Q&A – Florida’s Iguana Killing

Today’s entry - Like many Gov "edicts" this Iguana Kill is poorly conceived. Trapping them is possible but inefficient and then who do you call? Where do you take them? Do you have to feed them in the interim to be within the accepted humanity parameters-provide adequate shelter? Monitor their water intake and on and on and on. I'll watch for ‘em-the dogs will probably get to them first anyway, then will they arrest me for not keeping the dogs from mauling them? 

Bottom Line: Without a doubt, there was a lot of confusion and a bit of backlash in the wake of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission recommending the killing of Iguanas. The initial recommendation said, "FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible". That raised the questions you raised. After a person having been shot by an iguana hunter in Boca and animal activist groups pushing back suggesting it was cruel to not provide more specific guidance, last Friday the FWC did revise its stance. The new addendum now states, "If you are not capable of safely removing iguanas from your property, please seek assistance from professionals who do this for a living".

I’m guessing calling the Boca iguana hunter wouldn’t qualify. There are actual companies that do this sort of thing. You may also call animal control and they can come to you to euthanize them. But, the key is that you would have had to trap them first which walks us back to the concerns in the note. I couldn’t find any record of anyone being charged for cruelty to iguanas in Florida. That leads me to think that if you’re making a concerted effort to be humane, you’re fine. That's whether your dog's get to them or if they’re a bit dehydrated. 

What’s oddest to me is that they’re still legal to purchase in Florida. That would seem to be a reasonable place to start as we’re looking to curb the impact of the non-native species across our state. Maybe part of the solution would be attempting to capitalize on the “meat” market for iguanas. Similar to what we’ve done with Lionfish, another invasive species. If people can profit by hunting iguanas for consumption, professionals would have a greater incentive to step in and step-up efforts to hunt them. The Exotic Meat Market currently sells boneless iguana meat for about $60 per pound. That’s quite literally food for thought.

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Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Getty Images

 

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