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Counties Push for Stricter Pet Regulations

July 21st, 2009 by flanews

While the state is searching for pythons in the wild, nothing is being done to keep the predators out of urban areas. Anyone can get certified and buy a Burmese python to keep as a pet. As Whitney Ray tells us, county governments want more control over where dangerous animals are housed.

If one of these lived next door would you want to know? In Florida its legal to own a wide array of exotic animal, but there is a push to keep better tabs on deadly pets. Calvin Sancho said if his neighbor owned a snake hed like know, in order to protect his six year-old son.

Sometimes hes playing in the backyard and thats an area a neighbors pet can easily slip into, said Sancho.

The Florida Association of Counties is asking the Fish and Wildlife Commission to give local governments more of a say-so in the permitting process. Counties also want the authority to zone areas for dangerous pets.

The association said theyre just trying to get the conversation started.

You have areas that are where I think those types of animals would be more safely zoned for, versus a high density condominium or something like that. The fact is that those are the things we need to start looking at and working together to solve, said Cragin Mosteller, a spokesperson with the Florida Association of Counties.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission declined our request for an on-camera interview but a spokesperson said on the phone theyre taking the counties suggestions under consideration.

Jane Gordon has her own plan to keep her kids safe.

Its less important to know if they have a dangerous animal. Its more important to actually know your neighbors, said Gordon.

And for now that maybe the only way to know what kind of pets are living next door. The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida has a posted a list of reports of exotic pets that have escaped their cages in Florida. To view the list go to http://animalrightsflorida.org/incidentlist.html

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