Due to growing concerns over the buying, selling, and possession of exotic animals in Florida, legislators and wildlife officials said they are attempting to limit sales over the Internet. While Florida law requires permits and registration for those who own exotic animals, only about 10% of exotic animal owners actually comply with the law.
According to officials, a first-time offense is a misdemeanor with a small fine attached, but repeat offenders could face jail time and fines of up to $10,000. The licensing fee is $100 and will remain at $100 so it does not become a burden for exotic animal owners.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hold an amnesty day on October 3 so that any exotic animal can be surrendered no questions asked. Officials have also identified six species they are especially concerned about, because of their large size. Hunters are encouraged to kill the following reptile species: Burmese, African rock, scrub and reticulated pythons, the green anaconda, and the Mile monitor lizard.
Legislators, wildlife officials examine Florida’s exotic animal laws, South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 9, 2009
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