NOTICE OF CHANGES TO PROPOSED RULE
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announces a change to the above-referenced proposed rule, as a result of comments provided by the staff of the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee of the Florida Legislature. The proposed new language for subsection (3) of the rule is being withdrawn. Also, be advised that FWC Form 1002AT (2-06), incorporated by reference into the rule, has been changed to delete social security numbers as a required element of the form. The rule as changed will now read as follows:
68A-25.003 Taking and Disposal of Nuisance-Alligators Statewide.
(1) Only persons under contract with the Commission as nuisance alligator trappers, or their agents and assistants, who have been approved
No person other than nuisance-alligator trappers designated by the executive director, or his designee, and licensed in accordance with s. 372.6673, F.S., shall take, possess and kill nuisance alligators as authorized by permit. herein. No nuisance-alligator trapper shall take, possess or kill any alligator except as authorized herein.
(2) Persons may apply for nuisance alligator contracts by completing and submitting a Nuisance Alligator Trapper Application (FWC Form 1002AT (2-06)), incorporated by reference herein).
Qualification and liability of nuisance-alligator trappers: (a) Shall reside in the region where the nuisance-alligator trapper is authorized to take, possess or kill alligators. (b) Shall possess the experience and ability to handle wild alligators. (c) Shall be capable of supplying all equipment necessary to take alligators. (d) Shall have sufficient time to adequately and efficiently take designated alligators. (e) Shall not have been convicted of violating any law or rule relating to the illegal taking of crocodilians within five years of the date of application, or within ten years of the date of application if such conviction involved endangered crocodilians. (f) Shall assume personal liability for health, welfare and safety while acting as a nuisance-alligator trapper. (g) Those persons employed by alligator farms or engaged in alligator farming shall not be eligible to participate as a nuisance-alligator trapper. However, nothing herein shall prohibit the employment of nuisance-alligator trappers by alligator farm permittees for the taking of alligators or alligator eggs from the wild in accordance with Commission rules. (3) Selection and review: (a) Applicants and qualifications for appointment shall be reviewed by a selection board appointed in each region by the executive director. The board shall conduct a personal interview and consider each applicant’s qualification and personal background. The names of those applicants nominated by the board shall be submitted to the executive director for final consideration and appointment. The number of appointments shall be based on need. (b) Selected nuisance-alligator trappers shall enter into a contract and be licensed as an alligator trapper under Section 372.6673, F.S., to take and possess alligators in accordance with this rule. (4) Conditions governing operations of authorized nuisance-alligator trappers: (a) The nuisance-alligator trapper will be issued a permit assigning in writing a specific nuisance alligator complaint by the designated regional coordinator. Only the alligator(s) specifically designated in the nuisance-alligator complaint may be taken. No nuisance-alligator trapper shall possess any live alligator for more than 24 hours except as directed by the coordinator. (b) When warranted under exigent circumstances or when immediate attention is required, the regional coordinator may authorize a nuisance-alligator trapper to relocate an alligator less than four feet in length. (c) Nuisance-alligator trappers may collect oviducal eggs from gravid nuisance alligators and the orphaned eggs from the nests of female nuisance alligators, as authorized by the Commission, for the transfer of said eggs to alligator farms permitted as eligible to receive eggs and hatchlings from the wild pursuant to Rule 68A-25.004, F.A.C. (d) No alligator shall be taken by the use or aid of a firearm without specific written authorization or without authorization by a Commission law enforcement officer at the scene. (e) An alligator CITES tag furnished by the Commission shall be locked through the skin of the alligator within six (6) inches of the tip of the tail immediately upon killing. The identifying alligator CITES tag shall remain attached to the alligator hide until the hide is tanned, taxidermy mounted, or exported from the state. CITES tags shall be used only one time, and the possession of any alligator hide not tagged as prescribed herein is prohibited, and such hide shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture to the Commission under the provisions of Section 372.73, F.S. (f) An alligator harvest report form (FWC Form 1001AT, incorporated by reference herein, effective April 30, 2000) provided by the Commission shall be completed by the trapper within 24 hours of taking each alligator and prior to the transfer of the carcass to another person. The trapper shall submit a legible copy of each completed alligator harvest report form to the Commission's Tallahassee Office, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 for receipt by January 15 of the following year. (g) All unused CITES tags must be returned by the permittee to the Commission’s Tallahassee Office, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600, by January 15 of the following year. It shall be a violation of this section for any person to possess any unused CITES tag(s) from the previous year after January 15. (h) Five dollars ($5) shall be expended by the Commission or its designee on marketing and education for each CITES tag used under the provisions of this rule contingent upon an annual appropriation by the legislature for marketing and education activities. (i) The meat from alligators taken that is not discarded shall be processed or sold in accordance with Rule 68A-25.052, F.A.C. (j) Each nuisance-alligator trapper may have up to three alligator trapping agents, licensed under Section 372.6673, F.S. Such agents are authorized to conduct nuisance-alligator trapping activities under the direction of the nuisance-alligator trapper. Such activities may be performed by the agents in the absence of the nuisance-alligator trapper. (k) Each nuisance-alligator trapper may have assistant trappers to assist in the taking of nuisance alligators. Assistant trappers shall be licensed as alligator trapper agents under Section 372.6673, F.S., and shall work in the direct supervision and in the immediate presence of the nuisance alligator trapper. Activities of the assistant trapper shall be limited to nuisance-alligator removal on public waters. (l) The nuisance-alligator trapper shall be held accountable for the conduct of his agents and assistant trappers. Any confirmed misconduct may result in termination of the nuisance-alligator trapper’s contract or the revocation of the nuisance-alligator trapper’s or agents’ licenses as prescribed by Rule 68A-5.004, F.A.C. (m) CITES tags shall remain the property of the Commission until affixed as provided herein. No person except an authorized nuisance-alligator trapper and his agents shall possess any unused CITES tag at any time, and such nuisance-alligator trapper shall insure that all CITES tags issued to him shall remain in his or his agents’ possession. (n) Assignments of alligators to be taken and the issuance of CITES tags to a nuisance-alligator trapper shall be discontinued upon receipt of verified information and belief by the executive director that the nuisance-alligator trapper has: 1. Attempted to generate alligator complaints, 2. Taken alligators in excess of authorization, 3. Failed to promptly respond to an assigned complaint, 4. Been convicted of a violation of any regulation concerned with the commercialization of wildlife or freshwater fish, 5. Violated any portion of this rule, or 6. Demonstrated an inability to carry out the assigned duties as required by contract or rule. Following a review by the appropriate regional review board in which the alleged misconduct is confirmed, the contract of the nuisance-alligator trapper shall be breached and terminated. (5) Sale of alligator parts: Parts of alligators may only be sold in accordance with Rules 68A-25.002 and 68A-25.052, F.A.C.
Specific Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const., 372.6672 FS., 372.6673 FS. History–New 8-1-79, Amended 10-23-79, 6-22-80, 6-4-81, 6-21-82, 7-1-85, Formerly 39-25.03, Amended 6-1-86, 12-23-87, 5-5-88, 2-14-89, 4-11-90, 4-14-92, 3-30-95, 4-1-96, Formerly 39-25.003, Amended 4-30-00, 12-16-03, .