Covering Louisiana

Aug 28, 2014 3:15 PM

LDWF to host meeting on proposed amendments for big cats, primates

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to accept public comment on proposed amendments the rules and regulations for potentially dangerous quadrupeds, big exotic cats and non-human primates. The hearing will be held in the Louisiana Room at LDWF's headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.


The proposed amendments were presented to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) at their July 3 meeting and the Commission adopted a notice of intent that provides public comment on the amendments through Aug. 30. However, additional oral and written comments will be accepted at the hearing.

The amendments, as proposed by LDWF, clarify some of the terms used in the regulations, modify some permit requirements, and remove some redundant language.

Specifically, the amendment defines "zoo" for the purposes of obtaining a permit under the regulations. However, an entity that does not meet the definition of "zoo" as stated in the amendment may still qualify for a permit as long as the application has been received by July 1, 2014.

For the possession of non-human primates, the amendment removes an exemption to grant permits for "helper monkeys," or trained primates kept by a disabled person to assist in daily tasks. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been amended so that only trained dogs qualify as service animals, and this change to Louisiana's regulations will more closely reflect the federal statutes.

In order to renew their permits, owners of non-human primates will be required to complete the same type of paperwork that owners of large cats complete - including a hold harmless agreement, a financial responsibility statement, and a consent to inspection of the primate and its enclosure.

Finally, the amended rules would authorize LDWF to set a limit on the "grandfather" date, and the owner of any previously unpermitted primate that qualifies for a permit would be required to submit an application prior to June 30, 2015 in order for it to be considered.

To view the full July 3 notice of intent, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Melissa Collins, LDWF Wildlife Division, Post Office Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, or mcollins@wlf.la.gov until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2014.

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