importation, possession, or use of apes, and discusses the regulations that those agencies have enacted that affect apes.

 

A. State Statutes

There are two types of laws affecting apes in Colorado: one applies to the possession of those animals and the others cover their treatment. Both are quite limited in their application and leave most activities involving apes unregulated under state law. The Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act makes it illegal to keep apes as pets but allows exhibitors, research facilities, and disabled people to acquire, possess, and sell those animals without restriction. The state’s anti-cruelty laws protect some apes from abuse and neglect but they do not apply to exhibitors, so most apes are not protected under those laws.

 

i. Great Ape Ban

Under the state’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA),[1] it is illegal for any person or entity to import, possess, sell, barter, exchange, or otherwise transfer any Great Ape.[2] This ban does not apply to exhibitors that are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or to scientific research facilities that are registered with the USDA under the Federal Animal Welfare Act.[3] Also, anyone who possessed a pet ape on or before July 1, 1973 may retain possession of that ape for the remainder of the animal’s life.[4] Finally, Colorado allows disabled individuals to keep nonhuman primates, including apes, that are trained assistance animals.[5]

The state’s Department of Agriculture (CDA) enforces the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act.[6] For more information on the agency’s enforcement of the Act, see Section II(B)(ii), below.

 

ii. Anti-Cruelty Statutes

Colorado has two sets of anti-cruelty laws. The first set of laws is found within the state’s Criminal Code and makes it a crime to knowingly, recklessly, or negligently mistreat[7] or neglect[8] an ape. Generally,[9] it is illegal to “unnecessarily” or “cruelly” beat, “needlessly” mutilate or kill, or torture an ape, or to house the animal in a manner causing serious physical harm. Also, it is illegal to transport apes in a cruel or reckless manner and anyone keeping those animals must provide “proper” food, water, and protection from the elements.[10] It is important to note that these laws do not apply to any U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed facilities (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act).[11] This means that all USDA licensed circuses, zoos, wild animal parks, carnivals, road-side attractions, traveling shows, and other exhibitors cannot be convicted for animal cruelty under state law. There is no similar exemption for scientific research facilities.

The anti-cruelty laws in the Criminal Code may be enforced by state and local law enforcement agents and Colorado Department of Agriculture personnel.[12] Any law enforcement agent with probable cause to believe that an ape has been abused or neglected may confiscate the animal.[13] When an ape is impounded, the animal’s owner must post a bond with the court to cover the costs of caring for the animal.[14] If the owner fails to do so, the impounding agency may sell, relocate, or euthanize the ape.[15] A violation of these anti-cruelty laws is either a class 1 misdemeanor or class 6 felony, depending on the offender’s past history of similar violations. Convictions may result in fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of the animal victims, court-ordered anger management therapy,[16] liability for the costs of prosecution and caring for seized animals, or any combination thereof.[17]

The second set of anti-cruelty laws are found within the state’s Animal Protection Act (APA),[18] and are primarily aimed at facilitating the timely confiscation of abandoned, abused, or neglected apes (and other animals). The APA makes it illegal to confine an ape (or any other animal) without adequate food and water or to mistreat or neglect those animals so as to endanger their lives or health.[19] As with the other anti-cruelty laws discussed above, the APA does not apply to any U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed facilities (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act), including circuses, zoos, wild animal parks, carnivals, road-side attractions, traveling shows, and other exhibitors.[20]

If an ape is confined without adequate food or water, any state or local law enforcement officer (within his or her jurisdiction), licensed veterinarian, or Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Bureau of Animal Protection agent may enter private property (residences require a search warrant or court order) to give the animal food and water.[21] After that, if the ape is not cared for by anyone except the agent, officer, or veterinarian within 72 hours, the animal is considered abandoned. [22] Apes that have been abandoned and those whose lives are endangered due to mistreatment or neglect may be confiscated by CDA agents;[23] no court order is necessary. Following the impoundment, there is a court hearing to determine whether the ape’s owner is “able to adequately provide for the animal and is a fit person to own the animal.”[24] If the court finds in favor of the owner, the ape will be returned and the owner must reimburse CDA for all costs associated with caring for the animal. If the court finds that an ape’s owner is unfit to care for the animal, then the court will also order CDA to sell, relocate, or euthanize the ape.[25] Aside from making an owner liable for the costs of caring for impounded animals, the APA does not include civil or criminal penalties for the abandonment, abuse, or neglect of apes.

