It's finally happened. On January 1st, the FWC established new rules for people who own or exhibit wildlife. Alot of it has to do with acreage required and having a "Captive Wildlife Critical Incident and Disaster Plan". All escapes of Class I wildlife (lions, bears, crocs, chimps and rhinos) must be immediately reported, as well as the escape of any nonnative venomous reptiles or "reptiles of concern". (D'uh! Pretty pathetic they need to tell anyone that).
Several species of pythons are listed as being "Reptiles of Concern". Now, people who own a Burmese or Reticulated python must have a permit and pay a yearly fee of $100. They must also meet new, more stringent caging requirements. Reptiles of Concern must also be implanted with passive integrated transponder (aka microchip). Owners must keep records of births, deaths, sales or transfers and submit them to the FWC.
Even red-eared sliders can no longer be sold or released. And if you acquired yours after July 1, 2007, you must have a permit to keep it! Guess that means my sister is stuck with her slider forever now!! (They claim Mort is too dumb to ever be released anyway. He/She doesn't know she's a turtle. Thinks she's a dog.)
Yay!!! People have released so many pythons, anacondas and boas into the Everglades that they pose a serious threat to native wildlife. It's about time the FWC took steps to stop this insanity.
If you want to read more details about this, go to www.myfwc.com/whatsnew/08/statewide/News_08_X_NewCaptive.htm