State Considers Stricter Rules over Reptile Ownership

State Considers Stricter Rules over Reptile Ownership

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is planning to roll out stricter rules over the ownership of venomous reptiles. The agency might also consider imposing a complete ban over their ownership. People are given permits to own both ‘conditional reptiles’ and ‘venomous reptiles.’

Conditional reptile category consists of various kinds of python species, green anacondas and Nile monitors. Venomous reptiles comprise of all other native and non-native species. According to the commission’s Executive Director Nick Wiley, a couple of escape incidents of such reptiles have occurred in past few months and the agency is taking it very seriously.

He added that the people should not be scared as serious measures will be soon taken. In October 2015, an 8 feet long king cobra fled from Orlando-home, while in November a 5 feet long Asian monocled cobra escaped from his Fort Meyers-home. Both the cobras were found.

The agency’s Chairman Brian Yablonski fails to understand the reason for having these venomous, non-native snakes as pets. He added that though people are given the freedom to keep such pets, but they have failed to realize their responsibility, towards owning them.

At present, the commission undertakes annual check of permit holders. During this yearly inspection, the officials verify whether the reptiles are kept in a secure, proper and safe environment. Though, he agreed to the fact that recent events of escape have indicated increase in such inspections. "With recent issues involving escapes, we're currently working on inspections of all permit holders as soon as possible. We're going to go ahead and double down and inspect, regardless of the annual cycle," said Wiley.

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