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Detailed Discussion of Iowa 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. INTRODUCTION

In 2007, Iowa passed the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWA) which classifies all Great Apes as “dangerous wild animals” and restricts the purposes for which they may be imported or possessed. In general, it is illegal to keep apes unless they were possessed prior to July 1, 2007 and are registered and maintained according to DWA’s requirements. This ban primarily affects private pet owners and those who keep apes for entertainment, breeding, and certain commercial purposes. Others, including wildlife sanctuaries, circuses, research facilities, disabled individuals, and accredited zoos are exempt from the DWA and there are no state permit requirements for the importation, possession, or sale of apes by those entities. However, they may be subject to federal permit requirements and must comply with various state laws governing animal health, movement, and care.

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.

 

II. STATE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS

Iowa has a variety of laws affecting the importation, possession, breeding, and sale of apes. The Dangerous Wild Animal Act restricts the purposes for which “dangerous wild animals,” including apes, may be imported or possessed. The Agriculture Code and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) regulations establish certain animal importation requirements to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases. Chapter 162 of the Agriculture Code regulates commercial establishments with animals, including research facilities, and sets certain registration and animal care requirements for those facilities. Finally, the state’s general anti-cruelty laws prohibit the severe mistreatment of animals, including apes.

 

A. DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS ACT

Iowa’s Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWA) classifies all Great Apes as “dangerous wild animals”[1] and generally prohibits the importation, ownership, possession, and/or breeding of those animals.[2] The ban does not apply to any of the following:

  1. An institution accredited or certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA);[3]
  2. A wildlife sanctuary;
  3. A person who owns or possesses a dangerous wild animal as an assistive animal;[4]
  4. A circus, as defined in IA ST § 717F.1,[5] that obtains a temporary local permit, if required;
  5. A research facility, as defined in IA ST § 717F.1;[6]
  6. Individuals that are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (under the Federal Animal Welfare Act) and registered with IDALS;[7]
  7. A city;
  8. A nonprofit tax-exempt corporation that was a party to a contract executed with a city prior to July 1, 2007, to provide for the exhibition of dangerous wild animals at a municipal zoo;[8] and
  9. Certain veterinarians, animal shelters, and government agencies and employees.[9]

In addition to those exemptions, the DWA authorizes individuals who owned or possessed[10] an ape (or other dangerous wild animal) on July 1, 2007 to keep that animal if they meet DWA’s personal qualifications,[11] and all of the following legal requirements:

  1. The animal must have had an electronic identification device (microchip) implanted within 60 days of July 1, 2007.[12]
  2. The animal must have been registered with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) by December 31, 2007.[13]
  3. The owner/possessor must maintain health and ownership records on the ape (or other dangerous wild animal) for the remainder of animal’s life.[14]
  4. The owner/possessor must confine and maintain the animal as required by IDALS on the owner’s/possessor’s property and may not allow the animal outside of the primary enclosure, except for certain listed purposes.[15]
  5. The owner/possessor must post a sign on his or her property warning of the presence of a dangerous wild animal.[16]
  6. The owner/possessor must maintain liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000 dollars for each occurrence of property damage, injury, or death caused by each dangerous wild animal.[17]

Any person who owns or possesses an ape or other dangerous wild animal under this “grandfather clause” in IA ST § 717F.4 is strictly liable (meaning financially responsible regardless of fault) for all damages or injuries caused by the animal. It is illegal for individuals claiming this exemption to breed their dangerous wild animals and they may not sell or otherwise transfer ownership of those animals to anyone other than a wildlife sanctuary.[18] (See Section IIID, below.)

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responsible for enforcing the DWA.[19] In addition, law enforcement officers, animal wardens, and animal care providers[20] may enforce the DWA under the direction of IDALS.[21] Any person who possesses an ape (or other dangerous wild animal) in violation of the DWA is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor, and in addition to criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment) may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for each day that the violation continues.[22]

B. ANIMAL HEALTH RULES

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s (IDALS) Animal Industry Bureau is responsible for regulating the importation of animals in order to control and eradicate certain infectious or contagious diseases.[23] While the agency does not require import permits for apes, it does restrict the importation of animals that are affected with, or have been recently exposed to, any infectious disease.[24] Animals entering the state must be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection.[25] Also, according to the agency’s website, all primates four months of age and older must test negative for tuberculosis within 30 days prior to entry.[26]

