In construing this part, where the context permits, the word, phrase, or term:
(1) "Approved brucella vaccine" means a Brucella abortus immunization product approved and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for injection into cattle and bison to enhance their resistance to brucellosis infection.
(2) "Beef cattle" means animals of the genus Bos of various breeds which are raised primarily for the production of meat.
(3) "Biological products " means all viruses, serums, toxins, and analogous products of natural or synthetic origin, such as diagnostics, antitoxins, vaccines, live microorganisms, killed microorganisms, and the antigenic or immunizing components of microorganisms intended for use in the diagnoses, treatment, or prevention of diseases of animals and sometimes referred to as biologics, biologicals, or products.
(4) "Biological or chemical residues" means potentially harmful substances and their metabolites not normally present in animal tissues, which result from treatment or exposure to a pesticide, organic or inorganic compound, hormone, hormone-like substance, growth promoter, antibiotic, anthelmintic, tranquilizer, vaccine, or other therapeutic or prophylactic agent.
(5) "Carcass" means the body of any animal which dies other than by slaughter, or any part of such animal.
(6) "Cattle" means any bull, steer, ox, cow, heifer, calf, or any other bovine animal.
(7) "Dairy cattle" means animals of the genus Bos of various breeds which are raised primarily for the production of milk or milk products.
(8) "Director" means the director of the Division of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The director is also known as the State Veterinarian, the Chief Animal Health Official of the state, and the Chief Livestock Regulatory Official of the state.
(9) "Division" means the Division of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(10) "Domestic animal" shall include any equine or bovine animal, goat, sheep, swine, domestic cat, dog, poultry, ostrich, emu, rhea, or other domesticated beast or bird. The term "animal," as used in this chapter, shall include wild or game animals whenever necessary to effectively control or eradicate dangerous transmissible diseases or pests which threaten the agricultural interests of the state.
(11) "Emergency" means any situation in which the department has declared a pest, a communicable, contagious, or infectious disease of animals, or the presence of biological or chemical residue to be a public nuisance or any situation in which, in the opinion of the department, a pest, disease, or residue endangers or threatens the animals or citizens of the state.
(12) "Garbage" means all refuse matter, animal or vegetable, byproducts of a restaurant, kitchen, or slaughterhouse; and shall include every accumulation of animal, fruit, or vegetable matter, liquid, or otherwise. "Garbage" shall also include "swill" as commonly used; provided, however, "garbage" shall not include fruit or vegetable matter which does not contain or has not been in contact or mixed with meat or meat parts.
(13) "Livestock" means grazing animals, such as cattle, horses, sheep, swine, goats, other hoofed animals, ostriches, emus, and rheas which are raised for private use or commercial purposes.
(14) "Owner" shall include any owner, custodian, or other person in charge of any animal, domestic or otherwise.
(15) "Pathogenic organisms" means microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, rickettsia, etc., capable of causing diseases in animals or humans. "Virulent organisms" are pathogenic organisms that are extremely dangerous and are characterized by being highly contagious.
(16) "Quarantine" means a strict isolation imposed on animals, or premises or other defined geographic areas, to prevent the spread of disease or pests.
(17) "Technical council" means the Animal Industry Technical Council.
(18) "Transmissible," "communicable," "contagious," and "infectious" all refer to diseases which are readily transferred between or among animals in a group or to susceptible animals in proximity to diseased animals. Such transference may be directly from one animal to another, by contact with objects contaminated by disease-causing agents, or by insect (vector) transmission of disease-causing agents from diseased animals into susceptible animals or man.
(19) "Violative levels" means levels above the tolerances established by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as adopted by department rule.
585.08. General powers of the department; rules
The Division of Animal Industry is authorized to:
(1) Establish, maintain, and enforce quarantine areas within the state, or the entire state. The department may restrict, regulate, or prohibit the movement or transportation of animals found, determined, or suspected by it to be carriers of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease, or of the vectors of such disease, into, from, and within such quarantine areas, when necessary for the prevention, control, or eradication of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease among domestic or wild animals, or for carrying out any of the other purposes of this chapter.
