Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1236
       By Senator Farmer
       34-00784A-19                                          20191236__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to transactions for the possession of
    3         animals; amending s. 379.372, F.S.; making technical
    4         changes; prohibiting a person, a party, a firm, an
    5         association, or a corporation from keeping,
    6         possessing, importing, selling, bartering, trading, or
    7         breeding for personal use or sale green iguanas or
    8         black and white tegus; creating s. 725.09, F.S.;
    9         providing legislative intent; defining the terms “pet”
   10         and “pet dealer”; declaring that certain contracts
   11         entered into on or after a specified date for the sale
   12         or lease of a pet are against the public policy of
   13         this state and are void and unenforceable; providing
   14         an exception; providing remedies for noncompliance;
   15         providing penalties; reenacting s. 379.2311(1), F.S.,
   16         relating to the definition of the term “priority
   17         invasive species,” to incorporate the amendment made
   18         to s. 379.372, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing
   19         an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Section 379.372, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   24  read:
   25         379.372 Capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or
   26  exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional
   27  reptiles, or prohibited reptiles; license required.—
   28         (1)(a) A No person, a party, a firm, an association, or a
   29  corporation may not shall capture, keep, possess, or exhibit any
   30  poisonous or venomous reptile or reptile of concern without
   31  first having obtained a special permit or license therefor from
   32  the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as provided in
   33  this section.
   34         (b) By December 31, 2007, The commission shall establish a
   35  list of reptiles of concern, including venomous, nonvenomous,
   36  native, nonnative, or other reptiles, which require additional
   37  regulation for capture, possession, transportation, or
   38  exhibition due to their nature, habits, status, or potential to
   39  negatively impact humans, the environment, or ecology.
   40         (c) It is shall be unlawful for any person, party, firm,
   41  association, or corporation, whether licensed hereunder or not,
   42  to capture, keep, possess, or exhibit any venomous reptile or
   43  reptile of concern in any manner not approved as safe, secure,
   44  and proper by the commission. Venomous reptiles or reptiles of
   45  concern held in captivity are subject to inspection by the
   46  commission. The commission shall determine whether the reptiles
   47  are securely, safely, and properly penned. If In the event that
   48  the reptiles are not safely penned, the commission must shall
   49  report the situation in writing to the person, party, firm,
   50  association, or corporation owning the reptiles. Failure of the
   51  person, party, firm, association, or corporation to correct the
   52  situation within 30 days after such written notice is shall be
   53  grounds for revocation of the license or permit of the person,
   54  party, firm, association, or corporation.
   55         (d) Venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern shall be
   56  transported in a safe, secure, and proper manner. The commission
   57  shall establish by rule the requirements for the transportation
   58  of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
   59         (2)(a) A No person, a party, a firm, an association, or a
   60  corporation may not shall keep, possess, import into the state,
   61  sell, barter, trade, or breed any of the following species for
   62  personal use or for sale for personal use:
   63         1. Burmese or Indian python (Python molurus).
   64         2. Reticulated python (Python reticulatus).
   65         3. Northern African python (Python sebae).
   66         4. Southern African python (Python natalensis).
   67         5. Amethystine or scrub python (Morelia amethystinus).
   68         6. Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus).
   69         7. Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus).
   70         8. Green iguana (Iguana iguana).
   71         9. Black and white tegu (Salvator merianae).
   72         10.8. Any other reptile designated as a conditional or
   73  prohibited species by the commission.
   74         (b) If a person, party, firm, association, or corporation
   75  holds a permit issued before July 1, 2010, under subsection (1)
   76  to legally possess a species listed in paragraph (a), that
   77  person, party, firm, association, or corporation may possess
   78  such reptile for the remainder of the life of the reptile.
   79         (c) If a person, party, firm, association, or corporation
   80  holds a permit issued before July 1, 2010, under subsection (1)
   81  to legally possess a reptile listed in paragraph (a), and the
   82  reptile remains alive following the death or dissolution of the
   83  licensee, the reptile may be legally transferred to another
   84  entity holding a permit authorizing possession of the reptile
   85  for the remainder of the life of the reptile.
   86         (d) If the commission designates a species of reptile as a
   87  conditional or prohibited species after July 1, 2010, the
   88  commission may authorize the personal possession of that newly
   89  designated species by those licensed to possess that species of
   90  reptile before the effective date of the species’ designation by
   91  the commission as a conditional or prohibited species. The
   92  personal possession of such reptile is not a violation of
   93  paragraph (a) if the personal possession was authorized by the
   94  commission.
   95         (e) This subsection does not apply to traveling wildlife
   96  exhibitors that are licensed or registered under the United
   97  States Animal Welfare Act or to zoological facilities that are
   98  licensed or exempted by the commission from the licensure
   99  requirement.
  100         Section 2. Section 725.09, Florida Statutes, is created to
  101  read:
  102         725.09Contracts for the sale or lease of pets.—
  103         (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect
  104  consumers in this state from deceptive and predatory financing
  105  arrangements and to protect pets from the harmful effects of
  106  such arrangements by making it a policy of this state to
  107  prohibit the leasing of pets.
  108         (2) As used in this section, the term:
  109         (a) Pet” means a living animal that has been acquired for
  110  the primary purpose of providing companionship to the owner,
  111  rather than for a business or an agricultural purpose.
  112         (b) “Pet dealer” has the same meaning as in s. 828.29(13).
  113         (3) A contract entered into on or after July 1, 2019, to do
  114  either of the following is against the public policy of this
  115  state and is void and unenforceable:
  116         (a) Transfer ownership of a pet, if the pet is used as
  117  collateral for the contract or is subject to repossession in any
  118  manner upon default of the contract. Such prohibition does not
  119  apply to sales for which payments are made to repay an unsecured
  120  loan for the purchase of the animal.
  121         (b) Lease a pet, if the contract provides for or offers the
  122  option of transferring ownership of the animal at the end of the
  123  lease term.
  124         (4) In addition to any other remedies provided by law, the
  125  consumer taking possession of a pet transferred under a contract
  126  described in this section is the owner of the pet and is
  127  entitled to the return of all amounts the consumer paid under
  128  such contract.
  129         (5) A person who offers a pet for lease or as collateral
  130  for a contract in violation of this section commits a
  131  noncriminal violation as defined in s. 775.08(3) and upon
  132  conviction must be punished as provided in s. 775.082(5) by a
  133  civil fine of not more than $500 for a first violation and not
  134  more than $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation.
  135         Section 3. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  136  made by this act to section 379.372, Florida Statutes, in a
  137  reference thereto, subsection (1) of section 379.2311, Florida
  138  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  139         379.2311 Nonnative animal management.—
  140         (1) As used in this section, the term “priority invasive
  141  species” means the following:
  142         (a) Lizards of the genus Tupinambis, also known as tegu
  143  lizards;
  144         (b) Species identified in s. 379.372(2)(a);
  145         (c) Pterois volitans, also known as red lionfish; and
  146         (d) Pterois miles, also known as the common lionfish or
  147  devil firefish.
  148         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.