2009 Rule Changes: Captive Wildlife

Captive Wildlife Regulations
Summary of Additions and/or Changes
Effective Date: August 27, 2009
Rules can be viewed at https://www.flrules.org/Default.asp by searching the rule numbers
below.
Rules affected:
68A-6.0011 Possession of Wildlife in Captivity; Permit Requirements.
68A-6.002 Categories of Captive Wildlife.
68A-6.0021 Possession or Transfer of Class I Wildlife as Personal Use Wildlife.
68A-6.0022 Possession of Class I, II, or III Wildlife in Captivity: Permit Requirements.
68A-6.0023 General Regulations Governing Possession of Captive Wildlife; Public
Contact; Transfer of Wildlife and Record Keeping Requirements.
68A-6.0024 Commercialization of Wildlife; Bonding or Financial Responsibility
Guarantee.
68A-6.0025 Sanctuaries; Retired Performing Wildlife and Identification. (New Rule)
68A-6.003 Facility and Structural Caging Requirement for Class I, II and III Wildlife.
68A-6.004 Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife.
68A-6.0041 Exceptions to Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife.
68A-6.005 Transportation Requirements for Wildlife; Caging Requirements for
Performing and Non-Performing Animals.
68A-6.007 Possession, Transportation, Exhibition and Caging Venomous Reptiles and
Reptiles of Concern.
68A-6.0071 Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements.
68A-6.0011
Requires research facilities registered and regulated according to the Animal Welfare
Act (7 U.S.C. 2131, et. seq.) to maintain a detailed research proposal including research
objectives, methodology, and study duration; and to outline planned safegaurds to assure
proper containment of the wildlife. The research proposal and annual record of progress
must be made available for inspection upon request by Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC). All cages or enclosures must meet the structural
requirements in Rule 68A-6.003, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).
A license is not required for Bison and offspring thereof that are possessed for the
production of meat, skins or hides, and not possessed for personal pets or for exhibition.
68A-6.002
The following animals are now listed as Class I wildlife:
o Gaur (family Bovidae),
o Hyenas and Aardwolf (family Hyaenidae),
o Cougars, panthers (Puma concolor), and
o Cheetahs (Acinonyx jabatus)
The following animals are now listed as Class II wildlife:
o All Sakis (genus Chiropotes and Pithecea)
o Patas monkeys (genus Erythrocebus),
o Vervet, grivet or green monkeys (genus Chlorocebus),
o American alligator (family Alligatoridae),
o Giraffe and okapi (family Giraffidae),
o Tapir (family Tapiridae), and
o Wild cattle; forest, woodland and aridland antelope (family Bovidae) including:
Forest buffalo, Banteng, Anoa, Waterbuck, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Eland, Kudu,
Nilgai, Bongo, Lechwe, Roan and Sable antelope, Sitatunga, Bontebok, Blesbok,
Topi, Kob, Addax, Oryx, Gemsbok, and other wild species of the family Bovidae
that are similar in size habits and nature.
American alligators may be possessed for personal use by qualified individuals.
Hybrids of domestic and wild animal crosses that are substantially similar in size,
characteristics, and behavior to the wild parent will be regulated as wildlife.
Fox, skunks, bats, raccoons, or white tail deer taken from the wild cannot be kept as pets.
68A-6.0021
A "grandfather" clause provides that any Class II wildlife licensed and possessed for
personal use before August 27, 2009, that is uplisted to Class I wildlife can continue to be
kept for personal use.
Class I wildlife that is "grandfathered" and possessed for personal use must be
permanently identified by tattoo, brand, microchip, photo (of distinguishing scars, marks,
or patterns), or other method that clearly and permanently identifies the animal from
another of the same species. Owners have until JANUARY 1, 2010, to permanently
identify their wildlife.
Records of identification are to be made available for inspection and a copy must be
provided upon annual renewal of the license.
68A-6.0022
A permit is required to possess Brushtail possums for personal use.
Applicants for Class I or Class II wildlife must document experience with the species or
other species within the same biological family that are similar in size, characteristics,
behavior, habits, care and nutritional requirements. Except for crocodilians, which will
be at the biological order level; and cougars, panthers or cheetahs which will be at the
genus level.
Applicants for Class I or Class II wildlife are required to submit two (2) letters of
reference. One (1) must be from a licensed individual or a representative of a professional
organization or governmental institution. Examples include universities, public service
agencies, zoological associations, herpetological societies, and veterinarians.
For Class II wildlife the hours of experience required to take the captive wildlife exam
has increased from 100 to 500 hours.
Licensed alligator farmers and trappers are exempt from meeting the experience
requirements for Class II wildlife.
Licensed game farm and hunt preserve operators are exempt from meeting the experience
requirements for Class II hoof stock.
Licensed corporations possessing Class I or Class II wildlife must have qualified
personnel responsible for the care of such wildlife. Corporations must provide
documentation of experience for at least one (1) person at time of application or upon
change of qualified personnel.
