The e-mail I sent. It is more generalized but I am trying to get more to the why than the wherefore, if that makes any sense:
I am writing to say that as a Florida citizen and lover of animals, I support the rule proposals that put the strictest limits on the breeding, buying, selling, and exhibiting of wild animals. I think that licenses should be required for exhibiting and selling wild animals, and that there should be no exceptions to this rule. In other words, our state should allow 0 instances in which an animal can be sold or exhibited without a license.
Wild animals that have been dealt the unfortunate hand of a life in captivity should be cared for only by those who are committed to addressing their needs first. Usually, when profit is the main goal, the needs of the animals are neglected. The only way to change this is to enforce rules that require certain standards. If those who maintain these animals really care for them, obtaining a license is the LEAST that they should be willing to do. If they cannot or will not do this, then wild animal ownership is not for them. Creating stricter rules is difficult and usually incurs some negative reactions, but once they are in place then those who might be considering these activities in the future will know from the start what is required and may choose another path. This could alleviate a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Thank you for your careful consideration of our comments.
to limit and ban the keeping of wild animals as pets & props
Even though we have witnessed hundreds of letters supporting our position to the FWC, they claim that due to the lack of response they are extending the period of time that the public can comment on their rules. They disabled the link to the survey though, so no one could actually do that, or know about the time extension, except for those who deal in wild animals. The proposed new rules will make it slightly harder for people to buy, breed and sell wild animals. Please let the FWC know that you do care and that you do NOT want them to make it easy for people to keep, breed and sell wild animals.If you agree with Big Cat Rescue here are the Answers to the Survey that you should call, mail or email in by Dec. 7. To contact thee FWC, email Commissioners@MyFWC.com call the executive director's office in Tallahassee at (850) 487-3796 or the North Central Regional Office in Lake City at (386) 758-0525. Correspondence can be sent to the FWC commissioners in care of Rodney Barreto, Chairman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 S. Meridian St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600.Big Cat Rescue supports these answers to their survey that the FWC took down.1. SUPPORT OPTION B
2. SUPPORT OPTION B
4. Rule Development? YES
Exhibition License Required? YES
Exhibitions per year Without a License? Choose Other and then enter 0
Sale License Required? YES
Sales per year Without a License? Choose Other and then enter 0
You should comment on why, but don't have to. The main reason for all of these answers is that it should not be made easy for people to breed, sell and own wild animals. Please ask your friends to do the same so that the FWC gets the message loud and clear that Floridians do not approve of keeping wild animals captive.
FWC exotic, dangerous animal survey extended to Dec. 7
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has extended its deadline for the public to participate in an online survey that will help the agency develop new requirements for possessing Class I, II and III wildlife. The survey began on Nov. 3 and has been extended from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7. A limited response from the public resulted in the extension.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's licensing of exotic animals that poses a risk to humans in residential areas has been a bone of contention between the FWC and the Levy County Commission for several years.
Most recently, the county commission has objected to the licensing of an exotic animal sanctuary in Morriston's Small Farms area that ignored the county's zoning requirement covering such operations.
The county is home to three Class I licenses and four Class II licenses, according to the FWC website. Examples of Class I animals are: lion, tiger, chimpanzee, bear, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, leopard, gorilla. Examples of Class II animals are: monkey, some apes, wolf, coyote, jackel, badgers, bobcats, cougar, lynx, ocelots, alligators, ostrich.
Commissioner Lilly Rooks of Rosewood, who objected to the licensing of an exotic animal operation in the Otter Creek area two years ago, and Levy County Attorney Anne Bast Brown, have been in talks with the FWC to gain acceptance of a rule that requires exotic animal owners to comply with local building and zoning regulations and to have an emergency plan to cope with disasters and entry onto a property by law enforcement and emergency personnel.
Rooks said she felt the FWC was responsive to the county's concerns and was going to adopt the rule changes.
“They've already agreed to this stuff,” she said. “All they were supposed to do is put option 1 and option 2 to the commission.”
The FWC has posted the proposed rules and the two options in an online only survey seeking public input by Nov. 24.
In a press release, the FWC said, “The survey includes questions on whether Class I and II captive wildlife owners’ facilities should meet local building codes and/or zoning requirements and if wildlife owners should provide their Critical Incident and Disaster Plan to their county’s emergency manager.” There are other questions for shipping animals and hobbyists.
The first two questions in the online survey are of special interest to Levy County:
1. The FWC is considering requiring facilities housing Class I or Class II wildlife to meet local building codes and zoning codes to ensure that facilities are compatible with the proposed activity and location.
Counties are notified of any new application for Class I or Class II wildlife and have 30 days to address discrepancies to the FWC. If they do not, the facility is deemed in compliance. Two options are provided for consideration:
Option A would require facilities housing Class I or Class II wildlife to meet local building codes for the construction of their facility. It would also require facilities housing Class I wildlife to meet valid local zoning requirements to ensure the facility is compatible with the area.
Option B would require facilities housing Class I or Class II wildlife to be in compliance with both local building codes and zoning codes.
2. Class I, II, and III captive wildlife facilities must have a Critical Incident and Disaster Plan that provides emergency contact information (Part A) and a plan of action to be taken in the event of a critical incident or natural disaster (Part B). Two options are provided for consideration.
Option A would require facilities housing Class I wildlife to share Part B with the County Emergency Manager.
Option B would require facilities housing Class I or Class II wildlife to share Part B with the County Emergency Manager.
“We wanted Option B but they are proposing Option A. But either one will get us ahead of what we've been dealing with all these several years,” Rooks said. “There's a lot of class II animals that are very dangerous, if they went with just Class I you're still leaving some animals out there.”
She said the FWC is unlikely to get much response from Levy County because many residents do not go online.
“What's going to end up happening is its going to be the people in the industry who are going to respond,” she said. “Because our constituency is not going to have any idea this is going to play out.”
Rooks said the most important thing is for the public to respond to the FWC request for information. “And if they don't respond to the questionnaire online, if they could just call in to the FWC and let people know, let the FWC know they don't have access to the computer.”
All of the county libraries offer Internet access for those who do not have service or a computer. The survey link is: MyFWC.com/Rules.
To contact the FWC, call the executive director's office in Tallahassee at (850) 487-3796 or the North Central Regional Office in Lake City at (386) 758-0525. Correspondence can be sent to the FWC commissioners in care of Rodney Barreto, Chairman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 S. Meridian St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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