For the second time this year, a judge has ruled that a primate is not a service animal within the definitions of federal disabilities law.
A Missouri judge ruled against a woman who sued various defendants, including Wal-Mart, that refused to let her visit their establishments accompanied by her money.
The woman said she was agoraphobic and the monkey was trained to assist her in dealing with her anxiety, but the court found that it simply provided comfort and was nothing more than a household pet.
Similarly, an Arizona judge ruled in February that a chimpanzee could not be considered a service animal for a woman who had diabetes. “[H]aving the Chimpanzee in her home to retrieve and administer emergency assistance to Pruett is not only unnecessary, it likely is inadequate,” the opinion stated, according to Onpoint.
The ABA Journal recently highlighted proposed restrictions to the Americans with Disabilities Act that would specifically prohibit the monkey and the chimpanzee at issue in the lawsuits. “Proposed revisions…would exclude not only snakes and other reptiles, but rabbits, farm animals, amphibians, ferrets, rodents and wild animals including monkeys born in captivity, according to the newspaper. They would also eliminate from the definition of service animal creatures who simply provide emotional support, comfort or companionship,” the Journal said.
More than 4,500 people have complained about the proposed restrictions. The Journal article noted that Daniel Green, an epileptic man whose 5-foot boa constrictor rides around on his neck and alerts him of impending seizures, would find his snake on the banned list.
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