Captive Wildlife Office
Florida requires permits for wildlife possession, exhibition and sale.
Commercial and private facilities must have permits for many types of native and nonnative animals - including potentially dangerous animals, such as Florida black bears and Florida panthers. These facilities include zoos, circuses, alligator farms, pet shops, tropical fish farms and individuals who own a class I, II or III animal (see wildlife categories).
How to Apply for or Renew Your Permit
- How long does it take to receive my license after I apply?
It takes the Captive Wildlife Office approximately 4-6 weeks to respond to applications. This time frame may be subject to change, depending on whether an application is new or a renewal, whether documents are missing, and whether or not an inspection is required. Inspections are required for new Class I, II, and certain Class III species, venomous reptiles, conditional reptiles and rehabilitation facilities. All licensees and permittees are subject to initial and routine inspections.
- I found an injured, orphaned or abandoned animal (such as a raccoon). Who do I call?
Please call a local permitted wildlife rehabilitator to take the animal. Our Office can provide contact information for wildlife rehabilitators in your area.
- What are the caging requirements for the wildlife I want to possess?
Caging, facility and housing requirements can be found in Rules 68A-6.0023, 68A-6.003, 68A-6.004, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). Caging for venomous reptiles are found in 68A-6.007, F.A.C, and caging for conditional reptiles are found in 68-5.004, F.A.C.
- Where can I find the rules and regulations pertaining to captive wildlife?
Most of the rules and regulations pertaining to captive wildlife can be found in Chapter 68A-6, Florida Administrative Code. You can search for this chapter and others at www.flrules.org.
- Am I required to complete the Captive Wildlife Critical Incident-Disaster Plan (CIDP)?
Yes. The CIDP required of all new and renewal applicants wishing to possess captive wildlife (for personal use, exhibition or public sale), venomous reptiles and/or reptiles of concern. Part A must be submitted with each initial or renewal application. The “Emergency Contact” requested on Part A must be someone other than the applicant. Part B must be completed and kept at the facility location.
Captive Wildlife Rules and Regulations
Florida has nearly 1,300 native species of fish and wildlife. It also has become home to nearly 300 species of nonnative fish and wildlife. Florida's subtropical climate is ideal for many foreign species to survive. If these species escape or are released, they can easily become established here.
The FWC enforces the statutes and regulations governing Florida's wildlife industry.
FWC officers routinely conduct inspections to ensure humane treatment and sanitary conditions are in place for the animals, and cage and security requirements are adhered to for public safety. The FWC's regulations, relative to cage sizes, safety and humane treatment, are among the most stringent in the nation.
For more information please contact:
Division of Law Enforcement, Investigations Section
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
We are beginning to send out requests for additional information and other correspondence via email. Please add CWInfo@MyFWC.com to your contacts.