Where Are Monkeys Legal to Own

Where Are Monkeys Legal to Own?

Monkeys have always captivated the human imagination with their playful nature and curious behavior. Many people dream of owning a monkey as a pet, but it is essential to understand that not all jurisdictions allow their ownership. Laws regulating the ownership of monkeys vary from country to country and even within different regions. In this article, we will explore where monkeys are legal to own and provide answers to some frequently asked questions regarding monkey ownership.

1. United States: In the United States, monkey ownership laws differ from state to state. Some states, such as Nevada, Alabama, and Wisconsin, have no restrictions on owning monkeys. However, several states, including New York, California, and Texas, prohibit the ownership of primates as pets. It is crucial to research the specific laws in your state before considering monkey ownership.

2. United Kingdom: In the United Kingdom, it is legal to own some species of monkeys, such as the marmoset and capuchin monkeys, as long as they are captive-bred and not taken from the wild. However, certain permits and licenses may be required, and strict regulations govern their housing and care.

3. Canada: In Canada, the ownership of monkeys is generally allowed, but regulations vary by province. Some provinces, like Alberta and British Columbia, permit the ownership of certain species, while others, such as Quebec and Newfoundland, impose strict bans on monkey ownership.

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4. Australia: Australia has one of the strictest legislations worldwide regarding monkey ownership. Primates are classified as prohibited exotic pets, and it is illegal to own them without special permits. The Australian government aims to protect the country’s unique biodiversity by preventing the introduction of non-native species.

5. Germany: In Germany, owning monkeys as pets is generally prohibited. Primates are considered highly intelligent and social animals that require specialized care and specific living conditions, making them unsuitable for private ownership.

6. South Africa: South Africa allows the ownership of monkeys as pets, but only if the owner obtains a permit. The permit ensures that the monkeys are captive-bred and not taken from the wild. Additionally, owners must meet specific requirements regarding housing, care, and veterinary supervision.

7. Brazil: In Brazil, it is legal to own monkeys as pets, but a permit from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) is required. The permit ensures that the monkeys are captive-bred and not trafficked from the wild.

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8. United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates has specific regulations governing the ownership of monkeys as pets. Prospective owners must obtain a license from the local authorities and comply with strict guidelines regarding the animal’s welfare, housing, and care.

9. Japan: In Japan, owning certain species of monkeys, such as the Japanese macaque, is legal if the owner obtains a permit from the local government. However, stringent regulations govern their ownership, and owners must provide appropriate care and housing for the animals.


1. Can I own a monkey as a pet if I live in California?
No, California prohibits the ownership of primates as pets.

2. Can I own a monkey in New York City?
No, New York City also prohibits the ownership of primates as pets.

3. Are there any legal requirements for owning a monkey in the United States?
Yes, even in states where monkey ownership is allowed, some requirements, such as permits or licenses, may be necessary.

4. Can I buy a monkey from the wild and keep it as a pet?
Most countries have strict regulations against owning wild-caught monkeys as pets. It is generally illegal and unethical to capture monkeys from their natural habitats.

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5. What are the risks of owning a monkey as a pet?
Monkeys can transmit diseases to humans, require specialized diets and care, and may exhibit aggressive behavior if not properly socialized.

6. How much does it cost to own a monkey?
Owning a monkey can be expensive, with costs including housing, food, veterinary care, and enrichment activities. Prices for monkeys can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the species.

7. Do monkeys make good pets?
Monkeys have complex needs and require a significant commitment of time, resources, and expertise. They are not suitable pets for most people.

8. Are there any alternatives to owning a monkey?
Yes, for those interested in primates, supporting reputable sanctuaries or zoos that focus on primate conservation is a responsible alternative.

9. Can I volunteer or work with monkeys without owning one?
Many organizations and sanctuaries offer volunteer and job opportunities to work with monkeys, allowing individuals to interact with these fascinating creatures responsibly.

In conclusion, before considering the ownership of a monkey, it is crucial to research and understand the laws and regulations specific to your location. Additionally, potential owners should carefully consider the ethical implications and responsibilities associated with owning a primate.