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Florida

Statute Name Citation Summary
FL - Agriculture & Consumer Services - Department Duties and Enforcement   FL ST 585.001 - 585.007   This set of laws explains the powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services in enforcing the Animal Industry laws (Chapter 585). Any person or officer that is charged with a duty under the Animal Industry laws may be compelled to perform the same by mandamus, injunction, or other court-ordered remedy. Department employees are authorized to enter any premises in the state for the purposes of carrying out their duties under the Animal Industry laws and it is illegal for any person to interfere with the discharge of those duties.  
FL - Assistance Animal - Florida's Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws   West's F. S. A. 413.08 - 081; West's F. S. A. 316.1303  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

 
FL - Cruel Confinement - 21. Limiting Cruel and Inhumane Confinement of Pigs During Pregnancy   FL CONST Art. 10 21  

This ballot proposal, adopted in 2002 and effective in 2008, addresses the inhumane treatment of animals, specifically, pregnant pigs. The law provides that to prevent cruelty to animals and as recommended by The Humane Society of the United States, no person shall confine a pig during pregnancy in a cage, crate or other enclosure, or tether a pregnant pig, on a farm so that the pig is prevented from turning around freely, except for veterinary purposes and during the prebirthing period; provides definitions, penalties, and an effective date. This measure passed in the November 2002 election with 54% of the vote.

