In Kansas, it is legal for anyone to import, possess, buy, and sell any species of ape for any purpose. There are no state permit or registration requirements for gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, or gibbons; however, those species are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act, and activities involving those animals may require federal permits. Kansas does not restrict or regulate the keeping of apes as pets, but under the state’s Pet Animal Act, certain facilities that maintain or sell pet animals (including primates) must become licensed by the Kansas Animal Health Department (KAHD). Those licensed facilities, including pet shops, animal shelters, and research facilities are required to meet KAHD’s minimum standards for the housing and care of pet animals.
There are no state import requirements for apes; however those animals are protected under federal laws and federal permits may be required. The Kansas Animal Health Department’s Disease Control Division is responsible for regulating the importation of domestic animals, including primates. Under KAHD’s animal health rules, all zoo animals and domesticated wild animals entering the state must be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection. In addition, any species that is susceptible to tuberculosis (including apes) must test negative for that disease within 30 days prior to entry.
Aside from pet shops, animal shelters, and research facilities, which are regulated by KAHD under the Pet Animal Act, Kansas has no minimum standards for the housing and care of apes. Certain entities, including animal breeders and dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities, are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Federal Animal Welfare Act and must comply with the federal standards of care for primates. Also, the state’s anti-cruelty laws require all custodians to provide their animals with food, potable water, protection from the elements, opportunity for exercise, and other necessary care.
Because there are no state permit or registration requirements for apes, Kansas has no system for locating, tracking, or monitoring individual apes within the state. As a result, it is difficult to gage the actual number of apes that are currently residing in Kansas.