North Dakota

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Detailed Discussion of North Dakota Great Ape Laws The following article discusses Great Ape law in North Dakota. Generally, in North Dakota, if a person obtains the correct license, he or she can keep an ape as a pet, an exhibitor, a zoo, or for any other non-prohibited purpose.The state board of animal health has categorized great apes as nontraditional livestock. In order to possess nontraditional livestock, including a great ape, a private owner must first obtain a license.Finally, great apes are generally protected from intentional abuse and neglect under the state’s anti-cruelty law. Great apes receive very limited protections under Montana’s endangered species law.
Kautzman v. McDonald

Plaintiffs sued defendants in their official capacities as law enforcement officers for shooting and killing their five dogs after the dogs escaped from plaintiffs' residence and began roaming the streets.  The intentional infliction of emotional distress claim was dismissed because the court held that conduct could not reasonably be viewed as extreme and outrageous after receiving testimony that the dog were aggressive toward the officers.  However, the court remanded the negligent infliction of emotional distress claim for further consideration.  Plaintiffs asserted that two statutes conferred a duty upon the officers; one an anti-cruelty statute and the other a statute allowing officers to take custody of abandoned animals.

ND - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

ND - Cruelty - Chapter 36-21.1. Humane Treatment of Animals.

This North Dakota section comprises the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. The relevant anti-cruelty statute provides that no person may overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill

any animal

, or cruelly work any animal when unfit for labor.  It also includes a neglect component, stating that no person may deprive any animal over which the person has charge or control of necessary food, water, or shelter, nor may a person keep any animal in any enclosure without exercise and wholesome change of air.  The statute also prohibits the abandonment of any animal and has a provision that describes the dimensions of cages for the public display of animals.  However, the latter does not apply to agricultural fairs, state fairs, or zoos.

ND - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws

These statutes comprise North Dakota's dog laws.  Among the provisions include municipal powers to regulate dogs, rabies, control laws, provisions that define dogs as a public nuisance, and laws concerning dogs that harass big game or livestock.

ND - Eagle - Chapter 20.1-04. Birds, Regulations.

North Dakota has a statute that specifically prohibits any taking or possession of bald and golden eagles or their parts.  Included in the prohibited acts are take, kill, hunt, possess, pursue, or even disturb.  Buying and selling are not specifically listed, but are presumed to be included in possess.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see

Detailed Discussion


ND - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 12.1-21.1. Animal Research Facility Damage

This chapter concerns unlawful interference with animal facilities. Under the section, a person may not intentionally damage or destroy an animal facility or the property or animals located therein; exercise control over the animals or property; enter an animal facility not open to the public with the intent on committing prohibited acts; enter a facility and remain concealed to commit prohibited acts; or intentionally release an animal at a facility. Violation is a class B felony if damage is $10,000 or more, a class C felony if the damage is at least $500 to under $10,000, and a class A misdemeanor if damage is less than $500. Entering an animal facility and using or attempting to use a camera, video recorder, or any other video or audio recording equipment is a class B misdemeanor.

ND - Endangered Species - Chapter 20.1-01. General Provisions.

This North Dakota statute provides a state definition for endangered species.

ND - Equine Activity - Chapter 53-10. Equine Activity Sponsor or Professional.

This North Dakota statute provides that an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity and no participant may maintain an action against an equine activity sponsor or professional. 

Statutory definitions are provided, including "participant," "equine activity," and who is considered an "equine sponsor" or "equine professional."   Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.

ND - Exotic Pets - 48-12-02.1-01. Housing, handling, and health requirements.

This North Dakota regulation provides specific rules for Category 3 species of non-traditional livestock. These species include: wild suidae (hogs and pigs); large felids (cats) and hybrids; bears; wolves and wolf-hybrids; venomous reptiles; primates, and nondomestic sheep/goats and their hybrids. Among the provisions include regulations for housing and confinement, importation requirements, and vaccinations.