Captive Wildlife Technical Assistance Group

In 2005, the FWC formed a technical assistance group, consisting of 11 experts, to review captive wildlife regulations and address current captive wildlife issues.

Members of the group represented all facets of the captive wildlife industry and wildlife rehabilitation.  Their backgrounds also included experience in animal welfare, disease/bioterrorism, emergency response and local government.

The group completed its work in two phases from 2005 to 2007.  Work completed in Phase 1 has resulted in many revisions to Florida Statutes and Commission rules governing captive wildlife that went into effect in 2008.  Work completed in Phase 2 is currently under review and may result in further changes to the captive wildlife rules.

Captive Wildlife Technical Assistance Group Members

Ms. Julie Alexa Strauss - Corporate Counsel for FELD Entertainment, Inc. (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus)

Dr. Terri Parrot-Nenezian - Veterinarian specializing in wildlife and exotics; Wildlife Rehabilitator; Exhibition/Sale Licensee with authorizations for most Class I and II families

Mr. Dan Martinelli - Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital, Executive Director; Wildlife Rehabilitator; Exhibition/Sale Licensee with authorizations for most Class I and II families; Venomous Reptile Licensee

Mr. Eugene Bessette - Ophiological Services, Founder and Director; Venomous Reptile Licensee; Exhibit/Sale Licensee for Class III reptiles

Mr. Joe Christman - Curator of Mammals for Disney's Animal Kingdom

Dr. Leroy Coffman - Veterinarian; Former State Veterinarian and Director of Animal Industry with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Mr. Ken Johnson - Humane Society of the United States

Dr. Susan Clubb - Veterinarian; Co-owner of Hurricane Aviaries; Staff Veterinarian for Parrot Jungle Island

Mr. Bill Armstrong - Hillsborough County Animal Control, Director; Florida Animal Control Association, President; County Emergency Response Coordinator for Emergency Support Function (ESF) 17 (Animal Issues)

Mr. R. Donavan Smith - Close Up Creatures, Inc., Founder and Director; NGALA Private Reserve, Founder; Exhibit/Sale licensee with authorizations for elephants, hippos, felids, crocodilians, and ratites

Ms. Gloria Noble Johnson - Cougar Ridge Education Center, Inc., Founder; Exhibit/Sale Licensee with authorizations for Class I and Class II cats

Mrs. Kathy Stearns - Stearns Zoological Rescue and Rehab, Founder; Wildlife Rehabilitator; Exhibit/Sale Licensee with authorizations for Class I bears and cats, Class II primates and cats, and Class III

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FWC Facts:
The $2.7 billion that people spend to view wildlife in Florida is more than double the value of the state’s annual orange harvest.

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