May 25, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              CS for SB 572
       
       
       
       By the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation;
       and Senator Constantine
       
       
       
       592-02163-10                                           2010572c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to wildlife; amending s. 379.231,
    3         F.S.; revising provisions relating to the sale or
    4         release of wild animals; amending s. 379.3761, F.S.;
    5         revising violations for the sale and exhibition of
    6         wildlife in the state unless authorized by the Fish
    7         and Wildlife Conservation Commission; amending s.
    8         379.401, F.S.; revising Level Three violations;
    9         amending s. 379.4015, F.S.; revising nonnative and
   10         captive wildlife penalties; providing provisions for
   11         civil penalties; amending s. 379.374, F.S.; providing
   12         provisions for bonding requirements for the possession
   13         of wildlife; directing the commission to evaluate the
   14         need to further restrict or ban the possession of
   15         certain species; providing an effective date.
   16  
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18  
   19         Section 1. Section 379.231, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   20  read:
   21         379.231 Regulation of wild foreign animals not native to
   22  the state.—
   23         (1) It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release
   24  within this state, any species of wild the animal kingdom not
   25  native indigenous to Florida unless authorized by without having
   26  obtained a permit to do so from the Fish and Wildlife
   27  Conservation Commission.
   28         (2) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is
   29  authorized to issue or deny such a permit upon the completion of
   30  studies of the species made by it to determine any detrimental
   31  effect the species might have on the ecology of the state.
   32         (2)(3) A person in violation of this section commits a
   33  Level Three violation under s. 379.4015 s. 379.401.
   34         Section 2. Subsections (1) and (4) of section 379.3761,
   35  Florida Statutes, are amended to read
   36         379.3761 Exhibition or sale of wildlife; fees;
   37  classifications.—
   38         (1) In order to provide humane treatment and sanitary
   39  surroundings for wild animals kept in captivity, no person,
   40  firm, corporation, or association shall have, or be in
   41  possession of, in captivity for the purpose of public display
   42  with or without charge or for public sale any wildlife,
   43  specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, whether
   44  indigenous to Florida or not, without having first secured a
   45  permit from the commission authorizing such person, firm, or
   46  corporation to have in its possession in captivity the species
   47  and number of wildlife specified within such permit; however,
   48  this section does not apply to any wildlife not protected by law
   49  and the rules of the commission. No person shall sell any
   50  wildlife in the state unless authorized by the commission. A
   51  sale where delivery occurs in Florida regardless of origin of
   52  the sale or location of the initial transaction is subject to
   53  this restriction.
   54         (4) The provisions of this section relative to licensing
   55  for exhibition do not apply to any municipal, county, state, or
   56  other publicly owned wildlife exhibit. The provisions of this
   57  section relative to licensing for exhibition do not apply to any
   58  traveling zoo, circus, or exhibit licensed as provided by
   59  chapter 205.
   60         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
   61  379.401, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   62         379.401 Penalties and violations; civil penalties for
   63  noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and
   64  forfeiture of licenses and permits.—
   65         (3)(a) LEVEL THREE VIOLATIONS.—A person commits a Level
   66  Three violation if he or she violates any of the following
   67  provisions:
   68         1. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the sale
   69  of saltwater fish.
   70         2. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the
   71  illegal importation or possession of exotic marine plants or
   72  animals.
   73         3. Section 379.407(2), establishing major violations.
   74         4. Section 379.407(4), prohibiting the possession of
   75  certain finfish in excess of recreational daily bag limits.
   76         5. Section 379.28, prohibiting the importation of
   77  freshwater fish.
   78         6. Section 379.231, prohibiting the importation of
   79  nonindigenous species of the animal kingdom without a permit
   80  issued by the commission.
   81         6.7. Section 379.354(17), prohibiting the taking of game,
   82  freshwater fish, or saltwater fish while a required license is
   83  suspended or revoked.
   84         7.8. Section 379.3014, prohibiting the illegal sale or
   85  possession of alligators.
   86         8.9. Section 379.404(1), (3), and (6), prohibiting the
   87  illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey.