(2) Adopt, amend, repeal, and enforce rules:
(a) Governing the introduction of animals into or within the state, which rules, when deemed necessary by the department, may require that all animals moved into the state be covered by an official certificate of veterinary inspection and requisite test chart approved by the chief livestock regulatory official of the state or country of origin; and
(b) Governing the disposal or destruction of carcasses of animals which are condemned or die from or while afflicted with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease, in such manner as to prevent the spread or continuance of the contagion or infection.
(3) Condemn and destroy any animal affected with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease, or which has been exposed to and is liable to spread any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease.
(4) Condemn and destroy any barn, yard, shed, corral, or pen which, in the opinion of the department, is liable to convey infection or contagion.
(5) Condemn and destroy any animal that is liable to spread any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease based upon sound epidemiological facts and conclusions to prevent the further spread of disease when a state or agricultural declaration of emergency has been declared by the Governor or the Commissioner of Agriculture.
585.09. Procedure for condemnation of animals and property by department
Condemnation and destruction of animals, barns, yards, sheds, corrals, and pens, as provided in s. 585.08, shall take place only after a fair appraisal of the value of the property. The value shall be determined by the department and the owner; provided, however, should the department and the owner be unable to agree on a value, the value shall then be determined by three disinterested appraisers, one to be appointed by the department, one by the owner of the property, and the third to be selected by these two. The appraised price shall be paid by the department as other expenses are paid. If the owner of such animal, barn, yard, shed, corral, or pen fails or refuses to name an appraiser within 5 days after requested by the department to do so, or refuses to permit the property to be condemned and destroyed, the department may make an order to the sheriff of the county wherein the property lies, directing her or him to destroy such animal, barn, yard, shed, corral, or pen, in the manner to be prescribed in the order. The order shall be immediately executed by the sheriff. Upon the destruction of the property by the sheriff, the department shall have the right to recover, from the owner of the property destroyed, all costs and expenses incurred by it in connection with the destruction.
585.11. Cooperation with United States authorities and United States Department of Agriculture accredited private veterinarians
The department may cooperate with:
(1) The authorities of the United States in the enforcement of all acts of Congress for the control, prevention, suppression, and eradication of contagious, infectious, and communicable diseases affecting animals, or animal diseases which may affect humans, and in connection therewith may:
(a) Appoint inspectors of the United States Department of Agriculture as temporary assistant state veterinarians or livestock inspectors; provided, they shall first consent to act without compensation or profit from the state;
(b) Accept aid or assistance from the United States in conducting work related to the control or eradication of tuberculosis, brucellosis, pseudorabies, hog cholera, and any other such dangerous disease, or from any of its officers, representatives, or agents, in carrying out such work.
(2) The officials of the United States Department of Agriculture in the control or eradication of tuberculosis, brucellosis, pseudorabies, and hog cholera and with the owners of animals, who accept indemnity for animals found to be diseased and slaughtered in accordance with the special Acts of Congress now in effect and appropriating funds for this purpose, or that may hereafter be available from such source.
(3) The United States Department of Agriculture in carrying out the provisions of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and the National Turkey Improvement Plan in Florida, and in connection therewith, may promulgate rules necessary to carry out the provisions of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and the National Turkey Improvement Plan in Florida.
(4) Appointed United States Department of Agriculture accredited private veterinarians in conducting work related to the control or eradication of contagious and infectious diseases, who may be compensated for services.
585.14. Information concerning animal diseases
The department shall collect, preserve, and disseminate information concerning infectious, contagious, communicable, and other diseases of animals, their origin, locality, nature, appearance, manner of dissemination or contagion, and method of treatment required for the successful eradication and control thereof.
585.145. Control of animal diseases
(1) The department shall take such measures as may be necessary and proper for the control, suppression, eradication, and prevention of the spread of contagious, infectious, and communicable disease and to protect animals in the state. The department shall also quarantine such animals as it shall find, or have reason to believe, to be infected with or exposed to any such disease.
