Where Is It Legal To Own A Monkey?

Pets are a beautiful part of our life and there is no second thought about it. There are many people who own a pet to make their life happier and mainly to have a fun companion with them all time. However, having a pet is quite easy but it depends on which pet are you thinking of owning. 

There are several animals that are ready to become your pet and a monkey is one of them. Yes, you heard it right. Monkeys are one of the most adored pets and are the most intelligent in comparison to others. However, before owning, one must be aware of the legal conditions and know where is it legal to own a monkey.

Keeping a monkey against the law may put you in difficult situations and even may lead to jail time. Hence before owning a pet make sure you read this article where we shall answer some of the questions such as where is it legal to own a pet monkey, where is it legal to own a finger monkey, and also where is it legal to own a capuchin monkey.

Let us go through it and know whether you can own a monkey in your country or not. Then, why wait!! Let’s get going!!

Where is it legal to own a monkey?


There are many countries that allow you to own a monkey as a pet but with restrictions and proper care and there are some countries that prohibit the possession of a monkey. Let us discuss these states.

Countries that allow you to own a monkey

There are certain states which allow you to own a monkey such as the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Mexico, Brazil, and some of the other Asian countries. Monkeys are considered exotic animals and many of the states in the country may object you to keeping them though other states in the same country may allow you to own them. 

Though many states allow you to keep them there are certain restrictions such as not carrying them to banks or to hospitals and some other restricted places.

Countries that restrict you to own a monkey

Countries such as India, and Australia, and European states such as the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Latvia, and Hungary do not allow petting a monkey. There are some strict rules against petting a monkey and if found broken then there might be a heavy penalty or fine charged for the action. Due to the diseases spread by the monkeys, many countries’ environmental law does not allow their citizens to own them as a pet. 

The legal status of Monkey ownership in the United States

In the United States of America, twenty-five states completely ban owning a monkey as it is considered to be a dangerous and diseases spreading animal. Even though American states allow you to own a pet monkey, there are certain restrictions that have to be followed.

States Legal Status
Alabama Yes
Alaska No
Arizona Yes
Arkansas Yes
California No
Colorado No
Connecticut Yes
Delaware Yes
Florida Yes
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois No
Indiana Yes
Iowa No
Kansas Yes
Kentucky No
Louisiana No
Maine No
Maryland No
Massachusetts No
Michigan Yes
Minnesota Yes
Mississippi Yes
Missouri Yes
Montana No
Nebraska Yes
Nevada Yes
New Hampshire No
New Jersey No
New Mexico No
New York No
North Carolina Yes
North Dakota Yes
Ohio No
Oklahoma Yes
Oregon No
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island No
South Carolina Yes
South Dakota Yes
Tennessee Yes
Texas Yes
Utah No
Vermont No
Virginia Yes
Washington No
West Virginia Yes
Wisconsin Yes
Wyoming Yes


Some of the rules that have to be followed are – 

  1. One must present the ownership document to the respective authority stating that the monkey was acquired legally and going through the process.
  2. Owners must take steps to protect the environment’s health by following the basic norms such as caging and having liability insurance in case needed.
  3. Owners must make sure to treat the monkey with all the vaccines timely and keep all the necessary documents safely to present to the court when necessary.

Though all these criteria are met many of the cities may not allow the ownership of a monkey due to local ordinances which can become a problem later if neglected. If ‘such criteria are not met or ownership of a monkey is against the law of the state then the person may have to pay a fine of 3,000 – 5,000 dollars of fine to the court or even serve some community services. In other cases, monkeys can be seized and taken away from you permanently.

International Laws on Monkey Ownership

Is it legal to own a monkey under international laws? Well, some countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada have different rules and regulations. UK legislation allows their citizens to own a monkey as a pet which has to be small. Buying a pet is as easy as buying a cat and dog as they do not issue any license or do any background checks.

Speaking about Canada, Owning a monkey is against the law and they are listed as controlled alien species under their legislation. Monkeys are found to be socially active and family animals and separating them from the family can cause mental stress on the babies. Hence, the Canadian government proposes strict actions on owning a monkey.

However, some Asian and African countries allow their people to own a monkey as they find it common in their areas. For example, in African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. In South Africa, it is legal to own a monkey but one must apply for a permit to own a wild animal.

Asian countries such as Vietnam are quite famous for owning monkeys as their pets and China is also considered to be a monkey-pet-friendly country. However, it is legal in many parts of the country one must possess the permit everywhere whether is it an Asian or African country.

The Impact of monkey ownership on conservation efforts

Every wild animal has their own duties and responsibility in the environment growth and the monkey is one of the most important species. Monkeys are considered to be endangered animals and their contribution is vital to the environment. Ownership of a monkey may be the result of the decline of monkey species as they are not allowed to mate or get involved with other members of the group once adopted.

This is one of the main reasons and also monkeys’ natural habitat is ruined and without having to hunt much nutritious food may get missed in their daily food. This causes serious worries to the nation, seeing the drastic declining graph of the population.

Frequently Asked Questions


#1 Is Owning a Monkey as a pet legal in the United States?

It is legal in many states though there are some rules that follow them. Any citizen can own a monkey in the United States depending on state law. But it is necessary to have a permit and other required documents to own a monkey as a pet.

#2 Can I legally own a monkey in other countries?

Yes, anyone can own a monkey in other countries with respect to state law. If the state’s law allows you to own a monkey only then there shall be no charges filed against you. Countries such as India and Canada strictly prohibit the ownership of a monkey.

#3 What are the ethical concerns surrounding monkey ownership?

Monkeys are one of the most intelligent animals and once trained properly they can even rob a bank and even they can be used to do unethical jobs such as theft and using them to earn money.

#4 What can I do to support monkey conservation efforts?

There are several communities working toward this cause and one can try to join them and help them in the ways you can. Support the ban of monkey ownership which shall help the growth of the population of the monkey in the countries.

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Owning a monkey is a very adventurous task but one must have a clear idea of whether is it legal to own a monkey. Though all these criteria are met it is unsafe to own a monkey as they are wild animals and the name itself suggests it is better to be in the wild than to be a pet. Hope our article on Where Is It Legal To Own A Monkey has helped you. See you soon in another informative blog.

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