   88         9.10. Section 379.406, prohibiting the possession and
   89  transportation of commercial quantities of freshwater game fish.
   90         Section 4. Section 379.4015, Florida Statutes, is amended
   91  to read:
   92         379.4015 Nonnative and captive wildlife penalties.—
   93         (1) LEVEL ONE.—Unless otherwise provided by law, the
   94  following classifications and penalties apply:
   95         (a) A person commits a Level One violation if he or she
   96  violates any of the following provisions:
   97         1. Rules or orders of the commission requiring free permits
   98  or other authorizations to possess captive wildlife.
   99         2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the filing
  100  of reports or other documents required of persons who are
  101  licensed to possess captive wildlife.
  102         3. Rules or orders of the commission requiring permits to
  103  possess captive wildlife for which a fee is charged, when the
  104  person being charged was issued the permit and the permit has
  105  expired less than 1 year prior to the violation.
  106         (b) Any person cited for committing any offense classified
  107  as a Level One violation commits a noncriminal infraction,
  108  punishable as provided in this section.
  109         (c) Any person cited for committing a noncriminal
  110  infraction specified in paragraph (a) shall be cited to appear
  111  before the county court. The civil penalty for any noncriminal
  112  infraction is $50 if the person cited has not previously been
  113  found guilty of a Level One violation and $250 if the person
  114  cited has previously been found guilty of a Level One violation,
  115  except as otherwise provided in this subsection. Any person
  116  cited for failing to have a required permit or license shall pay
  117  an additional civil penalty in the amount of the license fee
  118  required.
  119         (d) Any person cited for an infraction under this
  120  subsection may:
  121         1. Post a bond, which shall be equal in amount to the
  122  applicable civil penalty; or
  123         2. Sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to
  124  appear before the county court. The officer may indicate on the
  125  citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and
  126  shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.
  127         (e) Any person charged with a noncriminal infraction under
  128  this subsection may:
  129         1. Pay the civil penalty, either by mail or in person,
  130  within 30 days after the date of receiving the citation; or
  131         2. If the person has posted bond, forfeit bond by not
  132  appearing at the designated time and location.
  133         (f) If the person cited follows either of the procedures in
  134  subparagraph (e)1. or subparagraph (e)2., he or she shall be
  135  deemed to have admitted the infraction and to have waived his or
  136  her right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the
  137  infraction. Such admission shall not be used as evidence in any
  138  other proceedings except to determine the appropriate fine for
  139  any subsequent violations.
  140         (g) Any person who willfully refuses to post bond or accept
  141  and sign a summons commits a misdemeanor of the second degree,
  142  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person
  143  who fails to pay the civil penalty specified in this subsection
  144  within 30 days after being cited for a noncriminal infraction or
  145  to appear before the court pursuant to this subsection commits a
  146  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
  147  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  148         (h) Any person electing to appear before the county court
  149  or who is required to appear shall be deemed to have waived the
  150  limitations on the civil penalty specified in paragraph (c). The
  151  court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether
  152  an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an
  153  infraction has been proven, the court may impose a civil penalty
  154  not less than those amounts in paragraph (c) and not to exceed
  155  $500.
  156         (i) At a hearing under this chapter, the commission of a
  157  charged infraction must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
  158         (j) If a person is found by the hearing official to have
  159  committed an infraction, she or he may appeal that finding to
  160  the circuit court.
  161         (2) LEVEL TWO.—Unless otherwise provided by law, the
  162  following classifications and penalties apply:
  163         (a) A person commits a Level Two violation if he or she
  164  violates any of the following provisions:
  165         1. Unless otherwise stated in subsection (1), rules or
  166  orders of the commission that require a person to pay a fee to
  167  obtain a permit to possess captive wildlife or that require the
  168  maintenance of records relating to captive wildlife.
  169         2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to captive
  170  wildlife not specified in subsection (1) or subsection (3).
  171         3. Rules or orders of the commission that require housing
  172  of wildlife in a safe manner when a violation results in an
  173  escape of wildlife other than Class I wildlife.