(2) No animal shall be imported into the state, moved within the state, or the ownership thereof transferred within the state without the owner, broker, or transferor first obtaining such health tests, official certificates of veterinary inspection, or other certificates and documents as shall be required by rules adopted by the department. Evidence of compliance with this subsection shall accompany the owner or agent having jurisdiction of such animals imported, moved intrastate, or to which ownership is being transferred. However, unless an emergency is declared, the department may not require Florida residents to carry evidence of compliance in intrastate travel for privately owned domestic canines or domestic felines which are not offered for sale. The department may provide by rule specific exceptions to this subsection upon finding that certain importations, intrastate movements, or transfers pose no threat to affected industries in Florida.
(3) A person who forges, counterfeits, simulates or alters, or who knowingly possesses, uses, presents or utters, any forged, counterfeited, altered or simulated official certificate of veterinary inspection or any other document relating to animal health requirements or substitutes, represents, or tenders an official certificate of veterinary inspection or any other document relating to animal health requirements of one animal for another animal commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) Official certificates of veterinary inspection may be completed only by a veterinarian accredited under the National Veterinary Accreditation Program. The department may, as prescribed by rule, deny a veterinarian the authority to issue health certificates for the importation, movement, or transfer of ownership of animals into or within the state as required by this section for one of the following causes:
(a) The revocation of such veterinarian's license to practice veterinary medicine in the state;
(b) Forging, counterfeiting, altering, or misrepresenting an official certificate of veterinary inspection; or
(c) Failure to report, or the negligent handling of, any reportable disease.
585.15. Dangerous transmissible disease or pest a public nuisance
The department may declare by rule that a certain pest or disease of animals is a public nuisance. When a pest or disease is thus determined to be dangerous, transmissible, or threatening to an agricultural interest of the state, it shall be known as a "reportable disease." Each reportable disease shall be included by rule on the department's dangerous transmissible disease list. When necessary because of the possible impact of an animal disease on public health, the department may consult with the Department of Health regarding an animal disease that is transmissible to humans.
585.16. Powers of division in connection with certain diseases
Whenever the department determines, pursuant to s. 585.15, that a pest or disease is dangerous and transmissible, or whenever the department determines it necessary or advisable to dip, examine, test, identify, treat, or destroy an animal or other property defined in s. 585.08(4), the division or its representatives and agents may dip, examine, test, identify, treat, or destroy any infected, exposed, suspected, or susceptible animal and any goods, products, or materials that may carry contagion, or may quarantine on or in, for or against any premises, areas, or localities within the state.
585.17. Care of animals with transmissible diseases and liability therefor
(1) No person shall knowingly sell or offer for sale, or knowingly or willfully transport or move, or knowingly or willfully allow or permit any animal to stray or drift within the state, knowing that animal to be suffering from, afflicted with, or affected by any pest or disease that the department determines, pursuant to s. 585.15, is dangerous, transmissible, or threatening to an agricultural interest of the state, without first obtaining written permission from the department.
(2) No person shall knowingly or willfully transport or move, or knowingly or willfully allow or permit any domestic animal to stray or drift from any quarantine area, without first obtaining written permission from the department.
(3) In addition to the penalty provisions provided in this chapter, any person who violates this section shall be liable to the department for all expenses associated with its enforcement and to any owner of an animal who is injured by such violation.
585.18. Duty to report diseased animals
(1) Any person who has knowledge of the existence in or among animals of any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease which is included on the department's dangerous transmissible disease list shall, immediately upon gaining such knowledge, report the same to the State Veterinarian.
(2) No person who has knowledge that any animal is afflicted with or suffering from any such disease shall conceal or attempt to conceal such animal, or knowledge or evidence that such animal is afflicted with or suffering from any such disease, from the division or its agents and employees, or shall remove or attempt to remove such animal from the reach, care, or control of the department or its agents and employees.
585.19. Duty of practitioners of veterinary medicine and owners of animals to report dangerous transmissible diseases or pests; penalty
(1) Any practitioner of veterinary medicine who knows or suspects that an animal is afflicted with or suffering from a disease or pest designated on the department's dangerous transmissible disease list shall immediately report the same to the State Veterinarian in the manner which the department shall prescribe.