IDALS appoints assistant veterinarians to enforce the state’s importation rules.[27] Those individuals may enter any premises where animals are located to examine the animals and may enlist the aid of law enforcement officers.[28]

 

C. CARE OF ANIMALS IN COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS: RESEARCH FACILITIES

In addition to enforcing the state’s Dangerous Wild Animals Act and regulating the importation of animals, IDALS also licenses and registers certain establishments that possess animals for commercial purposes.[29] Most of the facilities that IDALS regulates are engaged in sales or services involving dogs and cats (dealers, breeders, animal auctions, boarding kennels, animal shelters, etc.) which is beyond the scope of this discussion. However, the agency also regulates research facilities[30] located within the state, including those institutions that keep apes and other primates. Under IA ST § 162.4A, every research facility must have a certificate of registration issued by IDALS and must comply with the standards of care for animals in commercial establishments.[31] Specifically, all animals must be given adequate food and water, housing facilities, and a sanitary environment.[32]

IDALS may inspect any research facility during normal business hours to determine whether the facility is meeting those minimum standards of care.[33] Any facility that fails to house or maintain its animals accordingly may have its certificate of registration suspended or revoked,[34] and the owner(s) or employees may be required to attend an approved continuing education program.[35] Also, any person who operates an unregistered research facility or who fails to care for laboratory animals as required by law is guilty of a simple misdemeanor and is subject to criminal penalties[36] as well as civil fines.[37]

 

D. STATE GENERAL ANTI-CRUELTY LAWS

The state’s anti-cruelty laws,[38] which prohibit the neglect or mistreatment of animals,[39] generally apply to Great Apes in Iowa. Because all captive apes are necessarily dependent on their keepers, the requirement that keepers provide their confined animals with sufficient food and water is particularly relevant.[40] (The provision requiring adequate shelter only applies to dogs and cats – not apes or other exotic animals.) In addition, apes are sometimes trained or induced to perform for public entertainment by chemical, electrical, mechanical, and manual devices that inflict physical or psychological injuries. Accordingly, the section that prohibits the intentional injuring, maiming, or disfiguring of an animal (that is owned by another person) may protect apes from being physically abused by a trainer, keeper, or any person that is not the owner.[41] Also, the section outlawing the torture or beating of any confined animal applies to captive apes.[42] However, the state’s anti-cruelty laws do not apply to any “research facility”[43] performing functions that are “within the scope of accepted practices and disciplines associated with the research facility.”[44]

Any law enforcement officer[45] may enforce the state’s anti-cruelty laws, and IA ST § 717B.5 authorizes those agents to confiscate an ape (or other animal) that is abused or neglected.[46]  A violation of the state’s anti-cruelty laws is either a simple misdemeanor, a serious misdemeanor, or an aggravated misdemeanor, depending on the type and severity of the offense.[47]

 

E. LOCAL LAWS

While the importation and possession of apes are regulated under both federal and state laws, county and municipal governments may also regulate animals within their jurisdictions.[48] Typically, local ordinances either restrict the possession of animals, regulate activities involving animals, or set minimum standards for the housing and care of animals. The following examples demonstrate how some towns, cities, and counties in Iowa have addressed the possession of apes (and other wild or exotic animals) within their communities:

Centerville 7.09.010, 7.09.210, 7.09.220: Apes are classified as “dangerous animals.” It is illegal to own or keep a dangerous animal within the city limits. However, apes (and other prohibited animals) that are currently (probably meaning as of the effective date of the ordinance) and continuously registered and licensed with local officials may be possessed if all of the following requirements are met: (1) the animal must be spayed or neutered; (2) the animal must have a microchip; (3) the animal must be securely confined according to the specific construction requirements in 7.09.220; (4) dangerous animal signs must be posted on the property and legible from the street; (5) the animal must be muzzled and securely restrained during transport; (6) the animal may not be taken to any public place; (7) the owner must maintain liability insurance in the amount of $300,000 for injuries or damages caused by the animal; (8) offspring of a prohibited animal must be reported to local officials within 10 days of the animal’s birth and must be removed from the city limits before they are six months old. (Ord. 1288 § 2(part), 2008).

Des Moines 18-196 et seq.: All apes are classified as “illegal animals.” As the name implies, it is illegal to keep, shelter, or harbor any “illegal animal” within the city limits. The ban does not apply to public zoos, educational or medical institutions, humane societies, museums, bona fide traveling circuses or shows, veterinary hospitals, wildlife rescue organizations with appropriate state permits, and the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary. (C79, § 7-46; O.10,541; C85, § 7-46; O.11,095, 11,558; C91, § 7-46; O.13,551, 14,904)

Oskaloosa 6.04.090: All apes are classified as “dangerous animals,” which are “capable of killing, inflicting serious injury upon, or causing disease among human beings.” It is illegal to keep, shelter, or harbor any dangerous animal within the city limits. The ban does not apply to: public zoos, educational or medical institutions, humane societies, museums, traveling circuses or other shows that perform before “large assemblages of people” and maintain all required state and federal permits, veterinary hospitals, and wildlife rescue organizations with appropriate state permits; 6.04.030: No person shall arrange, promote, or stage an exhibition at which any animal is tormented or shall keep a place where such exhibitions are staged for the entertainment of spectators.

 

III. POSSESSORS OF GREAT APES

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. PETS

IA ST § 717F.3 makes it illegal for exotic pet owners to import, own, possess, or breed any species of Great Ape. Qualified individuals who owned or possessed an ape (or other dangerous wild animal) on July 1, 2007 may keep that animal as long as they comply with the registration requirement and all other legal requirements discussed in Section IIA, above.

The following list outlines what pet owners can and can’t do under the law:

Importation: Prohibited.

Transportation: Prohibited as “possession” under IA ST § 717F.1(8). Grandfathered apes (under IA ST § 717F.4) may only be transported for the following purposes: veterinary care, euthanasia, transfer to a wildlife sanctuary, or to comply with the directions of IDALS or an animal warden.[49]

Possession: Prohibited, except for apes owned or possessed on July 1, 2007 who were registered with IDALS prior to December 31, 2007 and are maintained in compliance with all legal requirements discussed in Section IIA, above.

Sale: Prohibited. Grandfathered apes (under IA ST § 717F.4) may only be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary (see Section IIID, below) or euthanized.[50]

Breeding: Prohibited.

 

B. ZOOS

While the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWA) prohibits the possession of Great Apes and other dangerous wild animals, IA ST § 717F.7(1) exempts facilities that are accredited or certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[51] There is currently one accredited zoo (and no certified facilities) in Iowa, the Blank Park Zoo.[52] In addition, cities are exempt from the dangerous wild animal ban and as a result, city-owned zoos may legally import, possess, breed and display apes. Also, any non-profit organization that had a contract (executed prior to July 1, 2007) to exhibit dangerous wild animals at a municipal zoo is exempt from the DWA.[53] Finally, any other type of zoo that owned or possessed an ape prior to July 1, 2007 may retain possession of that animal if the animal is registered and maintained in compliance with the legal requirements discussed in Section IIA, above.[54]

Those zoos which are allowed to import apes under IA ST § 717F.7 are not required to obtain any state import permits, but may be required to secure federal permits. In addition, those facilities must comply with the state’s animal importation rules discussed in Section IIB, above.

Iowa has no specific standards for the housing and care of apes in zoos; however, the state’s general anti-cruelty laws (Section IID, above) require those facilities to provide their animals with sufficient food and water. Also, all zoos are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Federal Animal Welfare Act[55] and those facilities must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for primates.

 

C. EXHIBITORS (USDA CLASS C LICENSEES

There are various types of exhibitors that display apes, including: circuses, wild animal parks, and performing animal acts. Although the DWA generally outlaws the importation, possession, and sale of apes and other dangerous wild animals, IA ST § 717F.7 exempts certain circuses from the ban. Out-of-state circuses that are licensed by the USDA (Class C licensees) and that are in Iowa temporarily to offer “skilled performances by dangerous wild animals, clowns, or acrobats for public entertainment” are exempt from DWA as long as they operate in compliance with any local permitting requirements. Any circus that offers performances for children in schools or allows the public to come in close proximity with a wild animal does not qualify as a “circus” under IA ST § 717F.1 and is not exempt from the dangerous wild animal ban. As a result, those types of facilities may not import, possess, or exhibit apes within Iowa. Other exhibitors that owned or possessed an ape prior to July 1, 2007 may retain possession of that animal if the animal is registered with IDALS and is maintained in compliance with the legal requirements discussed in Section IIA, above.[56] Circuses are not required to secure any state permits to import apes, but they must comply with the state’s animal importation rules discussed in Section IIB, above.

