Release: October 29, 2004
HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ISSUES CITATIONS TO TWO MEN INVOLVED IN VIOLATIONS REGARDING POSSESSION OF MONKEY
HONOLULU - The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has issued citations to two men who were found in violation of state statute or rules regarding the possession of a monkey, which is an animal restricted under Hawaii law. The citations stem from a two month-long investigation which resulted in the confiscation of a squirrel monkey from a Makiki residence on October 7th.
Peter Hernandez, 52, who was in possession of the monkey when it was confiscated, was cited on October 15th for possession of a restricted animal without a permit, under section 150A7-(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes. The maximum bail forfeiture for this violation, as a first offense, was set at $1,000 if paid within seven days, or $2,000 after seven days.
Darren Tsuchiya, 36, was cited on October 8th for failure to comply with bond conditions required for the possession of a primate under section 4-71-9, HAR. Tsuchiya was issued a permit in February 2002 to possess the monkey, but said he had sold it in May 2002. State rules require that, in order for a monkey to be sold or given away, the new owner must acquire a permit and secure the appropriate bond with the State prior to the transfer, which was not done in this case. The maximum bail forfeiture for this violation, as a first offense, was set at $200. In addition, the $1,000 bond that Tsuchiya posted in order to have the monkey has been forfeited to the State.
The brown-colored squirrel monkey, which is about 12-inches in height, has been seized by the State and will be transferred to the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo on the Big Island as soon as veterinary tests are completed.
Under Hawaii law, primates, including monkeys, are only allowed for import and possession in the State under a permit with specific conditions set by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and approved by the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. Violations of permit conditions or bond conditions can result in citation or permit cancellation, and in certain circumstances, in seizure of the animal and bond forfeiture.