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Audubon happy Scott vetoed zoo animal leasing bill

Florida Governor Rick Scott has vetoed a measure that would have let the state lease its land to facilities, like zoos, to breed exotic animals. Regan McCarthy reports the governor says the state already has that option without passing a law.

Environmental Groups, like the Audubon of Florida, wrote letters to Governor Rick Scott urging him to veto the legislation. Julie Wraithmell is the environmental group’s Director of Wildlife Conservation. She says her organization worried the language in the bill was too vague. And, she says if the measure had passed, it could have taken land away from native Florida animals.

“While who doesn’t like zebras and giraffes, at the same time those lands were purchased with public dollars for the purpose of conserving Florida wildlife.”

Scott wrote in his veto letter that he worried the bill didn’t come with enough “safeguards” and could limit the Board of Trustee’s ability to protect the land and native species. Although Scott adds the Board of Trustees already has the ability to lease state lands if it chooses to do so.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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