 

B. State Agencies and Regulations

In Colorado, there are four state agencies that are responsible for regulating the importation, possession, use, or treatment of apes within the state. The Colorado Wildlife Commission and the Department of Natural Resources jointly regulate the possession of wild and exotic animals within the state. However, as discussed below, apes are not regulated by those agencies in the same manner as other wild or exotic animals. The Colorado Department of Agriculture enforces the state’s pet ape ban and regulates the importation of apes for lawful purposes. Finally, the Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible for ensuring that pet apes within the state do not carry or transmit dangerous diseases.

 

i. Colorado Wildlife Commission and Colorado Department of Natural Resources

The Colorado Wildlife Commission (CWC) and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (DNR) are jointly responsible for regulating all captive and free wildlife[26] in the state, including Great Apes.[27] Basically, CWC develops rules governing the possession, sale, transfer, and importation of wildlife and DNR enforces those rules and administers the state’s licensing and permit program.[28] Great Apes are classified as “prohibited species”[29] and under CWC regulations, it is illegal to import, possess, transport, sell, or trade any species of ape.[30]  This prohibition does not apply to: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed exhibitors or registered research facilities;[31] individuals who possessed pet apes on or before July 1, 1973;[32]  and disabled individuals with trained assistance apes.[33]

Under state law, it is illegal to import any live wildlife[34] without an import permit and a health certificate.[35] According to CWC regulations, an import permit must be obtained from both DNR and the Department of Agriculture.[36] Also, all imported wildlife must be accompanied by a “preapproved” health certificate which certifies that the animals were examined by a veterinarian and are disease-free.[37]

DNR issues several different licenses authorizing the possession of exotic and wild animals for various purposes.[38] Certain entities are exempt from the state’s licensure requirement, including: governmental agencies; zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA); and individual animals used in U.S. Department of Agriculture licensed carnivals and animal acts.[39] According to CWC regulations, all other individuals and facilities must obtain one of the following licenses from DNR in order to possess wild or exotic animals within Colorado:

a. Zoological Park License (Commercial Wildlife Park License): This license is issued to qualified[40] privately-owned facilities (other than AZA-accredited zoos) that exhibit wild or exotic animals.[41]

b. Wildlife Exhibitors Park License (Commercial Wildlife Park License): This license is issued to qualified[42] individuals or facilities that possess wild or exotic animals for educational or promotional activities.[43] All facilities licensed after January 1, 2006 must be AZA-accredited in order to obtain a Wildlife Exhibitors Park license.

c. Non-commercial Wildlife Park License: This license authorizes individuals who possessed exotic pets prior to January 1, 1983 to retain possession of those animals for the remainder of the animals’ lives.[44]

d. Wildlife Sanctuary License: This license is issued to qualified non-profit entities[45] that provide lifetime care for unwanted wild or exotic animals and do not breed,[46] sell, trade, or barter the animals or use them for entertainment purposes.[47] Facilities licensed after January 1, 2001 must be certified by the AZA as a “related facility”[48] in order to qualify for, and retain, a Wildlife Sanctuary license.[49]

e. Scientific Collecting License: This license authorizes the importation or possession of wild/exotic animals for “bona fide scientific research.”[50]

Each license includes certain conditions and restrictions as may be necessary to minimize the danger to humans, domestic livestock, or property.[51] All licensees must also comply with CWC regulations governing the identification,[52] acquisition, and sale (or other transfers) of animals;[53] recordkeeping[54] and reporting requirements;[55] and the construction and maintenance of animal facilities.[56]

While Colorado’s wildlife laws  and CWC regulations suggest that apes are covered under the licensing requirements, one DNR Division of Wildlife official explained that because USDA-licensed exhibitors and registered research facilities, grandfathered pet ape owners, and disabled individuals are exempt from the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act’s ban on the possession of apes, the agency has determined that they are also exempt from DNR’s licensure requirements (if they have only apes, otherwise, they must still become licensed to exhibit or possess other wild/exotic animals).[57] Also, according to that official, individuals and facilities that possess only apes are exempt from all of CWC’s regulations (discussed above) governing the importation, possession, sale, and trade of live nonnative and exotic wildlife in Colorado.[58] As a result, the importation, possession, transportation, and sale of apes by USDA-licensed exhibitors, USDA-registered research facilities, grandfathered pet ape owners, and disabled individuals are all unregulated by DNR.

