Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 120072
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File Number: 120072 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-80-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: RESTRICT PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS Introduced: 1/11/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/24/2012
Agenda Date: 1/24/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A28
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO RESTRICT PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Dennis C. Moss, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/24/2012 11A28 Adopted P

County Attorney 1/11/2012 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO RESTRICT PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS

BODY

WHEREAS, in October, 2011, an owner of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio freed 56 such exotic animals before killing himself; and
WHEREAS, significant public safety concerns were created, area residents were urged to remain inside and schools had to be closed; and
WHEREAS, although no person was killed or injured, 49 exotic animals eventually had to be killed by sheriff’s deputies, including 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzly bears, one baboon and two wolves, according to the local sheriff; and
WHEREAS, the State of Ohio, along with the States of Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin are generally considered to have the most lax state laws when it comes to ownership of exotic animals, where such ownership is largely unregulated; and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida prohibits private possession of some, but not all exotic animals; and
WHEREAS, in Florida, it is unlawful for a private person to possess “Class I” wildlife, which includes chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, baboons, leopards, jaguars, tigers, lions, bears, elephants and crocodiles unless the animal was in possession prior to August 1, 1980, with licensed zoos and certain licensed traveling wildlife exhibitors exempted; and
WHEREAS, in 2010, the Florida Legislature passed state regulations prohibiting importation, sale, possession and release of certain non-native species of venomous reptiles, such as various python species, Green Anaconda, Nile monitor and other reptiles designated by the commission as a conditional or prohibited species; and
WHEREAS, persons who hold permits issued before July 1, 2010 for these non-native species may legally possess the species for the remainder of the reptile's life in Florida; and
WHEREAS, with a permit from the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida allows private possession of “Class II” wildlife, which includes howler and guereza monkeys, macaques, cougars, bobcats, cheetahs, ocelots, servals, coyotes, wolves, hyenas and alligators; and
WHEREAS, the animals listed as Class II Wildlife in Florida are still potentially dangerous and endangered species; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature should revise state law to prohibit private possession of Class II wildlife, with exemptions for zoos, researchers and licensed exhibitors; and
WHEREAS, at the federal level, Congress in 2003 passed the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, which banned the interstate transportation and commerce of lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards and cougars in the exotic pet trade; and
WHEREAS, Senator Barbara Boxer (D - California) has filed the Captive Primate Safety Act, S. 1324, for consideration during the 112th Congress, which would ban the interstate commerce of additional animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and other primates, as private pets; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service currently is considering a proposed rule that would remove generic tigers from the list of species exempt from registration under federal captive-bred wildlife regulations; and
WHEREAS, because of this exemption, there is no oversight of interstate commerce in tigers bred in captivity from an unknown or mixed lineage; and
WHEREAS, according to the Humane Society of the U.S., there are likely more tigers living in captivity in the U.S. today than exist in the wild, though the total number of captive tigers is unknown because there is no comprehensive national reporting system; and
WHEREAS, by adopting the proposed rule, all tigers would be subject to the same rules as other endangered species and a person would need to obtain authorization from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to possess such tigers,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission to revise state law to prohibit private possession of Class II wildlife, with exemptions for zoos, researchers and licensed exhibitors.
Section 2. Urges Congress to pass the Captive Primate Safety Act, S. 1324, or similar legislation banning the interstate commerce of chimpanzees, monkeys, and other primates as private pets.
Section 3. Urges the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to adopt rules that would remove generic tigers from the list of species exempt from registration under federal captive-bred wildlife regulations.
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation and the Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Section 5. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the action set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2012 State Legislative Package to include this issue.
Section 6. Directs the County’s federal lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Sections 2 and 3 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2012 Federal Legislative Package.



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