68A-25.002: General Provisions for Taking, Possession and Sale of Reptiles
68A-25.006: Possession, Exhibition and Caging Venomous Reptiles: Prohibited Species
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose and effect of this rule development effort is to consolidate regulations pertaining to the possession and housing of venomous reptiles in captivity with other regulations pertaining to wildlife in captivity found in Chapter 68A-6, Florida Administrative Code. The effect will be to amend section 68A-25.002 and repeal Rule 68A-25.006, F.A.C.
SUBJECT AREA TO BE ADDRESSED: Subject areas to be covered includes the deletion of language pertaining to permitting requirements for authorization to possess venomous reptiles in Rule 68A-25.002 and repeal of Rule 68A-25.006, F.A.C.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: Art. IV, Sec. 9, Florida Constitution.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: Art. IV, Sec. 9, Florida Constitution.
A RULE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:
TIME AND DATE: August 21, 2006, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Doyle Connor Building, Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 1911 S.W. 34th Street, 1st Floor Auditorium, Gainesville, FL 32608-1201
DATE AND TIME: August 22, 2006, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Tampa Port Authority, 1101 Channelside Drive, 1st Floor Board Room, Tampa, FL 33602
DATE AND TIME: August 23, 2006, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, 8th Floor, Rooms 8A & 8B, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301-1830
DATE AND TIME: August 28, 2006, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Pensacola Junior College, 1000 College Blvd., Hagler Auditorium, Bldg. 2 Room 252, Pensacola, FL 32504-8910
DATE AND TIME: August 29, 2006, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Bryant Building, 620 S. Meridian Street, 2nd Floor, Room 272, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT, IF AVAILABLE, IS: Captain Linda Harrison, Division of Law Enforcement, Investigations Section, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600, (850)488-6253
THE PRELIMINARY TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT IS:
68A-25.002 General Provisions for Taking, Possession and
(1) No person shall buy, sell, take, possess, transport, or import any American alligator, or any part thereof, or the nests or eggs of any American alligator except under permit from the executive director, as otherwise provided by this Title, or as follows:
(a) Lawfully acquired, unskinned alligator carcasses with CITES tags legally affixed; skinned alligator carcasses with the CITES tag number and, if applicable, harvest tag number recorded on an attached tag; untanned hides with CITES tags legally affixed; and alligator feet, viscera, and skeletal parts may be bought, sold, possessed, transported, and imported without a permit provided that untanned alligator hides may only be bought by persons licensed pursuant to Section 372.66, F.S., and that records of transfers of alligator feet, viscera, and skeletal parts shall be maintained as specified in Rule 68A-25.052, F.A.C.
(b) Persons permitted pursuant to Section 372.921, F.S., and their employees may transport live, lawfully-possessed, untagged alligators to
1. Other persons permitted pursuant to Section 372.921, F.S.;
2. To persons permitted to receive such alligators; or
3. To persons out of state, provided that all transports/transfers conducted pursuant to subparagraphs 68A-25.002(b)1., 2. and 3., F.A.C., shall be documented on a Captive Alligator and Egg Transportation/Transfer Document (FWC Form 1006AF).
4. All originating exhibitor/seller(s) acting pursuant to this paragraph shall complete and sign the Captive Alligator and Egg Transportation/Transfer Document before the transport, obtain the signature of the recipient on the document, if appropriate, and forward the document to the Commission within 30 days following the date of transport. A copy of the completed document must accompany the alligators during transport.
(2) Notwithstanding other provisions in this Title, untagged, lawfully-acquired, cured, and mounted crocodilian trophies; untagged, tanned crocodilian hides; and manufactured goods wholly or partly composed of crocodilian hide or other parts may be possessed, transported, and imported without a permit, but may only be sold in accordance with the following:
(a) Documentary evidence of the source of acquisition of such crocodilian products held for sale shall be maintained until the products are sold. Such products held for sale and documentary evidence of the source of acquisition shall be subject to inspection by Commission personnel during reasonable hours.
(b) No person shall sell such crocodilian products manufactured from a species declared to be endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Commission.
(c) No person shall sell any crocodilian product manufactured in the form of a stuffed baby crocodilian less than three feet in length as measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.
(3) Any alligator, crocodile, caiman or similar reptile, or any part thereof, seized or otherwise acquired by the Commission may be sold.
(4) The records of individuals or concerns selling any species of crocodilian will be subject to inspection and such individuals or concerns shall have in their possession invoices or other documentary evidence of the suppliers of such crocodilians. The advertisement or representation of any crocodilian other than American alligator, and meat and parts thereof, as alligator or “gator” and of caimans, and meat and parts thereof, as crocodile is prohibited.
(5) No person shall use, be in possession of or attend any hook, peg or other such device baited in such a manner as to be capable of taking alligators and suspended so that the bait is above water or submerged less than six inches except nuisance-alligator trappers taking nuisance alligators pursuant to Rule 68A-25.003, F.A.C., and except as otherwise provided in Rules 68A-25.032 and 68A-25.042, F.A.C.
