Florida Agency Blasted Over Iguana-Killing Call

PETA Says It Would Be Better to Ban Iguanas as 'Pets,' End Trade in Them, and Retract Recommendation That Homeowners Kill the Reptiles

For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tallahassee, Fla. – After learning that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) advised people to kill green iguanas on their properties “whenever possible” and without specifying any particular killing methods, PETA dispatched a letter this morning to the agency pointing out that randomly killing these wonderful animals won’t curb their population in any significant way, whereas banning their import, possession, sale, exhibition, and breeding would actually reduce the numbers. PETA blasts the agency for taking a stopgap measure that doesn’t mandate or explain humane methods of killing.

PETA notes that untrained members of the public, including children, are ill-equipped to slaughter iguanas in a manner that destroys their brains and causes instant death, meaning that many of these sensitive animals will suffer before dying. On its webpage, the FWC merely requests that people slaughter the iguanas “humanely”—so as to protect themselves from violating Florida’s cruelty-to-animals statute—but provides no specific instructions for ensuring a humane death.

“This cruel and ineffective advice sentences iguanas to painful deaths at the hands of people who are wholly unprepared to end the animals’ lives humanely,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Lori Kettler. “PETA is calling on Florida officials to withdraw this call to kill immediately and to take logical, sensible regulatory steps to reduce the iguana population statewide.”

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” notes that the FWC also encourages laypeople to kill pythons and permits the use of “machetes, bows, crossbows, slingshots, air guns, pellet guns, and blow guns” to do so—all egregiously cruel killing methods that would likely result in prolonged, agonizing deaths.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind