Animal Legal and Historical Center
Great Apes and the Law: A complete resource for the legal status of the Great Apes within the United States
Michigan State University College of Law

General information

Federal and International


Specific State Information

  • Missouri
  • Florida
  • California
  • Texas

Missouri Great Ape Laws

Statute Name Citation Summary
MO - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   MO ST 578.005 - 188; MO ST 566.111   These Missouri statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty laws.  The term "animal" means every living vertebrate except a human being.  The provisions of sections 578.005 to 578.023 do not apply to the care or treatment performed by a licensed veterinarian, bona fide scientific experiments, hunting, fishing, or trapping, publicly funded zoological parks, rodeo practices, the killing of an animal by the owner, the lawful, humane killing of an animal by an animal control officer, the operator of an animal shelter, a veterinarian, or law enforcement or health official, normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, the killing of an animal by any person at any time if such animal is outside of the property of the owner or if such animal is injuring any person or farm animal, the killing of house or garden pests, or field trials, training and hunting practices as accepted by the Professional Houndsmen of Missouri.  A person is guilty of animal neglect when he or she has custody or ownership or an animal and fails to provide adequate care, which results in substantial harm to the animal.  A person is guilty of abandonment when he or she has knowingly abandoned an animal in any place without making provisions for its adequate care.  Animal neglect and abandonment is a class C misdemeanor upon first conviction with enhancement to a class B misdemeanor for subsequent convictions.  A person is guilty of animal abuse when a person intentionally or purposely kills an animal in any manner not allowed by law, purposely or intentionally causes injury or suffering to an animal, or, having ownership or custody of an animal, knowingly fails to provide adequate care or control.  Animal abuse is a class A misdemeanor unless the person was previously convicted.  
MO - Endangered Species - Chapter 252. Department of Conservation--Fish and Game.   MO ST 252.020, 252.235, 252.240   This Missouri statute provides that the importation, transportation, or sale of any endangered species of fish or wildlife, or hides or other parts thereof, or the sale or possession with intent to sell any article made in whole or in part from the skin, hide or other parts of any endangered species of fish or wildlife is prohibited.  Violation of the statute constitutes a Class B misdemeanor.  
MO - Exotic pet - 578.023. Keeper of dangerous wild animals must register animals, exceptions--penalty   MO ST 578.023   This Missouri law states that no person may keep any lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, Canada lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, hyena, wolf, bear, nonhuman primate, coyote, any deadly, dangerous, or poisonous reptile, or any deadly or dangerous reptile over eight feet long, in any place other than a properly maintained zoological park, circus, scientific, or educational institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, or animal refuge, unless such person has registered such animals with the local law enforcement agency in the county in which the animal is kept. Violation is a class C misdemeanor.  
MO - Fish and Game - Chapter 252 (The Wildlife and Forestry Law)   MO ST 252.002 - 252.333   This chapter establishes the Missouri Department of Conservation, outlines the agency's scope of authority, and includes all of the state's wildlife and endangered species statutes.  
MO - Ordinances -Chapter 77. Third Class Cities   MO ST 77.590, 79.110, 80.090, 82.300   This set of statutes authorizes municipal governments to regulate animals and animal-related nuisances.  

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