 

ii. Colorado Department of Agriculture

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is responsible for administering and enforcing the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA) (discussed in Section II(A)(i), above) which generally outlaws the possession of all species of apes in Colorado.[59] Research facilities and U.S. Department of Agriculture licensed exhibitors are exempt from the ape ban, as are disabled individuals (with trained assistance apes) and pet owners who possessed their apes prior to July 3, 1973.[60]

CDA’s Division of Animal Industry regulates the importation of apes in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources. All apes that are imported into Colorado must be accompanied by an import permit issued by the Division of Animal Industry and a certificate of veterinary inspection which certifies that the apes have been examined by a veterinarian and are free from signs of infectious diseases.[61] Apes entering the state without a valid health certificate or permit may be held in quarantine and tested or denied entry into the state. Any person who fails to comply with CDA’s import rules may be assessed a civil fine of up to $1,000 dollars per violation.[62] Any pet shop, breeder, or animal dealer that imports, possesses, sells, or transfers an ape may have their license to operate suspended or revoked.[63] In addition, any person who possesses an ape in violation of PACFA may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $1,000 dollars per violation.[64]

 

iii. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) regulates pet animal facilities (such as pet stores, animal shelters, breeders, etc.) to minimize the public health risks posed by those facilities. Because it is illegal to sell apes as pets in Colorado, the role of CDPHE in regulating apes is limited. The agency does, however, have the authority to inspect any pet ape in Colorado that may be infected with a potentially dangerous disease and to require the euthanasia of infected pet apes.[65] Any person who interferes with a CDPHE investigation regarding a potentially diseased ape is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor and upon conviction may be imprisoned for up to a year and/or fined up to $1,000 dollars.[66]

III. Analysis of State Laws as Applied to Specific Uses

The statutes and regulations discussed above each govern certain aspects of the import, possession, use, or treatment of captive apes. The laws are not uniformly applicable to all apes; instead, they vary according to the particular purpose for which an ape is possessed. In the U.S., captive apes are generally possessed for use as pets, scientific research subjects, for exhibition or other commercial purposes, or they are retired and live in sanctuaries. The remainder of this section discusses how the state’s laws affect apes that are possessed for each of those purposes.

 

A. Possession of Great Apes as Pets

Since 1994, Colorado’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act has banned the importation, possession, sale, or transfer any Great Ape for use as a pet. However, anyone who had a pet ape on July 1, 1973 may legally retain possession of that ape for the remainder of the animal’s life. The state’s Department of Natural Resources does not require pet ape owners to obtain a state “non-commercial wildlife park” license (discussed in Section II(B)(i), above), although owners of other exotic and wild animals are required to get a license. There are no other state registration or identification requirements for pet apes.

Colorado has no minimum standards of care for apes that are possessed as pets. This is particularly problematic from a welfare standpoint because the Federal Animal Welfare Act[67] (which does set minimum standards of care for apes) does not cover pet apes. As a result, pet apes may be maintained for life in complete isolation and in bare cages with nothing but food and water. The state’s anti-cruelty laws, discussed in Section II(A)(ii) above, do protect apes that are kept as pets from outright abuse and extreme neglect of those animals. However, those laws do nothing to ensure that the remaining pet apes in Colorado are maintained in a manner that promotes their physical, psychological, and social well-being.

 

B. Possession of Great Apes for Biomedical Research

USDA-registered research facilities are exempt from the state’s ban on the importation, possession, sale, and transfer of apes. Also, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does not regulate the importation, possession, or use of apes for scientific research (although that agency does regulate the importation, possession, and scientific use of other wild and exotic animals). See Section II(B)(i), above. Research facilities must comply with the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s (CDA) import requirements which require all imported apes to have a CDA-issued import permit and a health certificate. See Section II(B)(ii), above.

Unlike laboratory apes in many other states, laboratory apes in Colorado are protected by the state’s anti-cruelty laws, so researchers could face criminal prosecution for neglecting, unsafely housing, or abusing apes. If convicted, researchers are subject to fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of the animal victims; however, they are exempt from the state’s anger management therapy requirements for convicted animal abusers. In addition, all research facilities with apes are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Federal Animal Welfare Act[68] and must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for laboratory primates.

