News Releases

FWC moves forward with changes to nuisance wildlife rule

News Release

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Media contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to the nuisance wildlife rule at Wednesday's Commission meeting in Apalachicola.

The most significant change offers an option other than euthanasia for live-captured nuisance wildlife. Previously, captured nuisance wildlife could only be released on the same property where capture occurred or transported for purposes of euthanasia. Under the change, relocating nuisance animals to another site will be allowed under certain circumstances. The nuisance wildlife must be native to Florida, and the release site must be at least 40 contiguous acres and within the same county where it was captured. Written permission of the landowner must be received before releasing the animal. Also, transportation of the animal may not violate any rabies alert or area quarantine by county health or animal control authorities.

The FWC received many requests from the public to remove bobcats from the nuisance-wildlife rule, but staff recommended a clarification instead. Under the changed rule bobcats may be taken as nuisance animals only when they pose a threat to public safety or are causing, or about to cause, property damage.

The changed rule now requires that live traps and snares used to capture nuisance wildlife be inspected at least once every 24 hours, and live-trapped nuisance wildlife must be released or euthanized within 24 hours. The change also allows euthanasia as described by both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

The rule now clarifies that chemical repellents are not approved as an "exclusion device" for bats.

For more information on the FWC's nuisance wildlife rule, go to MyFWC.com/License.



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