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Posted by jason harlow on March 20, 2003 at 19:34:53:
In Reply to: USDA guidelines for housing crocodilians. posted by john_licata on March 20, 2003 at 07:53:54:
I am going to have to disagree with this information. I was a USDA licensced exhibitor, and only had the licensce for legal purposes. The USDA Animal Welfare Act provides guidelines, and housing rules for mammals, primates, marine mammals, and soon possibly birds. Reptiles are not included under this act. In fact, Reptile houses are exempt from registration under the act.
Therefore, to be a licensced exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act, you must obtain, and properly house an animal protected under the act. The inspector once told me "I could care less if your alligators live in pea green water, but your mammal must have crystal clear water to drink from".
I am not saying that a 6' alligator should be allowed to live in a 7' enclosure, but I wanted to clarify this for anyone interested.
The weblink in the back of thier book is: www.aphis.usda.gov/ac
: The USDA has specific guidlines for the housing of crocodilians. Comercial farms are subject to fines and lose of permits if they are found to be in violation of these rules. I am not sure if this only pretains to comercial farms or if it includes private collectors. The way it is worded sounds like it might include the private sector.
: Basicly they say that the animal has to be able the completly turn around, on land and in the water, with out touching walls or other animals. ie A four foot gator needs a MINIMUM or 5x5 land and 5x5 water, Two four footers would need at least 10x10 land and water.
: This should be somthing to consider when building enclosures. I have seen gators kept in stock tanks with just a couple of cinderblocks to bask on, I've seen tanks with no land at all. Alot of people have been useing those preformed plastic pondliners. They are great for smaller animals, but I've seen four and five footers with a pool that may be six foot long but only two or three foot wide.