Iowa has no specific standards for the housing, care, and treatment of apes kept by circuses or other exhibitors. However, the state’s general anti-cruelty laws (Section IID, above) require those facilities to provide their animals with sufficient food and water, and may protect apes from being physically abused to induce performances. Also, all exhibitors with apes are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Federal Animal Welfare Act [57] and those facilities must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for primates.

D. SANCTUARIES

Iowa’s Dangerous Wild Animals Act defines a “wildlife sanctuary” as a tax-exempt organization that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced wildlife are provided care for their lifetime, and that meets both of the following requirements:

(1) It does not buy, sell, trade, auction, lease, loan, or breed any animal that the organization owns; and

(2) It is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association, the Association of Sanctuaries, or another similar organization recognized by the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.[58]

Wildlife sanctuaries may import and possess apes; no state permits are required. Sanctuaries importing apes must comply with the state’s animal importation rules (discussed in Section IIB, above), which prohibit the unauthorized importation of apes and other animals that have been infected with, or exposed to, certain diseases.

Interestingly, several provisions within the DWA (IA ST § 717F.4(7)(c) and IA ST § 717F.7) require certain owners who no longer want their apes (or other dangerous wild animals) to either transfer those animals to a wildlife sanctuary or euthanize them. Anyone who is subject to that requirement may not sell or transfer a dangerous wild animal to any other person.

Iowa does not regulate the possession of apes by sanctuaries, nor does it have any minimum standards for the housing and care of animals in those facilities. Wildlife sanctuaries that are open to the public are regulated by the USDA under the Federal Animal Welfare Act [59] and those facilities must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for primates. However, sanctuaries that are not open to the public are not regulated by the USDA and (aside from the general anti-cruelty laws discussed in Section IID, above) animals in those facilities have virtually no legal protection under state or federal law.

 

E. RESEARCH FACILITIES

Research facilities are exempt from the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, and as a result may freely possess, breed, and sell apes. Facilities importing apes are not required to obtain any state permits, but must comply with the animal importation requirements discussed in Section IIB, above. Also, all research facilities[60] in the state are regulated by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and must comply with the registration requirements and minimum standards of care for animals discussed in Section IIC. IDALS does not regulate the use of primates or other animals in research. However, all research facilities with apes are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Federal Animal Welfare Act [61] and must comply with the federal minimum standards of care for laboratory primates.

 

F. ASSISTANCE ANIMALS

Under Section 717F.7 of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, it is legal for a disabled person to own or possess a specially trained ape (or other dangerous wild animal) as an “assistive animal.”[62] No state permits are necessary and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship does not register those animals or regulate their housing, care, confinement, or transportation. In fact, under IA ST § 216C.11, disabled individuals may take their assistive animals into any public places, lodging places, eating places, and all other places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort. Although the DWA includes several legal requirements for individuals keeping dangerous wild animals – such as liability insurance, posting warning signs, and secure confinement – which are designed to safeguard the public from the risks posed by those animals, it does not extend those requirements to disabled individuals.

 

IV. CONCLUSION

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWA) bans the importation and possession of apes by certain individuals, including exotic pet owners. While qualified individuals who possessed apes on July 1, 2007 may keep their animals, the DWA imposes a variety of registration, insurance, and other legal requirements on those individuals. On the other hand, several entities are exempt from the ban and the DWA does not regulate the importation, possession, use, or care of dangerous wild animals kept by those entities. This gap in state-level regulation may be mitigated by various federal laws which establish permit requirements and regulate the possession of apes by exhibitors, animal dealers, and research facilities. In addition, several counties and municipalities in Iowa have local ordinances which further restrict or regulate the possession of apes.

 



[3] Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.7. The statute actually refers to the “American [Z]oo and [A]quarium [A]ssociation,” which has been renamed the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

[4] For purposes of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.1 defines an “assistive animal” as a simian or other animal specially trained or in the process of being trained to assist a person with a disability; See, Iowa Code Ann. § 216C.11 (original source of the definition); See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.7(5) and Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.14 (discussing restrictions on the disposition of dangerous wild animals that are kept as assistance animals).

