By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Thursday will take up a plan to address tegu lizards, pythons, and other invasive reptiles that officials say are causing damage in the state.

FWC commissioners will decide whether or not to ban certain reptiles from being owned, sold, or exported in Florida.

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If passed, the ban will stop breeding and ownership of 16 different types of reptiles.

The ‘high-risk’ reptiles listed are Burmese, reticulated, scrub, amethystine, Northern and Southern African pythons; green anacondas; Nile monitor lizards; tegus, and green iguanas.

According to the FWC, 10,000 tegus have been removed from Florida’s wilderness since 2012. Tegus thrive in the state’s subtropical climate, but they are very harmful to the environment.

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Reptile breeders in Florida are fighting the potential ban, saying it will do more harm than good and won’t solve the invasive problem because they help get rid of invasive species by selling them out of state. They would prefer to regulated the way Florida’s zoos are.

Zoos and trapping organizations would still be allowed to have these banned reptiles for educational exhibition, research, and eradication or control activities.

People who already have these reptiles as pets will be able to get a permit, at no cost, and keep it for the rest of its life.

If approved, the rule would take effect in a few months, FWC officials said.

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