Anyone authorized to exhibit or sell Class I wildlife must obtain and maintain a current
and valid USDA license, if applicable. The USDA license must be obtained within 180
days of licensing by FWC. Failure to obtain and maintain a current and valid USDA
license may result in denial or revocation of any Class I authorizations.
Out of state licensees must have their Captive Wildlife Critical Incident/Disaster Plan
(CIDP) - Part B, with them while traveling in Florida with Class I or Class II wildlife.
Part B of the CIDP must describe the course of action to be taken in the event of a critical
incident or natural disaster in Florida.
68A-6.0023
All outdoor enclosures for non-native venomous reptiles and reptiles of concern shall be
topped with close-meshed wire or an equivalent barrier to provide additional security.
A safety barrier must be present to prevent physical contact with unconfined Class I or
Class II wildlife, except where public contact is allowed.
Incidental contact with Class I wildlife, other than as specified, must be approved in
writing by FWC prior to the use of such wildlife in incidental contact situations.
Licensees must maintain accurate record of changes in inventory, including acquisitions
and sales or transfers. Owners of Class I or Class II wildlife must also maintain an
accurate record of all births and deaths. Records must be available for inspection upon
request by FWC personnel.
Records must be available for a period of three (3) years after the sale or transfer.
Records of sale or transfer are not required for wildlife that can be possessed for personal
use without a permit, except as required by other rules of FWC.
68A-6.0024
Licensees authorized to exhibit or sell wildlife must demonstrate consistent and sustained
commercial activity. Examples for demonstrating consistent and sustained commercial
activity include: regular media advertising campaign or Internet Web site; signs,
billboards, or flyers advertising commercial wildlife services or operations; regular open
for business hours; written business conducted on printed letterhead indicating the name
of the company or business; documented exhibition of wildlife to the public, with or
without a charge; and sale of wildlife.
68A-6.0025 Sanctuaries; Retired Performing Wildlife and Identification. (New Rule)
Must be a not-for-profit corporation exempt from taxation. Proof of status as a Florida
registered not-for-profit corporation and tax exemption under 501(c)(3) must be
maintained on file and be available for inspection upon request by FWC personnel.
Defines a "wildlife sanctuary for captive wildlife" as a facility established for the sole
purpose of providing lifetime care for unwanted or infirmed captive wildlife.
Trade, sale, offering for trade or sale, or buying captive wildlife or parts thereof is
prohibited.
Full or incidential contact with the wildlife is prohibited.
Wildlife shall be permanently identified by means of tattoo, brand, PIT tag, or
photographic identification.
Rare, endangered, or protected wildlife may be transferred for breeding purposes, if it
clearly enhances the survival of the species.
Sanctuaries exhibiting Class I wildlife must be bonded or meet the financial
responsibility guarantee requirements for the exhibition of Class I wildlife.
Performing wildlife that due to age or physical condition can no longer perform may be
kept for the purposes of providing lifetime care. Such retired performing wildlife must
be permanently identified.
68A-6.003
Cages or enclosures using the ground as flooring that house animals that exhibit a digging
or burrowing behavior must have a footer or bottom apron.
Measures must be taken to stop erosion to ensure the structural integrity of an enclosure
and prevent the escape of wildlife for any cages or enclosures affected by erosion.
68A-6.004
Proposals to use open air habitats, except as provided in the rule, must be approved in
writing by the FWC prior to being used to house wildlife.
Cages or enclosures housing red pandas are to provide an environment or be equipped
with a device that allows for temperature regulation to ensure the well-being of this
species.
68A-6.0041
Farms raising bison that are not for public exhibition or possessed as personal pets are
exempt from the standard caging requirements.
68A-6.005
Wildlife must be transported in a cage or enclosure. The cage or enclosure must be
labeled "Live Animal" and list the number of specimens and the common and scientific
names of the wildlife being transported.
Trailers used to transport wildlife must have a label stating "Live Animal" affixed to the
trailer access or loading door. The list containing the number of specimens and the
common and scientific names of the wildlife being transported must be kept in the
vehicle.
68A-6.007
Clarifies that sub-species of Amethystine or scrub python that exceed 12 feet upon
maturity are defined as a reptile of concern.
Applicants for venomous reptiles are required to submit two (2) letters of reference. One
(1) must be from a licensed individual or a representative of a professional organization
or governmental institution. Examples include universities, public service agencies,
zoological associations, herpetological societies, and veterinarians.
Licensed corporations possessing venomoue reptiles must have qualified personnel
responsible for the care of such wildlife. Corporations must provide documentation of
experience for at least one (1) person at time of application or upon change of qualified
personnel.
Out of state licensees must have their Captive Wildlife Critical Incident/Disaster Plan
(CIDP) - Part B, with them while traveling in Florida with venomous reptiles or reptiles
of concern. Part B of the CIDP must describe the course of action to be taken in the
event of a critical incident or natural disaster in Florida.



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