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Regulations and Permits

a python moves across the grass and rocks

Image courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 

As of April 29, 2021, the Burmese python is a Prohibited species in Florida (68-5, F.A.C.). Prohibited species cannot be kept as pets or imported and bred for commercial sales. Qualifying entities may obtain a permit for possession of Prohibited species for the purposes of research, educational exhibition, and/or control or eradication. 

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In addition, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Burmese python as an Injurious Species under the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42), preventing the importation of these constrictor snakes into the United States without a federal permit.

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A python rests coiled in the grass

Image courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 

Close up of the skin from a Burmese python

Python skins or meat may be kept from certain areas, check area rules and regulations before removal. Some Burmese pythons removed from the Everglades have high amounts of mercury, not safe for human consumption. Though it is not illegal to eat python meat, the FWC cautions that neither the Florida Department of Health nor the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have stated that python meat is safe to consume.

The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program supports Florida pet owners who need to rehome nonnative pets, which include Prohibited species like pythons. This FREE program connects owners with qualified, permitted adopters who can provide nonnative pets with new homes. Rehoming requests are accepted year-round, and temporary amnesty is available to owners in need.

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