(a) License Required. - A person who intends to raise American alligators commercially must first obtain an Aquaculture Propagation and Production Facility License from the Department. The Board of Agriculture may regulate a facility that raises American alligators to the same extent that it can regulate any other facility licensed under this Article.
(b) Requirements. - A facility that raises American alligators commercially must comply with all of the following requirements:
(1) Before a facility begins operation, it must prepare and implement a confinement plan. After a facility begins operation, it must adhere to the confinement plan. A confinement plan must comply with guidelines developed and adopted by the Wildlife Resources Commission. The Department may inspect a facility to determine if the facility is complying with the confinement plan. As used in this subdivision, "confinement" includes production within a building or similar structure and a perimeter fence.
(2) A facility can possess only hatchlings that have been permanently tagged and have an export permit from their state of origin. The facility must keep records of all hatchlings it receives and must make these records available for inspection by the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Department upon request.
(3) If the facility uses swine, poultry, or other livestock for feed, it must have a disease management plan that has been approved by the State Veterinarian, and it must comply with the plan.
(4) The activities of the facility must comply with the Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The Department is the State agency responsible for the administration of this program for farm-raised alligators.
(c) Sanctions. - The operator of a facility that possesses an untagged or undocumented alligator commits a Class H felony if the operator knows the alligator is untagged or undocumented. Conviction of an operator of a facility under this section revokes the license of the facility for five years beginning on the date of the conviction. An operator convicted under this section may not be the operator of any other facility required to be licensed under this Article for five years beginning on the date of the conviction. (1997-198, s. 2.)