While the most frequently reported news this past legislative session focused on all things property tax and insurance related, Senate Bill 2766 quietly wiled its way to Governor Crist's signing desk. The law dealing with exotic pets went into effect on July 1st and it requires, among other things, owners of Class I wildlife to have a $10,000 bond or insurance policy in place. The staff analysis, which is worth a gander, also notes that it will amend the requirement for licensing of venomous reptiles to include those persons that capture, keep, or transport such reptiles, while giving the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission additional rulemaking authority.
While that's all well and good, the best thing is that it will protect both people and animals. According to Keith Lovett of the Palm Beach Zoo, the bill protects animals and people from those who can not care for the creatures properly. "Having this law makes it more difficult for people to acquire these animals in the first place. It is very important, and it helps not only the animals, but the people who live around these animals because safety is definitely a concern," Lovett said.