[5] For purposes of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a “circus” means a person who: (a) holds a Class C Exhibitors License issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and (b) is temporarily in Iowa as an exhibitor (as defined in 9 C.F.R. pt. 1) for purposes of providing skilled performances by dangerous wild animals, clowns, or acrobats for public entertainment. The term “circus” does not anyone, including USDA licensees, who uses a dangerous wild animal for presentations to children at a public or nonpublic school or for any activity in which a member of the public is in close proximity to the dangerous wild animal. Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.1(3).

[6] For purposes of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, a “research facility” means any of the following: (a) a federal research facility as provided in 9 C.F.R. ch. I; (b) a research facility that is registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to 9 C.F.R. ch. I; or (c) a research facility which is registered with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.1(10).

[7] Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.1(20). It is unclear who is covered by this exemption because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses animal dealers and exhibitors, while IDALS only registers research facilities, pounds, and animal shelters under Chapter 162 of the Agriculture Code. There is no individual/facility that would be both licensed by the USDA and registered by IDALS that is not already listed in the exemptions. Alternatively, Section 717F.4 of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act covers the registration of dangerous wild animals that were possessed by any person on July 1, 2007. If this exemption applies to USDA licensees that also registered their dangerous wild animal(s) with IDALS under Section 717F.4 of the DWA, it makes little logical sense because they cannot actually  be exempt from the DWA if they are simultaneously required to comply with the DWA in order to be exempt. This particular exemption was added to later versions of SF 564 (the 2007 bill that became the DWA), but the author is unable to find any records relating to the purpose or intent of the amendment.

[8] See, Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.7(10) and Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.14 (prohibiting the transfer of dangerous wild animals by such nonprofit corporations to anyone other than a wildlife sanctuary).

[10] For purposes of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, “possess” means to “own, keep, or control a dangerous wild animal, or supervise or provide for the care and feeding of a dangerous wild animal, including any activity relating to confining, handling, breeding, transporting, or exhibiting the dangerous wild animal.” Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.1(8).

[11] In order to retain possession or ownership of an ape or other dangerous wild animal, an individual must be at least 18 years of age, and must not have: (a) ever been convicted of animal abuse or neglect (under state or local laws); (b) been convicted of a felony or drug-related misdemeanor within the past ten years; or (3) had a federal or state permit/license to operate a commercial establishment for the care, breeding, or sale of animals suspended or revoked. Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.4(2); Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.3.

[13] Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.4(4); Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.6; See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.8 and Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.7 (dangerous wild animal annual registration fees) and Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.9 (dangerous wild animal registration fund).

[15] Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.4(7); Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.9 (additional housing and care requirements).

[20] According to Iowa Code Ann. § 717B.1, an “animal care provider” is “a person designated by a local authority to provide care to an animal which is rescued by the local authority” (under Iowa Code Ann. § 717B.5).

[22] Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.13; Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.11; See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.5 and Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-77.13 (seizure of illegally possessed dangerous wild animals) and Iowa Code Ann. § 717F.12 (injunctive relief).

[23] http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/animalIndustry.asp; Iowa Code Ann. § 163.1; “Infectious or contagious disease” means glanders, farcy, maladie du coit (dourine), anthrax, foot and mouth disease, scabies, hog cholera, tuberculosis, brucellosis, vesicular exanthema, scrapie, rinderpest, avian influenza or Newcastle disease as provided in chapter 165B, or any other transmissible, transferable, or communicable disease so designated by the department. Iowa Code Ann. § 163.2 (effective until Jan. 1, 2012).

[24] Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-65.3(1)(a).

[25] Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-65.3(3); See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 163.12 and Iowa Code Ann. § 163.2(1).

[27] Iowa Code Ann. § 163.8; See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 163.61 and Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-65.13 (civil penalties) and Iowa Code Ann. § 163.62 (injunctive relief).

[28] Iowa Code Ann. § 163.8; Iowa Code Ann. § 163.1(6).

[30] “Research facility” means any school or college of medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, or osteopathic medicine, or hospital, diagnostic or research laboratories, or other educational or scientific establishment situated in this state concerned with the investigation of, or instruction concerning the structure or function of living organisms, the cause, prevention, control or cure of diseases or abnormal conditions of human beings or animals. Iowa Code Ann. § 162.2(24).

