News Releases

FWC improves communication about captive wildlife facilities

News Release

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a final rule regarding captive wildlife facility requirements Wednesday in Pensacola Beach.

During the morning portion of the meeting, Capt. John West of the FWC's Captive Wildlife Section presented staff recommendations for the rule. Commissioners had concerns regarding conflicts between the FWC and county jurisdiction, so the decision was deferred until the meeting's afternoon portion.

"We need to ensure that we keep separate the areas that we manage and those that the counties manage," Commissioner Kathy Barco said. "But I agree with the proposed changes as amended."

The new rule requires new Class I or II wildlife facilities to submit a "Facility Location Information" form. The form will help start a dialogue between local counties/municipalities and the applicant on local building and zoning codes for the construction of a facility. Also, the FWC will notify the appropriate county or municipality when it receives an application for a new facility.

West had several suggestions for the rule, including eliminating the 25-day time frame in which counties are expected to respond to the FWC, deleting "zoned solely for residential use" language and requiring applicants to complete and submit a Facility Location Information form that will be sent to local governments.

"The proposed changes will help to ensure that facility owners work with local governments on the appropriate building and zoning requirements before captive wildlife facilities are constructed," West said. "This will also allow counties to regulate land use and the FWC to regulate the captive wildlife."

Over the past year, FWC employees worked with representatives from the Florida Association of Counties, local governments and other stakeholders on changes to the county-related captive wildlife rules.

More information about FWC captive wildlife regulations is available at

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