TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - 52 Burmese Pythons have been hunted down or captured since the state declared war on the non-native species last summer.
Now the fight has been expanded to your local pet store. It’s no longer legal in Florida to buy or sell the Burmese and five other reptiles of concern.
“They don’t have to get rid of them. If they got them legally they can keep them, but if they do want to get rid of them, then we have some commercial guys who will be able to take them under the amnesty program,” said exotic animal expert Scott Hardin with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
But not everyone is happy about the ban. Carol Hoover owns a pet store. She hasn’t carried any of the banned reptiles for years… but thinks the state declaring them illegal will lead to more people buying them on the black market.
“If you ban something it makes it more desirable and those who might not otherwise want something like that, might go to do it just because it’s not allowed,” Hoover said.
There are only 350 people who hold permits to own or sell Burmese Pythons in Florida.
While people who want to buy certain snakes are getting the red light… people who run red-lights are getting tickets in the mail.
Cameras that catch red-light runners can now be installed on state roads. There are also statewide regulations for enforcement and fines.
Anyone caught running a red-light by the new cameras will receive a 158 dollar fine in their mailbox.
A dangerous practice that didn’t get outlawed by state lawmakers this year is texting while driving. It’s still legal in Florida, but informational campaigns about the risk haven launched to try and changes driving habits.
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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