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Florida approves ban on pet pythons, other reptiles

Florida wildlife officials approved new rules to ban owning or breeding several python species and other "high-risk" reptiles.
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Volunteers, employees and interns of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida were taught by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on how to subdue and capture burmese pythons on Wednesday.

TAMPA, Fla — More than 500 nonnative animal species have been reported in Florida and most of them got here by the live animal trade, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

Some of those species are hurting the state's ecosystems. 

That's why during its February meeting FWC approved new rules that would address the importation, breeding and possession of 16 high-risk invasive reptiles. On the list are Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, green iguanas to name a few. 

“These animals are creating enormous issues for our state,” said FWC Chairman, Rodney Barreto. “I have always been proud that Florida is looked at as a leader. Let’s take a bold stance. We have to put our foot down. The time has come, and we hope other states will follow.”

The new rule puts the replies on Florida’s Prohibited List. 

The agency says some current owners and shops trading in would-be banned reptiles, like the green iguana, would be grandfathered into the new rules. And, those owners will need to apply for a no-cost permit. People who work a business out of their homes, however, would have to rent a shop. 

As noted by Fresh Take Florida, the "Ybor Snakeman" Cyliss Harrington said that would ruin his livelihood.

You can find more information on permit and Florida's nonnative species here.

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