(6) Freshwater turtles may be taken as prescribed in Rules 68A-23.012 and 68A-23.003, F.A.C., and manually or by baited hooks, bow, dip nets, traps so designed that any freshwater fish taken therein may escape, or by spearing only during daylight hours. The taking of turtles by bucket traps, snares, or shooting with firearms is prohibited. No person shall buy, sell, or possess for sale any alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki), box turtle (Terrapene carolina), Barbour’s map turtle (Graptemys barbouri), Escambia River map turtle (Graptemys ernsti), diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), river cooter (Pseudemys concinna), or loggerhead musk turtle (Sternotherus minor), or parts thereof. No person shall possess more than two Barbour’s map turtles, two Escambia River map turtles, two diamondback terrapins, two river cooters, two box turtles, two loggerhead musk turtles, or one alligator snapping turtle unless authorized by permit from the executive director as provided in Rules 68A-5.004, 68A-9.002, and 68A-27.002, F.A.C. River cooters may not be taken from 15 April to 31 July.
(7) No softshell turtles (Apalone spp.) or their eggs may be taken from the wild during the period 1 May to 31 July.
(8) No person shall possess more than 50 eggs taken from the wild in the aggregate of species of freshwater turtle native to Florida except as authorized by permit from the Executive Director as provided in Rules 68A-5.004, 68A-9.002, and 68A-27.002, F.A.C. Eggs of those turtle species enumerated in subsection 68A-25.002(6), F.A.C., are subject to the same possession limits as apply for those turtles. The purchase or sale of turtle eggs taken from the wild is prohibited.
(9) No person shall buy, sell, take or possess any gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), or any part thereof, unless authorized by permit from the executive director as provided in Rules 68A-5.004, 68A-9.002, and 68A-27.002, F.A.C.
(10) Possession of gopher tortoises may be authorized by permit from the executive director when the owner can demonstrate that such tortoise(s) was (were) legally acquired and possessed before July 1, 1988.
(11) No person shall possess any turtle or tortoise on which paint has been applied to its shell or body parts, provided that water-soluble, non-toxic identifying marking may be used in turtle racing contests.
(12) No person shall buy, sell or possess for sale any Florida pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus), nor shall any person possess more than one Florida pine snake, except that said restrictions shall not apply to amelanistic (= “albino”) specimens.
(13) Reptiles may be taken throughout the year in any manner not conflicting with other provisions of these rules.
(14) On or after July 1, 1990 any person or entity not currently permitted to possess or exhibit venomous reptiles must qualify for a permit by meeting the following criteria: (a) Submit documentation in accordance with the criteria specified in paragraph 68A-6.0022(5)(c), F.A.C., showing a minimum of one (1) year substantial practical experience in the care, feeding, handling and husbandry of the family of venomous reptiles for which the permit is sought. (b) Shall not have been convicted of a violation of venomous reptile regulations for three (3) years prior to application for such permit. (c) Must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.
(15) No leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) or African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) shall be imported or transported into this state, without a special permit issued by the Commission. The basis for the issuance of such permit shall include:
(a) That each shipment is accompanied by a veterinary certificate stating that all specimens are free from external parasites;
(b) That all shipping containers used to transport such tortoises are incinerated within 24 hours;
(c) Such other conditions as may be necessary to insure that no tortoise infested with ticks capable of transmitting the Heartwater disease is imported into
Specific Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9,
68A-25.006 Possession, Exhibition and Caging Venomous Reptiles: Prohibited Species.
(1) Any person who keeps, possesses or exhibits poisonous or venomous reptiles shall comply with Sections 372.86, 372.87, 372.88, 372.89, 372.90 and 372.91, F.S. (2) Venomous reptiles shall be kept enclosed in cages, cases, pits or enclosures of the following specifications: (a) Cage may be constructed of a variety of materials including: plate glass of at least one-quarter inch thickness, break-resistant plastic of similar strength, concrete reinforced with wire, sheet metal, molded fiberglass, plywood or interlocking lumber that has been treated to be impervious to moisture and is not less than one-half inch in thickness, or other materials which provide equivalent stability and security against escape and unauthorized intrusion. Cages and doors to cages shall be sealed. The doors of each cage shall be securely locked to prevent unauthorized intrusion. (b) A room may contain poisonous reptiles in cages that are not locked provided that such a room is locked to prevent unauthorized intrusion, is inaccessible to unauthorized personnel, is constructed and maintained as to be escape-proof, and, for commercial facilities, has been inspected and approved as conforming to these rules by Commission personnel prior to use. (c) Outdoor open-topped enclosures: 1. For venomous reptiles native to the a. The enclosure shall have concrete or masonry walls, at least eight inches in thickness, or strength equivalent. b. The enclosure shall have footers made of concrete, or strength equivalent, extending not less than three feet below the grade level, outside the perimeter. c. The corners of enclosure shall be designed or guarded to prevent the escape of reptiles by climbing. d. All landscaping of the enclosure shall be arranged to insure that vegetation or other structures do not allow for the escape of reptiles. 2. Entrance doors shall be kept securely locked on all outdoor enclosures to prevent escape and unauthorized intrusion and the enclosure shall be equipped with barriers to prevent visitors from falling into enclosures that are constructed below ground level. 3. For venomous reptile species not native to the (3) All species of snakes commonly known as sea snakes or sea kraits, belonging to the families Elapidae, Hydrophiidae orLaticaududae are prohibited from being imported or possessed, except under the provisions of Section 370.081(4), F.S.
Specific Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9,