- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Wildlife Federation wants tighter rules for proposed alligator farms in South Carolina.

The Senate is considering a bill to regulate the proposed farms, The Post and Courier of Charleston (https://bit.ly/1gOyw6R) reported.

Federation executive director Ben Gregg said it would be best to get tight rules in place before the first farms begin to operate.

“You can kind of say ‘Oh well, not many people are going to do this.’ But who knows. You need to lay down some strong standards starting out,” he said.

Gregg said he is concerned about how alligator waste will be handled, as well as the water systems where alligators would live.

He also said the state should create tough penalties for mixing native alligators with those on farms, which could cause genetic and health problems for the alligators.

Orangeburg Sen. Brad Hutto said many of those concerns will be handled once state agencies write regulations for the farms. Hutto is proposing changes in the legislation to deal with some of the federation’s concerns.

It’s not clear if alligator farms could operate successfully as far north as South Carolina, he said.

“If the bill passes, I don’t think you’re going to see an alligator farm spring up in a month or two,” Hutto said.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, https://www.postandcourier.com


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