  174         4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to wild
  175  animal life identified by commission rule as either conditional
  176  species or prohibited species.
  177         5.4. Section 379.372, relating to capturing, keeping,
  178  possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles or
  179  reptiles of concern.
  180         6.5. Section 379.373, relating to requiring a license or
  181  permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of
  182  venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
  183         7.6. Section 379.374, relating to bonding requirements for
  184  public exhibits of venomous reptiles.
  185         8.7. Section 379.305, relating to commission rules and
  186  regulations to prevent the escape of venomous reptiles or
  187  reptiles of concern.
  188         9.8. Section 379.304, relating to exhibition or sale of
  189  wildlife.
  190         10.9. Section 379.3761, relating to exhibition or sale of
  191  wildlife.
  192         11.10. Section 379.3762, relating to personal possession of
  193  wildlife.
  194         (b) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level
  195  Two violation and who has not been convicted of a Level Two or
  196  higher violation within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor
  197  of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
  198  775.083.
  199         (c) Unless otherwise stated in this subsection, a person
  200  who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation
  201  within a 3-year period of any previous conviction of a Level Two
  202  or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,
  203  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 with a
  204  minimum mandatory fine of $250.
  205         (d) Unless otherwise stated in this subsection, a person
  206  who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation
  207  within a 5-year period of any two previous convictions of Level
  208  Two or higher violations commits a misdemeanor of the first
  209  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with
  210  a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of all
  211  licenses issued under this chapter related to captive wildlife
  212  for 1 year.
  213         (e) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level
  214  Two violation within a 10-year period of any three previous
  215  convictions of Level Two or higher violations commits a
  216  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  217  775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and
  218  a suspension of all licenses issued under this chapter related
  219  to captive wildlife for 3 years.
  220         (f)A person who commits a Level Two violation that is a
  221  violation of s. 379.372 or rules or orders relating to
  222  conditional species or prohibited species shall, in addition to
  223  being subject to the penalties prescribed in paragraphs (b)–(e),
  224  receive at least a minimum mandatory fine of $100 and must
  225  immediately surrender the wildlife that is the basis of the
  226  violation to the commission unless a permit for possession is
  227  lawfully obtained.
  228         (3) LEVEL THREE.—Unless otherwise provided by law, the
  229  following classifications and penalties apply:
  230         (a) A person commits a Level Three violation if he or she
  231  violates any of the following provisions:
  232         1. Rules or orders of the commission that require housing
  233  of wildlife in a safe manner when a violation results in an
  234  escape of Class I wildlife.
  235         2. Rules or orders of the commission related to captive
  236  wildlife when the violation results in serious bodily injury to
  237  another person by captive wildlife that consists of a physical
  238  condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious
  239  personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the
  240  function of any bodily member or organ.
  241         3. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the use of
  242  gasoline or other chemical or gaseous substances on wildlife.
  243         4. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the
  244  release of wildlife for which only conditional possession is
  245  allowed.
  246         5. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting knowingly
  247  entering false information on an application for a license or
  248  permit when the license or permit is to possess wildlife in
  249  captivity.
  250         6. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the
  251  illegal importation and possession of nonindigenous marine
  252  plants and animals not native to the state.
  253         7. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the
  254  importation, possession, or release of fish and wildlife for
  255  which possession is prohibited.
  256         8. Section 379.231, relating to illegal importation or
  257  release introduction of wild animals not native to the state
  258  foreign wildlife.
  259         9. Section 379.305, relating to release or escape of
  260  nonnative venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
  261         (b)1. A person who commits any offense classified as a
  262  Level Three violation and who has not been convicted of a Level
  263  Three or higher violation within the past 10 years commits a
  264  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  265  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  266         2. A person who commits any offense classified as a Level
  267  Three violation within a 10-year period of any previous
  268  conviction of a Level Three or higher violation commits a
  269  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
  270  775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and
  271  permanent revocation of all licenses or permits to possess
  272  captive wildlife issued under this chapter.
