STATE AGENCY


Fish and Wildlife Commission

     Division of Law Enforcement
     620 South Meridian Street

     Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

     (850) 488-3641 or 488-6253

Meets: Feb, Apr, Jun, Sep, Nov


Length: Two days


Next Meeting: Sep 26-27


Meetings

Proposed Rules


PERMITS

Captive Wildlife Permits

FLORIDA


LEGISLATURE


ADJOURNED


Florida Legislature

House Address:
313 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Senate Address:
222 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100


Sessions: Annual


Convenes:

   Odd Years: Mar (Tue after

                                 1st Mon)

   Even Years: Determined by

                         Legislature


Adjourns: 60 calendar days


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During Session: 7 days
After Session: 15 days
Pocket Veto: No
FL Constitution Art III Sec 8


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60th day after adj
FL Constitution Art III Sec 9

STATE LAWS


Florida Statutes                                      Florida Administrative Rules

MAIN LAW


Captive wildlife is divided into Class I, Class II, and Class III and species not requiring a permit.  Class I wildlife is banned for personal use (pets), Class II wildlife may be kept as pets under a permit, and Class III includes all other species.  Existing ones may be kept under old class rules.  Issues permits for temporary possession and import.  Hybrids are regulated the same as their more restricted parent. 


Class I Requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • $ Exhibition or Public Sale License ($150 under 25 animals, $250 26+)
  • Facility Information Location Form
  • Critical Incident Disaster Plan
  • $10,000 bond/$2,000,000 liability insurance requirement (as of 2010)
  • 1 year and 1000 hours of experience (Up to 500 hours may be substituted by zoology courses)
  • References of 2 people (1 can be relative and 1 MUST be FWC licensee with same class or higher OR representative of professional organization or government institution)
  • Perimeter fence 8’ high constructed of not less than 11 ½ gauge chain link or strength equivalent

                     - Meet all specie specific caging requirements and other specifications

  • 35’ “buffer zone” between cages and property line
  • 5 acres (new facilities as of 8/27/2009)
  • May not be kept in multi-unit dwellings


Exceptions to perimeter fence, buffer zone, and acreage – carnivores until 25# or 6 months of age, primates until 12 months of age, crocodiles under 4’ – require ¼ acre and 5’ fence for outdoor exercise area


Class II Requirements:


  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • $140 Personal Use License or Exhibition or Public Sale License ($150 under 25 animals, $250 26+)
  • Facility Information Location Form
  • Critical Incident Disaster Plan
  • 1,000 hours of documented experience (Up to 500 hours may be substituted by zoology courses. If unable to document such experience, the applicant can pass (80% or more) a two-part written examination for the particular species or family administered by the Division of Law Enforcement)
  • References of 2 people (1 can be relative and 1 MUST be FWC licensee with same class or higher OR representative of professional organization or government institution)
  • Perimeter fence 8’ high OR 6’ high with a 2’, 45 degree inward angle overhang, both of which must be constructed of not less than 11 ½ gauge chain link or strength equivalent
  • Meet all specie specific caging requirements and other specifications
  • 35’ “buffer zone” between cages and property line
  • 2 ½ acres (new facilities as of 8/27/2009)
  • May only be kept in multi-unit dwellings if private entrance and yard


Exceptions to perimeter fence, buffer zone, and acreage – carnivores until 25# or 6 months of age, primates until 12 months of age, African golden cat, bobcat, caracal, fishing cat, guenon, ocelot, saki, serval, Temminck's golden cat, uakari - require 5’ fence for outdoor exercise area


Class III Requirements:


  • Be 16 years or older
  • Pass questionnaire
  • Free Personal Pet Permit OR $50 Exhibition or Public Sale Permit
  • Critical Incident Disaster Plan
  • Class III capuchins, spider monkeys, and wooly monkeys applicants must meet experience requirements of Class II wildlife except land, perimeter fence, and buffer zone requirements. 


Commercial use of Class I wildlife: Requires demonstration of continuous commercial activity by providing documentation of sale or exhibition of wildlife, regular business hours, or advertising.  Also requires $10,000 bond or $2,000,000 liability insurance for exhibiting.  Class I felines and great apes can come into full contact with the public until they are 25 pounds, lesser apes between the ages of 4 months and 2 years, and all elephants.  Incidental contact is allowed with Class I carnivores (except cheetahs and cougars) and great apes over 6 months until they are 40 pounds, any lesser apes over 4 months, and any elephants.

Venomous reptiles and reptiles of concern: BANNED for personal use with only traveling USDA exhibitors and FWC licensed zoo facilities being exempt.  Owners may turn in illegal ones to permit holders without question. 

NOTE: Florida is unique in that ONLY Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission can ban/regulate exotics and other wildlife in the state. No county in Florida can ban private possession of wild/exotic animals. FWC has sole jurisdiction. They can only regulate their enclosures. All enclosures housing animals must meet the city's/county's building codes.
(Florida Admin Code 68A – 6; 28 Florida Statutes 379.231, 379.303 to 305, 379.372 to 374, 379.3761 to 3762, 379.4015)

NATIVE SPECIES


Pet foxes, skunks, bats, raccoons and white tail deer must be captive bred.


SPECIAL PERMITS


  • Exotic or pet bird dealers
  • Species of special concern 
  • Falconry (68A-9.005)
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation (68A-9.006)


IMPORT


Import: Import requires an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection within 30 days or an Owner-Shipper Statement if exempt from the certificate.  Restricted animals require a Permit for Movement of Restricted Animals.  Hoofed animals need a certificate within 5 days prior.

Exhibition: Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection required within 30 days for out-of-state and 90 days if in state along with an inspection.