2010 Florida Statutes
Cattle-dipping vats; legislative findings; liability.
Cattle-dipping vats; legislative findings; liability.—
The Legislature finds that:
In excess of 3,200 cattle-dipping vats were constructed in the state as a result of local, state, and federal programs, conducted from 1906 through 1961, for the prevention, suppression, control, or eradication of the disease commonly known as tick fever by eradicating the cattle fever tick, the arthropod vector organism responsible for transmission of the disease.
Most cattle-dipping vats were constructed with public funds and operated under local, state, and Federal Government supervision and control.
Most vats were used to dip cattle and other livestock owned by several different persons, irrespective of ownership of the property on which the vat was located.
Throughout most of the tick eradication program, the state established criteria for chemical solutions to be used in the vats; annually bid, purchased, and distributed materials to be used in said chemical solutions; and expressly authorized use of chemicals, including, but not limited to, various arsenicals, DDT, and Toxaphene.
Cattle-dipping vats are located on lands presently both privately and publicly owned.
Participation in the cattle fever tick eradication program was mandated by state law. Livestock owners who failed to participate were subjected to criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, and civil penalties, including, but not limited to, condemnation and killing of their livestock, payment of costs for the killing and disposal of carcasses by the sheriff or her or his deputies, and payment of fees for dipping performed by the state.
Private owners of property upon which cattle-dipping vats are located should not be held liable for any costs, damages, or penalties arising or resulting from participation in the cattle fever tick eradication program.
Any private owner of property in this state upon which cattle-dipping vats are located shall not be liable to the state under any state law, or to any other person seeking to enforce state law, for any costs, damages, or penalties associated with the discharge, evaluation, contamination, assessment, or remediation of any substances or derivatives thereof that were used in the vat for the eradication of the cattle fever tick. This provision shall be broadly construed to the benefit of said private owner.
s. 1, ch. 96-351; s. 48, ch. 97-96.