If ‘Live and Let Live’ Is Out, Iguana Removal Must Be Made as Humane as Possible, PETA Says

For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tallahassee, Fla. – Because Miami Beach is now considering offering a cash bounty on green iguanas, a non-native species that gained a foothold in the state as a result of the previously unregulated pet trade, PETA sent a letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today calling for a comprehensive training program to ensure that any green iguana deaths that occur are at least as painless as possible.

The FWC currently recommends slaughtering the iguanas “humanely,” so as to avoid violating Florida’s cruelty-to-animals statute, but provides only minimal—and, PETA feels, inadequate—instruction on ensuring a humane death. So PETA is asking that the agency link its “Humane Killing Methods of Nonnative Reptiles” guidance wherever the website references the “humane killing” of green iguanas and that the FWC design a training program—including video tutorials and recurring scheduled training sessions with live instruction—based on the one it created for dealing with Burmese pythons.

“Green iguanas are docile animals, and they deserve to be handled with dignity and care, just like any other species,” says PETA Foundation General Counsel Lori Kettler. “To better prepare for cases in which iguana removal is deemed unavoidable, PETA encourages the agency to provide the public with comprehensive guidance that makes any resulting deaths as painless as possible.”

Because iguana removal occasionally involves moving the animals out of state, where they may be killed for sale by the exotic-meat industry, the group asks that the FWC also offer specific standards for transport to minimize unnecessary suffering and distress. Currently, the FWC’s regulations require only that the green iguanas be placed in cloth sacks and that locked containers be labeled “Prohibited Reptiles” prior to transport.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—recommends taking preventive measures to protect plants and property from green iguanas. The FWC lists tips here and here.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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