 

C. Possession of Great Apes for Entertainment and other Commercial Purposes

The commercial use of apes generally includes breeding, sale, display and exhibition of those animals. It is illegal for animal dealers and breeders to import, possess, sell, or transfer apes in Colorado. However, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed (Class C) exhibitors are exempt from the state’s ape ban. Under state law, exhibitors generally need to have a Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued license (or be exempt from the state’s licensure requirements) in order to legally possess wild or exotic animals. AZA-accredited zoos (there are currently three in Colorado[69]) are exempt from the licensure requirement, as are “individual animals” used in USDA-licensed “carnivals” and “animal acts.” Non-AZA-accredited zoos, wildlife parks, and other commercial exhibitors must obtain a state license to operate in Colorado. DNR does not apply these rules to exhibitors that only have apes, but exhibitors that have apes in addition to other wild or exotic animals are subject to the state’s licensure requirements and a variety of regulations governing the housing and care of those animals. (See Section II(B)(i), above.)

There are no state laws protecting apes that are possessed by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed exhibitors from abuse or neglect or setting minimum standards for the housing, care, or maintenance of those animals. However, those facilities are regulated by the USDA under the Federal Animal Welfare Act[70] and must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for primates.

 

D. Possession of Great Apes by Sanctuaries

Colorado defines a “wildlife sanctuary” as a nonprofit entity that provides lifetime care for unwanted wildlife and that does not breed, sell, or use the animals for any type of entertainment.[71] There is no exemption for “wildlife sanctuaries” in the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act’s ape ban.[72] So, in order to qualify for an exemption, a sanctuary must also be a USDA-licensed exhibitor. Although the state’s Department of Natural Resources is responsible for licensing and regulating wildlife sanctuaries, the agency does not license or regulate USDA licensed facilities that exclusively possess apes (see Section II(B)(i), above). If those facilities keep apes and other wild or exotic animals then they are required to obtain a state sanctuary license and comply with a variety of other legal requirements for the housing and care of their animals.

Wildlife sanctuaries may legally import apes with a Colorado Department of Agriculture import permit and a certificate of veterinary inspection. Pursuant to Colorado Wildlife Commission regulations, sanctuaries may not possess animals that were taken from the wild.[73] If this rule is applied to apes,[74] it restricts the ability of sanctuaries to provide care to many older apes that were removed from the wild and imported into the United States before the Federal Endangered Species Act significantly curtailed that practice.

Because sanctuaries must be USDA-licensed exhibitors in order to legally possess apes, and USDA-licensed exhibitors are exempt from the state’s anti-cruelty laws, apes in wildlife sanctuaries are not protected by the state’s anti-cruelty laws (see Section II(A)(ii), above). Furthermore, the state has no minimum standards for the housing or care of apes in wildlife sanctuaries. However, all USDA-licensed facilities with apes must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for primates.

 

E. Possession of Great Apes for Other Purposes

Assistance Animals for Disabled individuals: In Colorado, it is legal for disabled individuals to possess apes that are trained as assistance animals. Capuchin monkeys are typically the only species of primate used to assist disabled people, and the few states that do allow assistance primates tend to limit the allowable species to capuchin monkeys. Colorado does not have such a limitation, so a disabled person could legally possess a trained chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, or gibbon as an assistance animal. While it may seem like an unlikely scenario, the issue recently came up in 2009 when a diabetic woman in Arizona unsuccessfully sued the state of Arizona to keep a chimpanzee as an assistance animal for her diabetes. Chimpanzees may not be kept as pets or assistance animals in that state, and she was unable to use her disability as a means to force the state to grant her an exemption.[75]  

 

IV. Local Ordinances

Certain provisions within Colorado’s state statutes authorize counties and local municipalities to prohibit or regulate the local possession and use of Great Apes, regardless of whether a would-be possessor has secured a federal permit to keep those animals.[76] There are many local ordinances in Colorado that directly and indirectly govern the possession, use, and treatment of apes. The following list of ordinances is not exhaustive; rather, it is a partial list of local laws that demonstrates how some towns, cities, and counties in Colorado have addressed the issue.

