Missouri bill would establish new rules for owning primates

Friday, March 9, 2012 | 9:19 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Monkey owners in Missouri could soon have to follow several new rules to keep their exotic pets.

Part of a bill moving through the Missouri Senate would require people who own monkeys or other non-human primates to get the animals microchipped and obtain a state permit.

The measure also says the primates can't be mistreated or allowed to come into physical contact with a member of the public.

Monkey owners would need to have a plan for recapturing their animal if it escapes. Owners who intentionally release a monkey could face up to five years in prison with a possible $20,000 fine.

A Missouri Senate agriculture committee has endorsed the bill, and it could come up for debate later this month.

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