2003 Regular Session
To: Wildlife and Fisheries
By: Senator(s) Posey, Dawkins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-1-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO TEST DEER WITHIN ENCLOSURES FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE; TO DEPOPULATE DEER IN AN ENCLOSURE WHERE CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IS FOUND; TO AMEND SECTION 49-7-54, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE PENALTY FOR THE ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF LIVE WHITE-TAILED DEER INTO THE STATE; TO REQUIRE OWNERS OF CERTAIN ENCLOSURES TO COMPLY WITH CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE TESTING; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY; TO AMEND SECTION 49-11-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO REGULATE HUNTING OF NONNATIVE GAME WITHIN COMMERCIAL WILDLIFE ENCLOSURES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-1-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-1-29. The commission may promulgate rules and regulations, inaugurate studies and surveys, and establish any services it deems necessary to carry out wildlife laws. A violation of any rules or regulations promulgated by the commission shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in Section 49-7-101.
The executive director shall have authority with commission approval:
(a) To close or shorten the open season as prescribed by law in cases of urgent emergency on any species of game birds, game or fur-bearing animals, reptiles, fish or amphibians, in any locality, when it finds after investigation and public review that the action is reasonably necessary to secure the perpetuation of any species of game birds, game or fur-bearing animals, reptiles, fish or amphibians and to maintain an adequate supply in the affected area. The statutes shall continue in full force and effect, except as restricted and limited by the rules and regulations promulgated by the commission.
(b) To designate wildlife refuges, with the consent of the property owner or owners, in any localities it finds necessary to secure perpetuation of any species of game birds, game or fur-bearing animals, reptiles, fish or amphibians and to maintain an adequate supply for the purpose of providing a safe retreat where the animals may rest and replenish adjacent hunting, trapping or fishing grounds or waters.
(c) To acquire and hold for the state by purchase, condemnation, lease, or agreement as authorized from time to time by the Legislature, and to receive by gifts or devise, lands or water suitable for fish habitats, game and bird habitats, state parks, access sites, wildlife refuges, or for public shooting, trapping or fishing grounds or waters, to provide areas on which any citizen may hunt, trap or fish under any special regulations as the commission may prescribe.
(d) To extend and consolidate lands or waters suitable for the above purposes by exchange of lands or waters under its jurisdiction.
(e) To capture, propagate, transport, sell or exchange any species of game birds, game or fur-bearing animals, reptiles, fish or amphibians needed for stocking or restocking any lands or waters of the state.
(f) To enter into cooperative agreements with persons, firms, corporations or governmental agencies for purposes consistent with this chapter.
(g) To regulate the burning of rubbish, slashings and marshes or other areas it may find reasonably necessary to reduce the danger of destructive fires.
(h) To conduct research in improved wildlife and fisheries conservation methods and to disseminate information to the residents of the state through the schools, public media and other publications.
(i) To have exclusive charge and control of the propagation and distribution of wild birds, animals, reptiles, fish and amphibians, the conduct and control of hatcheries, biological stations and game and fur farms owned or acquired by the state; to expend for the protection, propagation or preservation of game birds, game or fur-bearing animals, reptiles, fish and amphibians all funds of the state acquired for this purpose arising from licenses, gifts or otherwise; and shall have charge of the enforcement of all wildlife laws.
(j) To grant permits and provide regulations for field trials and dog trainers.
(k) To prohibit and to regulate the taking of nongame gross fish, except minnows.
(l) To enter into agreements with landowners to trap and purchase quail on the premises of the landowner and to provide for the distribution of quail.
(m) To operate or lease to third persons concessions or other rights or privileges on lakes owned or leased by the department. Owners of land adjoining land owned or leased by the department shall have priority to the concessions or rights or privileges, if the owners meet the qualifications established by the commission.
(n) To implement a beaver control program and to charge fees, upon the recommendation of the Beaver Control Advisory Board, to landowners participating in the beaver control program described in Section 49-7-201.