  273         (4) LEVEL FOUR.—Unless otherwise provided by law, the
  274  following classifications and penalties apply:
  275         (a) A person commits a Level Four violation if he or she
  276  violates any Level Three provision after the permanent
  277  revocation of a license or permit.
  278         (b) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level
  279  Four violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable
  280  as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  281         (5) SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE.—The court may
  282  order the suspension or revocation of any license or permit
  283  issued to a person to possess captive wildlife pursuant to this
  284  chapter if that person commits a criminal offense or a
  285  noncriminal infraction as specified under this section.
  286         (6) CIVIL PENALTY.—In addition to other applicable
  287  penalties, the commission may impose against any person, firm,
  288  or corporation that is convicted of a criminal violation of any
  289  provision of s. 379.231, s. 379.372, s. 379.3761, or s. 379.3762
  290  a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per animal and not less
  291  than $1,000 in total unless mitigated as authorized below.
  292         (a) The history of noncompliance of the violator for any
  293  previous violation of this chapter or rules or orders of the
  294  commission shall be considered in determining the amount of the
  295  civil penalty.
  296         (b) The direct economic benefit gained by the violator from
  297  the violation may be added to the scheduled civil penalty.
  298         (c) The costs incurred by the commission related to the
  299  escape, recovery, and care of the wildlife subject of the
  300  violation shall be added to the civil penalty.
  301         (d) The civil penalty assessed for any particular violation
  302  may not exceed $5,000 per animal against any one violator unless
  303  the violator has a history of noncompliance, the economic
  304  benefit of the violation as described in paragraph (b) exceeds
  305  $5,000, or the costs incurred by the commission related to the
  306  escape, recovery, and care of the wildlife subject of the
  307  violation exceeds $5,000. The total civil penalty may not exceed
  308  $10,000 per assessment for all related violations attributable
  309  to a specific violator per animal.
  310         (e) The civil penalty assessed pursuant to this subsection
  311  may be reduced by the commission for mitigating circumstances,
  312  including good faith efforts to comply prior to or after
  313  discovery of the violations by the commission.
  314         (f)The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant
  315  to this subsection shall be deposited into the State Game Trust
  316  Fund.
  317         (7)(6) CONVICTION DEFINED.—For purposes of this section,
  318  the term “conviction” means any judicial disposition other than
  319  acquittal or dismissal.
  320         (8)(7) COMMISSION LIMITATIONS.—Nothing in this section
  321  shall limit the commission from suspending or revoking any
  322  license to possess wildlife in captivity by administrative
  323  action in accordance with chapter 120. For purposes of
  324  administrative action, a conviction of a criminal offense shall
  325  mean any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
  326         Section 5. Subsection (2) of section 379.374, Florida
  327  Statutes, is amended to read
  328         379.374 Bond required, amount.—
  329         (2) No person, party, firm, or corporation shall possess or
  330  exhibit to the public either with or without charge or admission
  331  fee, any Class I wildlife, as defined in s. 379.303 and
  332  commission rule, without having first guaranteed financial
  333  responsibility, in the sum of $10,000, for any liability which
  334  may be incurred in the exhibition to the public of Class I
  335  wildlife. The commission shall adopt, by rule, the methods of
  336  payment that satisfy the financial responsibility, which may
  337  include cash, the establishment of a trust fund, an irrevocable
  338  letter of credit, casualty insurance, a corporate guarantee, or
  339  any combination thereof, in the sum of $10,000 which shall be
  340  posted with the commission. In lieu of the $10,000 financial
  341  responsibility guarantee required in this subsection, the
  342  exhibiter has the option to maintain comprehensive general
  343  liability insurance, with minimum limits of $2 million per
  344  occurrence and $2 million annual aggregate, as shall protect the
  345  exhibiter from claims for damage for personal injury, including
  346  accidental death, as well as claims for property damage which
  347  may arise. Proof of such insurance shall be submitted to the
  348  commission.
  349         Section 6. By January 1, 2015, the Fish and Wildlife
  350  Conservation Commission shall evaluate the need for further
  351  restricting the possession of reptiles of concern, including
  352  evaluating the need to ban the possession of those species.
  353         Section 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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