Section 372.921, Florida Statutes 2004
372.921 Exhibition or sale of wildlife.--
(1) In order to provide humane treatment and sanitary surroundings for wild animals kept in captivity, no person, firm, corporation, or association shall have, or be in possession of, in captivity for the purpose of public display with or without charge or for public sale any wildlife, specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, whether indigenous to Florida or not, without having first secured a permit from the commission authorizing such person, firm, or corporation to have in its possession in captivity the species and number of wildlife specified within such permit; however, this section does not apply to any wildlife not protected by law and the rules of the commission.
(2) The fees to be paid for the issuance of permits required by subsection (1) shall be as follows:
(a) For not more than 25 Class I or Class II individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $150 per annum.
(b) For over 25 Class I or Class II individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $250 per annum.
(c) For any number of Class III individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $50 per annum.
The fees prescribed by this subsection shall be submitted to the commission with the application for permit required by subsection (1) and shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund.
(3) An applicant for a permit shall be required to include in her or his application a statement showing the place, number, and species of wildlife to be held in captivity by the applicant and shall be required upon request by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to show when, where, and in what manner she or he came into possession of any wildlife acquired subsequent to the effective date of this act. The source of acquisition of such wildlife shall not be divulged by the commission except in connection with a violation of this section or a regulation of the commission in which information as to source of wildlife is required as evidence in the prosecution of such violation.
(4) Permits issued pursuant to this section and places where wildlife is kept or held in captivity shall be subject to inspection by officers of the commission at all times. The commission shall have the power to release or confiscate any specimens of any wildlife, specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles, whether indigenous to the state or not, when it is found that conditions under which they are being confined are unsanitary, or unsafe to the public in any manner, or that the species of wildlife are being maltreated, mistreated, or neglected or kept in any manner contrary to the provisions of chapter 828, any such permit to the contrary notwithstanding. Before any such wildlife is confiscated or released under the authority of this section, the owner thereof shall have been advised in writing of the existence of such unsatisfactory conditions; the owner shall have been given 30 days in which to correct such conditions; the owner shall have failed to correct such conditions; the owner shall have had an opportunity for a proceeding pursuant to chapter 120; and the commission shall have ordered such confiscation or release after careful consideration of all evidence in the particular case in question. The final order of the commission shall constitute final agency action.
(5) In instances where wildlife is seized or taken into custody by the commission, said owner or possessor of such wildlife shall be responsible for payment of all expenses relative to the capture, transport, boarding, veterinary care, or other costs associated with or incurred due to seizure or custody of wildlife. Such expenses shall be paid by said owner or possessor upon any conviction or finding of guilt of a criminal or noncriminal violation, regardless of adjudication or plea entered, of any provision of chapter 828 or this chapter, or rule of the commission or if such violation is disposed of under s. 921.187. Failure to pay such expense may be grounds for revocation or denial of permits to such individual to possess wildlife.
(6) Any animal on exhibit of a type capable of contracting or transmitting rabies shall be immunized against rabies.
(7) The provisions of this section relative to licensing do not apply to any municipal, county, state, or other publicly owned wildlife exhibit. The provisions of this section do not apply to any traveling zoo, circus, or exhibit licensed as provided by chapter 205.
(8) This section shall not apply to the possession, control, care, and maintenance of ostriches, emus, and rheas, except those kept and maintained primarily for exhibition purposes in zoos, carnivals, circuses, and other establishments where such species are kept for display to the public.
(9) The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.
(10) A violation of this section is punishable as provided by s. 372.83.
History.--s. 1, ch. 67-290; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 16, ch. 78-95; s. 4, ch. 78-323; s. 84, ch. 79-164; s. 27, ch. 83-85; s. 32, ch. 83-218; s. 8, ch. 91-134; s. 2, ch. 93-223; s. 590, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 98-333; s. 173, ch. 99-245; s. 33, ch. 2002-46; s. 9, ch. 2003-151.