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Approved Amendments to Chapter 68-5, F.A.C

On February 25, 2021, FWC Commissioners approved rule changes in Chapter 68-5, Florida Administrative Code (FA.C.). These rules for Prohibited species took effect on April 29, 2021.

After this rule was approved, stakeholders and staff identified rule language in need of refinement in Chapter 68-5, F.A.C. and presented Commissioners with suggested updates/edits/changes. 

On May 3, 2022, Commissioners directed staff to file final rule amendments. These changes provide a means to allow for:

  • Qualifying deviations from the current rules regarding biosecurity;
  • The transfer of personal pets to a spouse or beneficiary upon the death or disablement of the permittee; and
  • Limited public contact with terrestrial Prohibited species by permitted exhibitors.

The rule package also includes an update to the application form for Eradication and Control permits.

This page will be updated once these rules become effective.

Details of Approved Rule Amendments

The approved changes to Rule 68-5.001, F.A.C. allow staff to consider requested deviations to standard caging and enclosure requirements or caging materials. Those entities requesting a deviation need to provide that request in writing to the agency, outline the need and purpose of the deviation, document the construction specifications, and provide a list of the current FWC permits and licenses affiliated with the facility. These changes allow for permit modifications specific to unique situations when that deviation is sufficient to prevent escape. Prior to implementation, any proposed deviations from the standard caging materials must be approved in writing as a permit modification by the Commission.

View the proposed amendments to Rule 68-5.001

Prohibited species cannot be kept as pets. However, if a person owned a pet prior to the species becoming listed as a Prohibited species, the owner can be permitted to keep the animal for the remainder of its life. The original rule language allowed for the transfer of a Prohibited species pet upon the death of the owner to other entities that already have authorization to possess and acquire additional Prohibited species.

The approved changes to Rule 68-5.007(5), F.A.C. allow Prohibited species held as pets to be transferred to a spouse or beneficiary upon death or disablement of the permittee. The changes also add a 90-day time frame for the spouse or beneficiary to apply for the pet permit after the transfer.

View the proposed amendments to Rule 68-5.007

The original rule language did not allow for contact between the public and terrestrial Prohibited species during exhibition. The approved changes to Rule 68-5.007(7)(b)2, F.A.C. remove the words “no public contact” when the exhibitor or their employee handler are conducting exhibition with the animal and removes the provisions specific to indoor versus outdoor exhibition. The approved language allows members of the public to touch Prohibited terrestrial species when that animal is under control and in possession of the permitted handler regardless if the exhibitor is exhibiting the animal indoors or outdoors.

View the proposed amendments to Rule 68-5.007

The approved changes to the application for the Eradication and Control of Prohibited Species Permit reflect rule requirements by adding language on the need for a Critical Incident Disaster Plan (Part A). Approved language also specifies locations where eradication and control activities can occur and limits the number of species an applicant can select on the permit application.

These changes clarify what is needed for applications and will therefore expedite the permit application process by ensuring the necessary information is included with the initial application.

View the Eradication and Control Permit Application

Frequently Asked Questions

Those in possession of nonnative fish and wildlife including Prohibited or Conditional nonnative species.

The purpose of these minor revisions are to provide a means to allow for:

  • Qualifying deviations from the current rules regarding biosecurity;
  • The transfer of personal pets to a spouse or beneficiary upon the death or disablement of the permittee; and
  • Limited public contact with terrestrial Prohibited species by permitted exhibitors.

The rule package also includes an update to the application form for Eradication and Control permits.

FWC Commissioners approved staff to move forward with the rule process by collecting additional stakeholder feedback on these proposed rule changes before returning to the Commissioners for final rule consideration.

On May 3, 2022, Commissioners directed staff to file final rule amendments to Chapter 68-5, F.A.C. This page will be updated once these rules become effective.