H.R. 80: Captive Primate Safety Act

H.R. 80

Captive Primate Safety Act

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

February 23, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On February 23, 2009, H.R. 80 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on January 6, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife, which has taken no official action.


Bill Summary

H.R. 80 amends the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, by prohibiting the import, export, transport, sale, receipt, acquisition, or purchase of any live non-human primate (such as monkeys, chimpanzees, great apes, lemurs, etc.) through interstate or foreign commerce.

The legislation allows the transport of these non-human primates for veterinary purposes as long as the person transporting the animal carries proof of the appointment issued by the veterinarian and the animal is transported and treated within all applicable State and local laws. H.R. 80 also allows individuals who own such primates to give them to an out-of-state caregiver upon the death of the owner. The legislation sets civil and criminal penalties for violations of the provisions of the Act.

The bill authorizes $5 million annually for the Secretary of the Interior to hire additional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Officers to enforce this Act.


The Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. 701) was enacted in 1900 in an effort to protect species of wildlife by banning the interstate transport of wildlife killed in violation of a federal, state, or tribal law. The original Lacey Act has been amended several times since its enactment.

The Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 made it unlawful for any person to attempt, assist, or actively participate in the import, export, transport, purchase or sale of fish, wildlife or plants taken or possessed in violation of federal, state, or tribal law. In 2003, Congress passed the Captive Wildlife Safety Act (P.L. 108-191), which was introduced by Congressman Howard McKeon (R-CA), on November 19, 2003, and passed by a vote of 419-0. The bill amended the Lacey Act Amendments to include big game cats, such as lions and tigers. The President signed the Captive Wildlife Safety Act into law on December 19, 2003.

The House considered identical legislation (H.R. 2964) in the 110th Congress. The bill passed the House on suspension by a vote of 302-96.



A CBO score for H.R. 80 was not available. However, according to a score for H.R. 2964, an identical bill considered in the 110th Congress, CBO estimated that implementing the bill would cost $17 million over the 2009-2013 period to enforce the new prohibition.