·         Denver 8-2: It is illegal to own, possess, keep, maintain, harbor, or sell Great Apes within the city limits. The ban does not apply to the Denver Zoo, circuses that are licensed by the city, and research facilities approved by the manager of environmental health. (Code 1950, § 760.9-2; Ord. No. 270-92, § 1, 5-11-92; Ord. No. 1110-96, § 1, 12-16-96; Ord. No. 62-03, §§ 5, 6, 2-2-04; Ord. No. 622-08, § 1, 11-17-08); 8-131 – 133: It is illegal to overwork, inflict violence upon, torture, mutilate, or otherwise cruelly treat any ape (there is no exception for exhibitors or research facilities). Also, it is illegal to deprive any ape of necessary food, water, or shelter or to leave the animal unattended in a vehicle without adequate ventilation or in which the animal is subjected to extreme temperatures. City officials may immediately impound any ape that has been abused, neglected, or illegally confined in a vehicle. Also, if an ape has not had access to food or water for more than 12 hours, any person may enter into the ape’s enclosure to give that animal food or water. (Code 1950, § 824.1 - 5; Ord. No. 270-92, § 1, 5-11-92; Ord. No. 1110-96, § 1, 12-16-96)

·         Englewood 7-1C-3: A city-issued zoological permit is required to harbor, keep, or sell any “wild animal” or “exotic pet.” In issuing permits, the city will establish whatever rules and regulations are necessary to safely control and manage those animals. The permit requirement does not apply to zoos, veterinary hospitals, animal pounds, or research facilities using pet animals for scientific research. (Code 1985, § 7-1C-3)

·         Steamboat Springs 4-3: It is illegal to own, keep, or feed any Great Ape within the city limits. Although this ordinance provides an affirmative defense to circuses, zoos, and other exhibitors that have a state Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (DNR) commercial wildlife park license, that agency does not apply the state’s licensure requirement to exhibitors with apes; 4-5: It is illegal to overwork, cruelly beat, mutilate, or torture any ape or to transport those animals in a cruel manner. There is no exemption for research facilities or exhibitors. (Ord. No. 1913, § 1, 9-23-03)

 



[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[7] “Mistreatment” means every act or omission that causes or unreasonably permits the continuation of unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-201.

[8] “Neglect” means failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, or other care generally considered to be normal, usual, and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, and type of animal. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-201.

[9] Most of the prohibited conduct is illegal only when done with a certain mental state, such as knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence. The statute should be consulted to determine the culpable mental state for each listed activity.

[13] Id; The impounding officer must also believe that the ape would be in ongoing danger if he or she remained with the owner or keeper. Id.

[16] Research facilities are exempt from the anger management therapy requirement if they are operating in compliance with state and federal rules. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-9-202(a.5).

[22] Id.

[23] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-42-109; In the alternative, CDA may also issue a cease-and-desist order requiring that an owner stop violating the APA, or may apply to a court for injunctive relief to stop or prevent violations of the APA. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-42-112.

[25] Id.

[26] “Wildlife” means wild vertebrates whether alive or dead that exist as a species in a natural wild state in their place of origin, presently or historically. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-102.

[27] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-105; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-106.

[28] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-106.

[29] “Prohibited Species” means those species that the Wildlife Commission has determined would be detrimental to Colorado's native wildlife. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1100.

[30] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-0:008; 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-0:006(B); 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1102(1).

[33] Id.

[34] “Wildlife” means wild vertebrates, mollusks, and crustaceans, whether alive or dead, including any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof, that exist as a species in a natural wild state in their place of origin, presently or historically, except those species determined to be domestic animals by rule or regulation by the commission and the state agricultural commission. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-102(51).

[35] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-6-114(2).

[36] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-0:007(A). In order to qualify for an import permit, applicants must have a DNR-issued “commercial” or “noncommercial” parks license. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-0:007(B).

[37] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-6-114(2); 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-0:007(D).

[38] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-4-102(2).

[40] In order to qualify for licensure, commercial parks must demonstrate “commercial” status by documenting a profit motive through some or all of the following activities: hiring trained employees; training employees; maintaining detailed business records; generating profits; advertising; increasing profits annually; investing time and money into the commercial park; developing a written business plan; filing state and federal income tax returns for the park; etc. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1105(A)(1).

[41] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104(A)(5); In order to qualify as a “zoological park,” a facility must have regular business hours during which it is open to the public and its primary purpose must be the exhibition of captive wild or exotic animals for public education. In addition, the facility must be run by a “professional staff” that has “generally recognized formal or practical training” in caring for the types of animals maintained at the park, and it must either have a veterinarian on staff or maintain a contract with a veterinarian to provide veterinary services to the animals at the park. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-4-102(13)(a).

