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South Florida lawmaker seeks to ban sale of iguanas in state

Senate committee unanimously votes in favor of bill

Iguanas would be outlawed at pet shops if a bill proposed by a South Florida lawmaker becomes law.
Iguanas would be outlawed at pet shops if a bill proposed by a South Florida lawmaker becomes law.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A state senator from Fort Lauderdale wants to stop the sale of iguanas in Florida pet shops.

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, has filed a bill that would ban the sale of green iguanas or black and white tegu lizards.

The Senate Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources voted 4-0 in favor of the bill Tuesday. It now moves on to the Committee on Community Affairs.

These non-native reptiles have become a nuisance for residents and many South Florida municipalities, recently burrowing into the soft dirt around an aging dam in West Palm Beach that cost the city $1.8 million in emergency repairs.

Should the bill become law, the giant lizards would join other invasive species like the Burmese python to be banned in Florida.

If passed, the law would take effect in July.