 
FL - Cruelty, Humane Slaughter - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes/Humane Slaughter Laws   FL ST 828.01 - 828.43   This section comprises the Florida anti-cruelty laws.  Under this section, the word "animal" includes every living dumb creature.  The misdemeanor violation of animal cruelty (section 828.12) occurs when a person unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or carries in or upon any vehicle, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.  A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering is guilty of a felony of the third degree.  Psychiatric or psychological counseling are also mandatory for convicted offenders.  The section also criminalizes animal abandonment and neglect as well as animal fighting.  
FL - Dangerous Dog - CHAPTER 767. DAMAGE BY DOGS.   FL ST 767.14   This Florida statute provides that nothing in the dangerous dog act limits the ability of local governments from enacting restrictions on dangerous dogs more severe than the state law, as long as the regulations are not breed-specific.  
FL - Definitions - Animal Definitions   FL ST 828.02   The word "animal" shall be held to include every living dumb creature.  
FL - Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Animal Disease Control   FL ST 585.01 - 585.69   This set of laws addresses the role of the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry in the prevention, control, or eradication of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease among domestic or wild animals. The Department is authorized to regulate the importation, transportation, transfer of ownership, and maintenance of animals; establish quarantine areas; and inspect, test, treat, condemn, and destroy animals and animal housing facilities as necessary for the eradication of communicable diseases or the detection of harmful biological and chemical residues in food animals. The laws also direct the Department to develop a list of dangerous transmissible diseases. All veterinarians and animal owners are required to report suspected and confirmed cases of dangerous transmissible diseases to the State Veterinarian; failure to do so is a felony of the second degree.  
FL - Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Enforcement   FL ST 570.073, 570.15, 570.16   This set of laws authorizes the establishment of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement within the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services for the enforcement of laws relating to wild or domesticated animals or animal products. Law enforcement officers employed by the Department have statewide jurisdiction and have full law enforcement powers granted to other peace officers of the state, including the authority to make arrests, carry firearms, serve court process, and seize contraband and the proceeds of illegal activities. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree to threaten, interfere with, or impersonate an enforcement officer or other employee of the Department.  
FL - Disaster - 252.3568. Emergency sheltering of persons with pets   FL ST 252.3568   In Florida, there must be strategies for the evacuation of persons with pets in the state and local comprehensive emergency management plans.  
FL - Dogs - Florida Dog /Dangerous Dog Laws   FL ST 767.01 - 16; 705.19; 823.041; 823.15   These Florida statutes outline the state's dog provisions, which mainly cover dangerous dog/dog bite laws.  The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners' knowledge of such viciousness.  However, any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person's negligence contributed to the biting incident.  If a dog that has previously been declared dangerous attacks or bites a person or a domestic animal without provocation, the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.  The dog will be impounded for a period of ten days during which time the owner of the dog may request a hearing.  
FL - Domestic Violence - 741.30. Domestic violence; injunction   FL ST 741.30   This Florida law allows petitioners to file injunctions for protection against domestic violence. Among the described incidents of domestic violence from which the petitioner may obtain protection is where the respondent has "intentionally injured or killed a family pet." The court also considers this as a factor when determining whether there is reasonable cause to believe the petitioner is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. In 2012, an amendment was added to provide exemptions from public records requirements for personal identifying and location information of victims of domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, and dating violence held by the clerks and law enforcement agencies.  
FL - Ecoterrorism - Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act   FL ST 828.40 - 43   This set of laws comprises the Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act. Under the Act, a person who intentionally causes physical disruption to the property, personnel, or operations of an animal enterprise by intentionally stealing, damaging, or causing the loss of, any property, including animals or records, used by the animal enterprise, and thereby causes economic damage, commits a felony of the third degree.  
FL - Endangered - Endangered and Threatened Species Act   FL ST 379.2291 - 379.231 (formerly FL ST 372.072 - 074)   These Florida statutes define endangered and threatened species and provide the State's intent to protect these species.  Under statute, the intentional killing or wounding of a listed species incurs a third degree felony.  Interestingly, the state has a reward program for the arrest and conviction of those who violate state endangered species laws.  
FL - Endangered Species - Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation.   FL ST 379.411 (Renumbered as 379.411 by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, 178, eff. July 1, 2008)   This statute prohibits the intentional killing or wounding of any animal, or the eggs or nest of any animal, listed as threatened, endangered, or of special concern, making it a third-degree felony.  The bald eagle has been designated under this provision.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion.  
FL - Equine Activity Liability Statute- Chapter 773. Equine Activities.   FL ST 773.01 - 773.06   This Florida statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.  Liability will not be limited by statute, however, where the equine professional or sponsor knew the tack or equipment was faulty, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or is otherwise in lawful possession of the land or facilities where the injury is attributable to a known dangerous latent condition, commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, or intentionally injures the participant.  Posting of warning signs alerting participants to the limitation of liability by law is also required.  