[42] In order to qualify for licensure, commercial parks must demonstrate “commercial” status by documenting a profit motive through some or all of the following activities: hiring trained employees; training employees; maintaining detailed business records; generating profits; advertising; increasing profits annually; investing time and money into the commercial park; developing a written business plan; filing state and federal income tax returns for the park; etc. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1105(A)(1).

[44] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104(A)(2)(c); The Non-commercial Wildlife Park license generally authorizes a licensee to retain possession of exotic pets that were possessed prior to January 1, 1983 (and the progeny of those animals that were born after January 1, 1982) for the remainder of the licensee’s life. However, that general authorization does not apply to apes because of other state laws which prohibit the possession of pet apes unless they were possessed prior to July 1, 1973. Id.

[45] Non-profit entities are defined under 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code

And are exempt from taxation under Section 501(a) of that code. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1105(A)(2).

[46] All apes possessed by sanctuaries must be sterilized unless the animals are participants in an AZA Species Survival Plan or the facility has a Division of Wildlife-approved birth control plan. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104(C).

[47] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-102 (defining “wildlife sanctuary”); In order to qualify for the Wildlife Sanctuary license, a facility must be run by a “professional staff” that has “generally recognized formal or practical training” in caring for the types of animals maintained at the sanctuary, and it must either have a veterinarian on staff or maintain a contract with a veterinarian to provide veterinary services to the animals at the sanctuary. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-4-102(14); 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104(C).

[48] A “related facility” is defined by the AZA as an organization holding wildlife that is not a commercial entity and that is not open to the public on a regularly scheduled, predictable basis, including wildlife ranches, wildlife refuges, research facilities, breeding farms, wildlife sanctuaries, and similar organizations. http://www.aza.org/uploadedFiles/Accreditation/Guide%20to%20Certification.pdf

[49] Non-profit sanctuaries that were licensed prior to January 1, 2001 under a “Commercial Wildlife Park” license can continue to operate as sanctuaries under the wildlife parks facility requirements and do not need to obtain AZA certification. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1104(C).

[50] “ Bona fide scientific research” means: systematic investigative or experimental activities which are carried out for the purpose of acquiring new and relevant knowledge pertaining to wildlife biology, ecology or management, or the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, and which are conducted in a humane fashion by qualified personnel, and the results of which would meet the accepted standards for publication in a refereed scientific journal. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-13:1300(A); 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-13:1315(C).

[51] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1102(A)(4); Commercial park licenses also list approved commercial uses for the animals possessed by those licensees. Animals may not be used for purposes that are not expressly authorized on a license. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1102(A)(3);  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-4-102(13a)(V).

[55] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1106(A)(1) (licensees must notify the Division of Wildlife in writing of all purchases, sales, trades, transfers, and deaths of licensed wildlife); 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1107(B) (licensees must submit an annual report to DNR that identifies all animals at the facility by species, number, and sex); 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1102(A)(8) (commercial park licensees must notify the Division of Wildlife of any planned substantive changes to their facilities or species of animals to be possessed, and must  secure the agency’s approval prior to making those changes); 2Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1113 (escapes of apes and other exotic wildlife must be reported to the Division of Wildlife and the local law enforcement agency within 24 hours).

[56] 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1108; 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1109;  Any licensee that fails to comply with applicable state and federal laws may have the license revoked. All licensees that are convicted of animal cruelty or neglect under state law must have their licenses revoked. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 406-11:1107(G).

[57] E-mail from Mark W. Caddy, Game Damage/Commercial Parks Manager, Colorado Division of Wildlife (Apr. 13, 2011; Apr. 18, 2011; Apr 21, 2011) (on file with the author).

[58] Id.

[61] 8 Colo. Code Regs. § 1201-19:1.

[62] Id.

[65] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-709.

[66] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-712; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-4-713; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-501.

[67] 7 U.S.C.A. § 2131 et seq.

[68] 7 U.S.C.A. § 2131 et seq.

[69] As of May 13, 2011, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Denver Zoological Gardens, and the Pueblo Zoo are the only AZA-accredited zoos in Colorado. http://www.aza.org/findzooaquarium/.

[70] 7 U.S.C.A. § 2131 et seq.

[71] Colo. Rev. Stat. § 33-1-102.

[74] As discussed throughout this article, Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources does not apply CWC’s regulations governing the acquisition and possession of nonnative and exotic wildlife to apes; as a result, it is possible that the agency would likewise exempt apes from this regulation.

[75] Pruett v. Arizona, 606 F. Supp.2d 1065, 1074 (D. Ariz. 2009).

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