(o) To apply for, receive and expend any federal, state or local funds, contributions or funds from any other source for the purpose of beaver control or eradication.
(p) To require the department to divide the districts into zones if necessary, and periodically survey the districts or zones to obtain information that is necessary to properly determine the population and allowable harvest limits of wildlife within the district or zone.
(q) To require chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing of all white-tailed deer harvested within any enclosure; to grant Wildlife personnel authority to access the property and depopulate white-tailed deer within an enclosure where CWD has been diagnosed; and to grant Wildlife Personnel Authority to access the property and utilize lethal collection methods to obtain tissue samples for testing if CWD has been diagnosed within five (5) miles of the enclosure.
SECTION 2. (1) The owner of any enclosure containing white-tailed deer that prevents the free egress of such deer from the enclosure shall comply with any testing of white-tailed deer harvested within the enclosure as may be required by the department. If chronic wasting disease is diagnosed within five (5) miles of such an enclosure, the owner shall allow wildlife personnel to enter the enclosure and utilize lethal collection methods to obtain tissue samples for testing. If chronic wasting disease is diagnosed within an enclosure, the owner shall allow wildlife personnel to enter the enclosure and depopulate the white-tailed deer within the enclosure.
(2) A violation of this section is a Class II violation and is punishable as provided in Section 49-7-143. A second or subsequent violation of this section is a Class I violation and is punishable as provided in Section 49-7-141.
SECTION 3. (1) The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall develop and implement a program for inspecting, monitoring, testing and preventing chronic wasting disease. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is authorized to require the chronic wasting disease testing of white-tailed deer harvested within any enclosure. If chronic wasting disease is diagnosed in white-tailed deer within an enclosure, the department is authorized to enter the enclosure and depopulate the white-tailed deer within the enclosure. If chronic wasting disease is diagnosed within five (5) miles of the enclosure, the department is authorized to enter the enclosure and utilize lethal collection methods to obtain tissue samples.
(2) If a live test for chronic wasting disease is developed, the department is authorized to conduct such tests on white-tailed deer within any enclosure.
SECTION 4. Section 49-11-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-11-3. (1) The department may issue operating licenses to any person, partnership, association or corporation for the operation of shooting preserves or commercial wildlife enclosures that meet the following requirements and any applicable regulations:
(a) Each shooting preserve shall contain a minimum of one hundred (100) acres in one (1) tract of leased or owned land (including water area, if any) and shall be restricted to not more than six hundred forty (640) contiguous acres (including water area, if any), except that preserves confined to the releasing of ducks only may be authorized to operate with a minimum of fifty (50) contiguous acres (including water area).
(b) The boundaries of each shooting preserve shall be clearly defined and posted with signs erected at intervals of three hundred (300) feet or less.
(c) Each commercial wildlife enclosure shall contain a minimum of three hundred (300) acres in one (1) tract of leased or owned land (including water area, if any). No commercial wildlife enclosure shall be constructed in such a manner as to allow ingress of native wild animals without providing means of egress.
(d) The preserve or enclosure must be privately owned and operated.
(2) The commission may issue any rules or regulations necessary to regulate shooting preserves and commercial wildlife enclosures and to enforce this chapter.
(3) The commission is authorized to regulate the hunting of nonnative wild game within a commercial wildlife enclosure, and the department may enter such enclosure as provided under Section 49-11-25 and enforce such regulations.
SECTION 5 The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may regulate the hunting of nonnative wild game in noncommercial wildlife enclosures, and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may enforce such regulations and laws in the same manner as commercial wildlife enclosures as provided in Section 49-11-25.
SECTION 6. Section 49-7-54, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-7-54. (1) It is unlawful to import and translocate live white-tailed deer into this state, except that university research facilities may import live white-tailed deer upon prior approval of the commission. The commission shall establish regulations governing the importation of white-tailed deer with emphasis on preventing the introduction of diseases.
(2) A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class I violation and shall be punished as provided in Section 49-7-141.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.