FL - Exhibition - Deformed Animals - Chapter 877. Miscellaneous Crimes.   FL ST 877.16   This law makes it illegal to exhibit any deformed, mutilated or disfigured animal for compensation.  
FL - Fish and Wildlife Conservation - Part V. Law Enforcement   FL ST 379.33 - 379.343   This set of laws describes the scope and methods of enforcement of the state's fish and wildlife laws.  
FL - Fur - Sale of garments or items of clothing containing dog or cat fur prohibited; sale of pelt of any dog or cat prohibited; penalty.   FL ST 828.1231   Makes it illegal for a person to knowingly sell or offer to sell a garment which contains dog or cat fur, or a dog or cat pelt.  Defines the first violation of this provision as a misdemeanor of the first degree, and any subsequent violations as felonies of the third degree.  Allows any law enforcement agency or humane officer to enforce this provision and to seek a civil penalty up to $5,000 for each violation.  
FL - Horse Slaughter - 500.451. Horse meat; offenses   West's F. S. A. 500.451   This Florida makes it unlawful for any person to sell in the markets of this state horse meat for human consumption unless the horse meat is clearly stamped, marked, and described as horse meat for human consumption or to knowingly transport, distribute, sell, purchase, or possess horse meat for human consumption that is not clearly stamped, marked, and described as horse meat for human consumption or horse meat that is not acquired from a licensed slaughterhouse.  
FL - Horse Slaughter - Chapter 828. Animals: Cruelty; Sales; Animal Enterprise Protection.   FL ST 828.125   Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed this amendment into law on May 17, 2010 making it a second-degree felony for any person to willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kill, maim, mutilate, or cause great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse). Any person who commits a violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.  
FL - Hunting - Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation   FL ST 379.302 (372.16. Renumbered as 379.302 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, 105, eff. July 1, 2008)   This Florida statute provides that any person owning land in this state may establish, maintain, and operate within the boundaries thereof, a private preserve and farm, not exceeding an area of 640 acres, for the protection, preservation, propagation, rearing, and production of game birds and animals for private and commercial purposes.  All private game preserves or farms established under the provisions of this section shall be fenced in such manner that domestic game thereon may not escape and wild game on surrounding lands may not enter.  Violation of this section results in a misdemeanor and forfeiture of the violator's license to operate for one year.  
FL - Hunting - Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation.   FL ST 379.105   This law represents the state's hunter harassment provision. Under the law, a person may not intentionally, within a publicly or privately owned wildlife management or fish management area or on any state-owned water body, interfere with or attempt to prevent the lawful taking of fish, game, or nongame animals by another or attempt to disturb wildlife or fish to prevent their lawful taking. Any person who violates this section commits a Level Two violation.  
FL - Immunity, Care For Injured Animals - Chapter 768. Negligence   FL ST 768.13   This section comprises Florida's Good Samaritan Act. Under the Act, any person, including those licensed to practice veterinary medicine, who gratuitously (without payment) and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment to an injured animal at the scene of an emergency on or adjacent to a roadway shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.  
FL - Impound - Abandonment of animals by owner; procedure for handling   FL ST 705.19   This Florida statute provides that any animal placed in the custody of a licensed veterinarian or bona fide boarding kennel that is abandoned by its owner or for a period of more than 10 days after written notice is given to the owner may be turned over to the custody of the nearest humane society or dog pound in the area for disposal as such custodian may deem proper.  This provisions immunizes such facilities from liability resulting from this action.  
FL - Lost Property - Lost or Abandoned Property   FL ST 705.101 - 19   These Florida statutes comprise the state's lost property statutes.  
FL - Ordinances - Interpretation of Dog Ordinances under Dangerous Dogs   FL ST 767.07   This Florida statute provides that the statutory section relating to state regulation of dangerous dogs is supplemental to all other state laws affecting dogs and shall not be construed to modify those laws or to prevent municipalities from prohibiting, licensing, or regulating the running at large of dogs within their respective limits by law or ordinance.  
FL - Sterilization - Chapter 823. Public Nuisances   FL ST 823.15   This Florida law declares that it is the public policy of the state that every feasible means be used to reduce the incidence of birth of unneeded and unwanted puppies and kittens.  In furtherance of this policy, provision shall be made for the sterilization of all dogs and cats sold or released for adoption from any public or private animal shelter or animal control agency by either providing sterilization by a licensed veterinarian before relinquishing custody of the animal or entering into a written agreement with the adopter or purchaser guaranteeing that sterilization will be performed within 30 days or prior to sexual maturity. All costs of sterilization pursuant to this section shall be paid by the prospective adopter unless otherwise provided for by ordinance of the local governing body or provided for by the humane society governing body.  
FL - Trust, animal - Chapter 736. Florida Trust Code   FL ST 736.0408   This Florida statute provides that a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates on the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, on the death of the last surviving animal.  
FL - Veterinary - Veterinary Medical Practice.   FL ST 474.201 - 221  

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.

 
FL - Wildlife - Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation.   FL ST 379.231 - 504   These Florida laws concern the keeping and taking of captive wildlife. Places where wildlife is held in captivity are subject to inspection by the officers of the state commission at any time. The commission shall promulgate rules defining Class I, Class II, and Class III types of wildlife. A companion statutory section provides that, in order to assure humane treatment of captive wildlife, no person, firm, corporation or association shall be in possession of captive wildlife for public display unless a permit has been obtained. The cost of the permit depends on whether the species fall into Class I, II, or III (also see Link to Administrative Regulations).  

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