[31] Iowa Code Ann. § 162.4A; Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-67.3; Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-67.4

[33] Iowa Code Ann. § 162.10B; See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 162.10C (reasonable cause required); Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-67.7(3).

[37] Iowa Code Ann. § 162.12A; See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 162.13 and Iowa Admin. Code r. 21-67.7(4)(c) (animals, including nonhuman primates, that are inadequately housed or cared for may be seized from all commercial establishments except research facilities).

[39] For purposes of the anti-cruelty laws, “animal” does not include any of the following: (a) livestock (as defined in  Iowa Code Ann. § 717.1); (b) any game, fur-bearing animal, fish, reptile, or amphibian (as defined in Iowa Code Ann. § 481A.1), unless a person owns, confines, or controls the game, fur-bearing animal, fish, reptile, or amphibian; and (c) any nongame species declared to be a nuisance pursuant to Iowa Code Ann. § 481A.42. Iowa Code Ann. § 717B.1.

[43] For purposes of the anti-cruelty laws, “research facility” means “any school or college of medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, or osteopathic medicine, or hospital, diagnostic or research laboratories, or other educational or scientific establishment situated in this state concerned with the investigation of, or instruction concerning the structure or function of living organisms, the cause, prevention, control or cure of diseases or abnormal conditions of human beings or animals.” Iowa Code Ann. § 162.2.

[44] See also, Iowa Code Ann. § 717B.2 (list of activities that are exempt from the state’s definition of “animal abuse”).

[45] “Law enforcement officer” means a regularly employed member of a police force of a city or county, including a sheriff, who is responsible for the prevention and dedication of crime and the enforcement of the criminal laws of this state. Iowa Code Ann. § 717B.1.

[48] Iowa Code Ann. § 364.1; Iowa Code Ann. § 331.301; See also, Kent v. Polk County Board of Supervisors, 391 N.W.2d 220 (1986) (ordinance prohibiting the possession of a “dangerous animal” as a pet was a legitimate exercise of power, was not unconstitutional, and did not conflict with state law).

[51] The statute actually refers to the “American [Z]oo and [A]quarium [A]ssociation,” which has been renamed the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

[52] http://www.aza.org/findzooaquarium/ (last visited July 24, 2011).

[53] IA ST § 717F.7 does not specify whether such nonprofit corporations are permanently exempt from the DWA, or whether they are exempt only until their contract with a municipal zoo expires.

[54] IA ST § 717F.7(20) provides an ambiguous exemption for USDA licensed persons that are also registered with IDALS. While the USDA does license zoos and other animal exhibitors, IDALS does not register such facilities under Chapter 162 of the Agriculture Code (Care of Animals in Commercial Establishments). Alternatively, Section 717F.4 of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act covers the registration of dangerous wild animals that were possessed by any person on July 1, 2007. If this exemption applies to USDA licensed zoos and exhibitors that also registered their dangerous wild animal(s) with IDALS under Section 717F.4 of the DWA, it makes little logical sense because they cannot actually be exempt from the DWA if they are simultaneously required to comply with the DWA in order to be exempt.

[56] IA ST § 717F.7(20) provides an ambiguous exemption for USDA licensed persons that are also registered with IDALS. While the USDA does license animal exhibitors, IDALS does not register wild animal exhibitors under Chapter 162 of the Agriculture Code (Care of Animals in Commercial Establishments). Alternatively, Section 717F.4 of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act covers the registration of dangerous wild animals that were possessed by any person on July 1, 2007. If this exemption applies to USDA licensed exhibitors that also registered their dangerous wild animal(s) with IDALS under Section 717F.4 of the DWA, it makes little logical sense because those exhibitors cannot actually  be exempt from the DWA if they are simultaneously required to comply with the DWA in order to be exempt.

[60] A “research facility” means “any school or college of medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, or osteopathic medicine, or hospital, diagnostic or research laboratories, or other educational or scientific establishment situated in this state concerned with the investigation of, or instruction concerning the structure or function of living organisms, the cause, prevention, control or cure of diseases or abnormal conditions of human beings or animals.” Iowa Code Ann. § 162.2.

[62] “Assistive animal” means a simian or other animal specially trained or in the process of being trained to assist a person with a disability. Iowa Code Ann. § 216C.11.

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