Reptile owners and vendors affected by an addition to Florida’s prohibited species list are filing a petition to challenge the decision.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, recently added more animals to its prohibited nonnative species list. The animals now banned range from meerkats to yellow anacondas.
Phil Goss is President of The United States Association of Reptile Keepers. He says the FWC didn’t consider an alternative before adding anacondas to the list, such as a conditional species listing.
“Conditional species listing... is the exact same thing that an accredited zoo has to follow," says Goss. "Animals have to be microchipped. They get inspected by the FWC. There’s a whole bunch of hoops that you have to jump through to keep these animals. They totally sidestepped that and went straight to prohibited listing for these species.”
If someone owned a yellow anaconda before the ruling, they can apply to keep the animal until it dies, but cannot adopt another. The FWC claims assessments show the animals have a high risk to the state.