FWC sets new requirements for wildlife owners
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a new
rule concerning exhibition of Class I wildlife and venomous reptiles Thursday.
Owners of Class I (potentially very dangerous) wildlife must maintain a list
of names, addresses and phone numbers of contiguous landowners and neighbors and
notify the FWC immediately if an animal escapes from its enclosure, cage, leash
or other constraint. Also, they are required to have a captive wildlife critical
incident/disaster plan that describes what they will do in the event of a
hurricane, flood or fire to prevent animals from escaping. They must maintain
the neighbor-notification information in the plan.
“These new requirements are aimed at better protecting the public should an
incident occur involving Class I captive wildlife which can cause harm,” said
Capt. Linda Harrison of the FWC’s Investigations Section. “However, we are
mindful not to take away the rights of responsible wildlife owners.
“We want people who possess potentially dangerous animals to be fully
prepared should an escape or disaster occur. Having a plan in place greatly
minimizes a mishap,” Harrison said.
More information about wildlife ownership and exhibition laws is available at