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.
570.073. Renumbered as 570.65 by Laws 2014, c. 2014-150, § 62, eff. July 1, 2014
570.65. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, law enforcement officers
(1) The commissioner may create an Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement under the supervision of a senior manager exempt under s. 110.205 in the Senior Management Service. The commissioner may designate law enforcement officers, as necessary, to enforce any criminal law or conduct any criminal investigation or to enforce the provisions of any statute or any other laws of this state. Officers appointed under this section shall have the primary responsibility for enforcing laws relating to agriculture and consumer services, as outlined in this section,1 and have jurisdiction over2 violations of law which threaten the overall security and safety of this state's agriculture and consumer services. The primary responsibilities of officers appointed under this section include the enforcement of laws relating to:
(a) Domesticated animals, including livestock, poultry, aquaculture products, and other wild or domesticated animals or animal products.
(b) Farms, farm equipment, livery tack, citrus or citrus products, or horticultural products.
(c) Trespass, littering, forests, forest fires, and open burning.
(d) Damage to or theft of forest products.
(e) Enforcement of a marketing order.
(f) Protection of consumers.
(g) Civil traffic offenses as provided in3 state law.
(h) The use of alcohol or drugs which occurs on property owned, managed, or occupied by the department.
(i) Any emergency situation in which the life, limb, or property of any person is placed in immediate and serious danger.
(j) Any crime incidental to or related to paragraphs (a)-(i).
(k)4The responsibilities of the Commissioner of Agriculture.
(2) Each law enforcement officer shall meet the qualifications of law enforcement officers under s. 943.13 and shall be certified as a law enforcement officer by the Department of Law Enforcement under the provisions of chapter 943. Upon certification, each law enforcement officer is subject to and shall have the same arrest and other authority provided for law enforcement officers generally in chapter 901 and shall have statewide jurisdiction. Each officer shall also have arrest authority as provided for state law enforcement officers in s. 901.15. Such officers have full law enforcement powers granted to other peace officers of this state, including the authority to make arrests, carry firearms, serve court process, and seize contraband and the proceeds of illegal activities.
(3) The commissioner may also appoint part-time, reserve, or auxiliary law enforcement officers under chapter 943.
(4) All department law enforcement officers, upon certification under s. 943.1395, shall have the same right and authority to carry arms as do the sheriffs of this state.
(5) Each law enforcement officer in the state who is certified pursuant to chapter 943 has the same authority as law enforcement officers designated in this section to enforce the laws of this state as described in subsection (1).
Added by Laws 1992, c. 92-291, § 7, eff. Oct. 1, 1992. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 93-169, § 5, eff. May 5, 1993; Laws 1995, c. 95-141, § 2, eff. May 1, 1995; Laws 1998, c. 98-34, § 42, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 2002, c. 2002-20, § 111, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2002, c. 2002-295, § 47, eff. July 1, 2002. Renumbered from 570.073 by Laws 2014, c. 2014-150, § 62, eff. July 1, 2014.
1 As amended by Laws 2002, c. 2002-295, § 47. The amendment by Laws 2002-20, § 111, substitutes the word “below” for the words “in this section.”
2 As amended by Laws 2002, c. 2002-295, § 47. The amendment by Laws 2002-20, § 111, does not include the words “have jurisdiction over.”
3 As amended by Laws 2002, c. 2002-295, § 47. The amendment by Laws 2002-20, § 111, substitutes the word “outlined under” for the words “provided in.”
4 Reviser's Note--2002: As enacted by s. 47, ch. 2002-295. For a description of multiple acts in the same session affecting a statutory provision, see preface to the Florida Statutes, “Statutory Construction.” Paragraph (k) was also enacted by s. 111, ch. 2002-20, and that version reads:
“(k) Any law over which the Commissioner of Agriculture has responsibility.”
570.15. Access to places of business and vehicles
(1)(a) Any duly authorized employee of the department shall have full access at all reasonable hours to inspect:
a. Places of business;
c. Farm buildings;
e. Railroad cars;
g. Motor vehicles, except private passenger automobiles with no trailer in tow, travel trailers, camping trailers, van conversions, and motor homes as defined in s. 320.01(1)(b), or pickup trucks not carrying agricultural, horticultural, or livestock products and which have visible access to the entire cargo area, or city, county, state, or federal vehicles;
h. Truck and motor vehicle trailers; and
which are used or could be used in the production, manufacture, storage, sale, or transportation within the state of any food product; any agricultural, horticultural, or livestock product; or any article or product with respect to which any authority is conferred by law on the department; and
2. All records or documents pertaining thereto.
(b) The department may examine and open any package or container of any kind containing or believed to contain any article or product which may be transported, manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in violation of the provisions of this chapter, the rules of the department, or the laws which the department enforces and may inspect the contents and take samples for analysis.
(c) If access is refused by the owner, agent, manager, or other person in charge of any premises, or by the owner, driver, operator, or other person in charge of any vehicle, the department employee may apply for, obtain, and execute a search warrant for regulatory inspection under the provisions of this section and ss. 933.20-933.30. The provisions of chapter 933 relating to probable cause do not apply to regulatory inspections under this section. Routine inspections of vehicles shall be conducted in accordance with the administrative standards, including neutral criteria, for conducting these inspections set forth by rules of the department.
(2) It is unlawful for the driver of any vehicle, other than one exempted in sub-subparagraph (1)(a)1.g. or one authorized pursuant to subsection (5) , to pass any official agricultural inspection station without first stopping and submitting the vehicle for inspection. A violation of this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Every law enforcement officer is authorized to assist employees of the department in the enforcement of this section. Every law enforcement officer is authorized to stop and detain any vehicle and its driver if the driver has failed to comply with this section until an employee of the department arrives to conduct the inspection required or permitted by law. The law enforcement officer may require the driver to return with the vehicle to the agricultural inspection station where the driver failed to stop the vehicle for inspection.
(4) No civil or criminal liability shall be imposed upon any person who is authorized to enforce or assist in enforcement of the provisions of this section and who is lawfully engaged in such activity.
(5) The department shall establish by rule conditions and criteria by which nonagricultural laden vehicles may pass an agricultural inspection station without stopping for inspection.
Laws 1959, c. 59-54, § 1; Laws 1975, c. 75-215, § 1; Laws 1978, c. 78-180, § 1; Laws 1979, c. 79-371, § 1; Laws 1979, c. 79-587, § 1; Laws 1983, c. 83-237, § 1. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 93-169, § 11, eff. May 5, 1993; Laws 1993, c. 93-270, § 1, eff. June 3, 1993; Laws 1995, c. 95-141, § 3, eff. May 1, 1995; Laws 1997, c. 97-98, § 36, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 1997, c. 97-103, § 889, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 2003, c. 2003-181, § 1, eff. July 1, 2003.
570.16. Renumbered as 570.051 by Laws 2014, c. 2014-150, § 70, eff. July 1, 2014
570.051. Interference with department employees in performance of duties
No person shall attempt, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an inspector, agent, or other employee of the department from performing any duties imposed by law upon him or her or the department; and no person shall impersonate an inspector, agent, or other employee of the department. Whoever violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Laws 1959, c. 59-54, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 584. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 93-169, § 12, eff. May 5, 1993; Laws 1997, c. 97-103, § 890, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 2003, c. 2003-181, § 2, eff. July 1, 2003. Renumbered from 570.16 by Laws 2014, c. 2014-150, § 70, eff. July 1, 2014.