The June 17, 2009 hearing of the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission set a record for the number of animal lovers to attend and speak up at their meetings. Carole Baskin as been attending these meetings since 1994 and rarely do more than two or three animal advocates show up but at this meeting we counted more than 40 people who spoke in favor of tougher laws to regulate the trade in exotic animals. We hope this is the beginning of a trend and if so it will shape the future. Wild animals will no longer be exploited, abused, neglected and abandoned if the public continues to speak up for them
The best news is that Cougars and Cheetahs have been uplisted to Class I which means that they can no longer be kept as pets in Florida. Those who already own these cats as pets can keep them, but cannot breed or replace them unless they meet the higher requirements for owning Class I animals which includes 5 acres of land, stronger cages and they cannot use them for petting sessions after they reach 45 lbs., so fewer people will be mauled by them.
Our biggest defeat was that the FWCC approved a new category of licensee called "Sanctuary" No accredited or legitimate sanctuary asked for this category and 2500+ of the 2764 letters received by the FWC specifically asked that it not be adopted as it creates 4 major loopholes.
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