(2) Any owner who knows or suspects that her or his animal is afflicted with or suffering from a disease or pest designated on the department's dangerous transmissible disease list shall immediately report the same to the State Veterinarian in the manner which the department shall prescribe.
(3) All reports related to a disease or pest designated on the department's dangerous transmissible disease list shall be made in the manner which the department shall by rule prescribe.
(4) Any veterinarian or owner of an animal who is convicted of willfully failing to report an animal as required in subsection (1) or subsection (2) is guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
585.22. Public notice of general quarantines
The department shall give public notice whenever it places any area of the state under general quarantine. The notice shall in general terms define the quarantine lines established. The department shall publish the notice, at least once, in a newspaper to be selected by the department within each county wherein the quarantined area lies, and post a copy of the notice at the door of the courthouse of each county. The provisions of this section shall not apply to quarantines for tick eradication.
585.23. Owners of animals and premises under quarantine to comply with rules
All persons in charge of quarantined animals, and all owners in possession of any lot, yard, pasture, field, stall, enclosure, barn, or building which has been quarantined, shall comply with all rules prescribed by the department within a reasonable time, and clean and disinfect such animals or premises, and shall destroy carriers, or cause, or means of communicating any contagious, infectious, or communicable diseases affecting such animals or infecting such premises.
585.38. Injuring property used in the eradication of diseases of animals, etc.
Any person who shall injure, destroy, or attempt to destroy any property or equipment or facilities owned by any person or county or any property or equipment or facilities owned by the department or the state, used or intended to be used in the prevention, control, suppression, or eradication of any infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases affecting animals, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
585.40. Violation of quarantine regulations
Whenever the department issues a quarantine, it shall be unlawful for any person, while such quarantine exists, to take, drive, or transport any animal into or out of such quarantined premise without permission of the State Veterinarian.
585.45. Right to declaratory judgment
Any owner or custodian of any animal which the department has required to be inspected, tested, treated, or quarantined shall have the right to a judicial declaration as to the validity of the order by bringing an action for declaratory judgment in the circuit court. If the order is affirmed, the cost shall be paid by the person applying for the declaration. In disposing of said cases, the court shall have the power and authority to issue subpoenas to any witness the court may deem necessary or that may be applied for by respective parties.
585.61. Animal disease diagnostic laboratories
(1) There is hereby created and established an animal disease diagnostic laboratory in Osceola County and Suwannee County.
(2) The construction and operation of all the laboratories established by this section shall be under the supervision and control of the department. It shall be the duty of the department to operate these laboratories in an efficient manner so that any person who maintains animals in this state may obtain prompt reliable diagnosis of animal diseases, including any disease which may affect poultry eggs, in this state, and recommendations for the control and eradication of such diseases, to the end that diseases of animals may be reduced and controlled, and eradicated when possible.
(3) Any person who maintains animals in the state may use the services of the laboratories under the terms of this section and the rules adopted for such use by the department. The department shall require any user of its services to pay a fee not to exceed $300 for any one of the services requested. All laboratory fees collected shall be deposited in the Animal Industry Diagnostic Laboratory Account within the General Inspection Trust Fund. The fees collected shall be used to improve the diagnostic laboratory services as provided for by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act.
585.671. Control and eradication of equine infectious anemia and equine piroplasmosis
(1) The department shall formulate a program and promulgate all rules necessary for the successful implementation and administration of a comprehensive program for the control and eradication of equine infectious anemia and equine piroplasmosis within this state. For this purpose, the department may conduct research.
(2) In the discharge of its duty, the department shall have the power:
(a) To employ such persons and to make such contracts as are necessary to carry out the purpose of this law.
(b) To negotiate with officials of institutions of research and to make such contracts
as are necessary to conduct research for the purpose of developing and effectuating
improved methods of diagnosis, control, and eradication of equine infectious anemia and
equine piroplasmosis. Toward this end it may employ such competent guidance as it deems
necessary in negotiating said contracts.
Amended in 1997, 1999, 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in December 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in May 2003.
Return to Top of This Page