Florida Law That Restricted Certain Reptiles Ruled Unconstitutional

The law, signed June 2020, was challenged by the United States Association of Reptile Keepers’ Florida Chapter and six individuals.
Iguana Iguana 2
Green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida. By Cayambe - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12571301

A Florida law signed June 29 by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that placed restrictions on the possession, breeding and sale of non-native tegu lizards (Salvator sp), reticulated pythons (Python reticulatus) and green iguanas (Iguana iguana), has been ruled unconstitutional by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper.


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The law was challenged by the United States Association of Reptile Keepers’ Florida Chapter and six individuals in the state, stating that the Florida legislature overstepped its authority in passing the law preventing the possession and sale of these species.

“The 2020 amendment regulates wild animal life —- it prescribes the manner and purposes for which certain captive non-native species may be possessed and used —- and contradicts the commission’s regulations … authorizing and regulating the manner and purposes for which those same species may be used,” Cooper wrote in his decision.

“Therefore, under clear precedent and the plain language of the Florida Constitution, the 2020 amendment is unconstitutional.”

During the lawsuit, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began a rule-making process to determine how to address these non-native reptiles. That process won’t be affected by the decision, according to the Orlando Weekly.

Categories: Lizard Information & News