Florida Exotic Animal Regulations
Update on Florida import requirement enforcement:
During a recent tour by Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) captive wildlife/law enforcement staff to the Gourmet Rodent facility outside of Gainesville, USARK’s legal consultant, along with Mike Layman and Bill Brant, had the opportunity to discuss recent concerns. This included FWC’s most recent efforts to apply and enforce an existing regulation that requires all imports of non-native species into the state to first obtain a permit, a process that can take up to 2-3 weeks.
USARK Counsel Joan Galvin, Brant and Layman provided examples of how this requirement will disrupt business operations and place undue burdens on licensees seeking to bring new animals into the state. Staff agreed to take the issue back to FWC and see if a more manageable system could be put in place that: (1) allows licensees to more easily import while (2) ensuring that the state has the information required under existing regulations.
The proposed solution, which will be implemented in January, is as follows:
• FWC will require a state import permit, per the existing regulations; however
• Licensees can apply for a “master permit” at the beginning of the calendar
year that will be good for the entire year;
• The permit application should indicate all species that may be imported
(generally all species you are currently authorized to hold, per your license);
• With a “master permit," the permit holder need only notify FWC within 72
after the import occurs;
• Permits can be amended throughout the year with additional species, as needed.
The master permit should reduce paperwork and lead-time and should more easily allow for last minute imports or those that occur over a weekend.
Black Pine Snakes
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will publish a proposed rule on October 7 regarding the Black Pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi). They will recommend its listing as a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) along with proposing a section 4(d) rule.
Lonestar Reptile Expo
4(d) rules can be used to relax normal ESA restrictions and reduce conflicts between people and the protections provided to the threatened species.
FWS is seeking public comments on this proposal. All comments and information should be received by December 2, 2014 (45 days after publication in the Federal Register). View the pre-publication FWS document at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-23673.pdf.
This rule proposes to list the black pinesnake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi) as a 4
threatened species. In addition, we are proposing a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that
outlines the prohibitions and conservation actions necessary and advisable for the
conservation of the black pinesnake as a threatened species."
How to comment:
(1) At www.regulations.gov: enter FWS–R4–ES–2014–0046 in the Search box. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
(2) Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:
Public Comments Processing,
Division of Policy and Directives Management;
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC;
5275 Leesburg Pike;
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
For additional information contact:
Stephen Ricks, Field Supervisor,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, 6578
Dogwood View Parkway, Jackson, MS 39214; telephone 601-321-1122