State Seeks to Strengthen Exotic Animal Laws

Stop throwing your pythons away, people

Larry your snow leopard may be looking for a new home soon.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet today in an open-to-the-public meeting to discuss strengthening the state's exotic animal law, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Though Senator Lee Constantine said the current law - which requires permits and registration -- is good enough, only 10 percent of exotic animal owners obey it.

Limiting Internet sales and increasing penalties for repeat offenses are a couple ways officials are looking to strengthen the law, which governs the buying selling and possession of exotic animals.

Currently, a first-time offender only receives a small fine, but repeat offenders could get prison time and fines up to $10,000.

At a time when it seems like you can't throw a rock without hitting a python, Ken Wright of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the goal is compliance so that owners of the animals don't release them into the wild.

An amnesty day will be held around the state Oct. 3, during which any exotic animal can be surrendered, no questions asked.

On the most wanted list: Burmese, African rock, scrub and reticulated pythons, the green anaconda and the Nile monitor lizard.


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