'Oh, My!' Exotic pet owners needn't disclose
They need permits to keep wildlife, but don't have to inform their neighbors.
September 19, 2007
"There are probably pit bulls out there that are more dangerous than what some of these people are keeping," commissioner Ron Bergeron said.
More than 370 people statewide hold permits for what the state calls Class I wildlife, also known as the "Oh My" list, a name derived from a line in The Wizard of Oz: "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"
The owners of such wildlife must get permits, submit to inspections, meet caging requirements and keep their animals on property that is 5 acres or more in an area not zoned residential.
But this summer, after hearing from an
Rancher Susan Williams told wildlife commissioners at their June meeting that she was horrified to learn that one of her
The Humane Society of the
"We do think that in a state as prone to hurricanes as this one, folks should be notified about what's in their community," Jennifer Hobgood of the Humane Society said Thursday. "They have the right to know."
When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992, more than 3,000 exotic animals -- including boa constrictors, wallabies, iguanas and baboons -- escaped private menageries and fled into the wilds of
Hobgood pointed out that in 2003, neighbors in the Countryside Village Mobile Home Park in Town 'n' Country were unnerved to learn that a resident was raising 26 deadly reptiles. They found out because his pet black mamba got loose and bit him.
But the wildlife commissioners were swayed by a parade of animal owners, such as Lisa Welch of Thonotosassa, who argued that requiring disclosure of her wildlife ownership "is such an infringement of my rights."
Gini Valbuena of
"A gun doesn't get up and walk out of its gun case," Hobgood retorted.
The commissioners, meeting in
They also voted to postpone until February implementing a liability law that requires owners of captive wildlife to put up a $10,000 bond or buy $2 million of insurance in case anyone gets hurt by their animals.
Carole’s comments here: http://www.topix.net/forum/source/orlando-sentinel/TK0KGTKEJLBD5PB96