FWC approves captive wildlife rule language

At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rule language concerning captive wildlife licensing. The new rule improves public safety and increases accountability. Staff received feedback from stakeholders on the proposed rule language and incorporated changes to address concerns raised during public meetings and online comments.

Rule changes related to captive wildlife violations will limit people who have had licenses revoked or nonrenewed for violations from continuing to benefit from or be involved with captive wildlife. The final rule language includes:

A licensed individual who has had their captive wildlife permit or authorization revoked or not renewed may not continue to benefit from the facility or animals previously authorized under the permit and an individual authorized under a corporate license that has been revoked or not renewed may no longer be involved with the care, feeding, handling or husbandry of any captive wildlife under the corporate license.

Prohibits the sale or transfer of the facility or animals previously authorized under the permit to a person or facility of which the permittee is an officer, director, principal, employee, or agent or in which such person holds any interest.

Includes time periods for lawful disposition of animals in their possession, record keeping requirements and restrictions concerning to whom the animals may be transferred.

“The goal of the FWC is to develop the best captive wildlife regulations possible that provide for public safety, animal welfare and the legitimate use of wildlife for educational, exhibition or personal purposes. The approval of this rule will hold bad actors accountable and continue to work toward strengthening the industry. Our Captive Wildlife Section will continue to work closely with the industry to promote responsible ownership of captive wildlife,” said Col. Roger Young, director of the FWC Division of Law Enforcement.

View the Commission meeting agenda and documents at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and the agenda under “Dec. 15-16, 2021.”