News Releases

FWC approves draft rules for captive wildlife

News Release

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Media contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) moved forward with several draft rules that clarify and address concerns about captive wildlife on Wednesday.

Working with the Florida Association of Counties and Levy County, the FWC identified some key issues at the county and municipal level regarding captive wildlife facilities. The Commission approved a draft rule that requires new Class I or II wildlife facilities to be in compliance with local building codes and zoning requirements.

Under the current rule, county officials are notified only of any new application for a license to possess Class I or II wildlife.

The draft rule change would provide counties or municipalities 25 days from receipt of the notification of a pending application to determine if the facility is in compliance. If the county or municipality fails to notify the FWC, the applicant will be considered to be found in compliance. If the applicant is not in compliance, proof that the issue has been resolved must be provided to the FWC.

Another draft rule will require captive wildlife facilities to provide Part B of the required Critical Incident and Disaster Plan to the local county emergency manager. The Commission also approved a draft rule clarifying that the labels on all shipments containing live wildlife contain the name and address of both the sender and receiver. The labels also must specify the number and species of wild animal life within the shipment, using both common and scientific names.

The final draft rule that was approved exempts hobbyists - people who possess captive wildlife for their own personal use and enjoyment - from having to demonstrate "sustained and consistent" commercial activity to be licensed to possess captive wildlife.

The Commission directed staff to bring final rules back to the April meeting in Havana. For more information on the FWC's captive wildlife regulations, go to

FWC Facts:
The organism that causes red tide in Florida, Karenia brevis, owes its name to a state researcher of harmful algal blooms, Dr. Karen Steidinger.

Learn More at AskFWC