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senate Bill S. 1463

Does the U.S. Need to Crack Down on the Sale of Wild Primates?

Argument in favor

Wild primates should not be kept as pets. Vendors should be punished for enslaving animals that often become dangerous when removed from their original habitat.

Argument opposed

S. 1463 fails to define measures to ensure that the sale of non-human primates is regulated. Not to mention that it doesn’t completely outlaw the buying and selling of these animals, it just tightens restrictions.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
    IntroducedAugust 1st, 2013

What is Senate Bill S. 1463?

S. 1463 — the Captive Primate Safety Act — aims to stop the exotic pet market from transferring primates across U.S. state lines.

The bill amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981  — an act that bans the import, export, sale, or purchase of “prohibited wildlife species” — to include “non-human primates.”  If passed, S. 1463 would legally protect primates like monkeys and apes from being bought and sold.

There are a few exceptions: a person can acquire a “non-human primate” if that primate is especially trained to assist the blind. However, the person transporting the primate must be professionally trained and the person selling the primate must have a license. Organizations that are registered by a federal agency would also be exempt from the bill.

Anyone who breaks the measures outlined in the bill could face criminal and civil penalties.


Non-human primates, apes, monkeys, exotic animal dealers, people in the market for a pet monkey, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1463

The CBO estimates that S.1463 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.

More Information

Of Note: 

There have been a handful of incidents in the past decade where “non-human primates” held as pets became dangerous to humans. Some attacks even resulted in death which has prompted politicians to regulate the trading of wildlife. That’s bad news for exotic pet dealers, who rake in about $19 billion globally per year, and good news for the long list of animal rights organizations advocating for S.1463.


CBO Cost Estimate


Captive Primate Safety Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to prohibit importation, exportation, transportation, sale, receipt, acquisition, and purchase in interstate or foreign commerce, or in a manner substantially affecting interstate or foreign commerce, of any live animal of any prohibited wildlife species.

    The federal government should protect the public from primates crossing state lines. This bill takes the first step toward total prohibition of primates used as pets.
    The word “sale” to begin with is wrong. This is “trafficking” and nothing less. The capture, breeding, and trafficking of imprisoned nonhuman persons is slavery. Are we seriously debating whether slavery is OK? Who in 2018 thinks slavery is OK?More than that, the debate we need to be having is why nonhuman persons do not have rights, not whether or not it is OK to traffic them, even given certain “special” conditions. Brazil gave more rights to a river than non-human persons have everywhere in the world. India gave rights to cetaceans that primates do not have anywhere in the world. Why are we always so behind the curve? Look into the Nonhunan Rights Project based out of New York and the legal battles they are fighting in court for primates and other nonhumans that currently have no more rights than a shoe. THAT is what our legislators need to be working on. Slavery is slavery, species irrelevant.
    I love this bill! Saves lives! It needs more information! Also needs bipartisanship support to pass!
    The government isn’t doing enough to protect any animal species! They’re letting people kill sea lions in Washington for no good reason!!!