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Natural Areas Coalition of South Florida


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Resolution Letter

The following are Florida State laws that prohibit the introduction, abandonment or placement of cats in public areas or parks:

Florida State statute 372.265 Regulation of foreign animals prohibits the introduction of exotic species into public parks. It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within the state, any species of the animal kingdom not indigenous to Florida without having obtained a permit to do so from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Any person in violation of this law shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Florida Administrative Code 68A-4.005 Introduction of Foreign Wildlife or Freshwater Fish or Carriers of Disease makes it illegal to introduce to the state of Florida any organism that might be expected to transmit disease. No person shall release or introduce in the state any wildlife, freshwater fish or any other organism that might reasonably be expected to transmit any disease to wildlife or freshwater fish.

Statute 372.072 Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Act: The legislature recognizes that the State of Florida harbors a wide diversity of fish and wildlife and that it is the policy of this state to conserve and wisely manage these resources, with particular attention to those species defined by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the United States Department of Interior, or successor agencies, as being endangered or threatened. As Florida has more endangered and threatened species than any other continental state, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide for research and management to conserve and protect these species as a natural resource.

Florida State statute 828.13 Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise; abandonment of animals prohibits the abandonment of pets. Any person who is the owner or possessor, or has charge or custody, of any animal who abandons such animal to suffer injury or malnutrition or abandons any animal in a street, road, or public place without providing for the care, sustenance, protection, and shelter of such animal is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

State Park Pet Policy 62D-2.014 Activities and recreations excludes domestic animals such as dogs, cats and other fur bearing pets from the following places in state parks: food-service areas, designated camping areas, cabins, bathing and swimming areas including land and water portions, park buildings, playgrounds, and other designated areas. Furthermore, this state park policy requires all pets to be confined, leashed or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times; and pets which are noisy, vicious, dangerous, disturbing or intimidating to other persons, and pets which damage park resources are considered to be nuisances and will not be permitted to remain in the park.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act. Concerned about the killing and even extermination of protected and endangered birds by cat has led to speculation that Test-Trap-Vaccinate-Alter-Release (TTVAR) programs that result in the death of protected migratory birds could results in Federal liability for participants in cat release. Proponents of the TTVAR programs are in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered species Act if their actions result in the taking of species protected by those laws.