2003 Regular Session
To: Wildlife and Fisheries
By: Senator(s) Posey, Dawkins, Michel
AN ACT TO DECLARE A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON THE IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN CERVIDS SUSCEPTIBLE TO CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE; TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS, THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS, THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE, THE BOARD OF ANIMAL HEALTH, AND THE STATE VETERINARIAN TO IMPLEMENT SUCH MORATORIUM; TO REQUIRE SUCH AGENCIES TO COOPERATE AND COORDINATE EFFORTS TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE INTO THE STATE; TO EMPOWER SUCH AGENCIES TO INSPECT, MONITOR AND TEST ANIMALS IN ENCLOSURES FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE; TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE MORATORIUM; TO AMEND SECTION 69-15-9, AS REENACTED BY SENATE BILL NO. 2516, 2003 REGULAR SESSION, SECTIONS 69-15-109 AND 49-1-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; TO AMEND SECTION 49-7-54, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF WHITE-TAILED DEER; TO REGULATE ENCLOSURES PREVENTING THE FREE EGRESS OF WHITE-TAILED DEER; TO REQUIRE OWNERS OF SUCH ENCLOSURES TO NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MONITORING CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE; TO REQUIRE SUCH OWNERS TO COMPLY WITH ANY REQUIRED TESTING OF HARVESTED DEER; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO DEPOPULATE DEER WITHIN AN ENCLOSURE IF CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IS DIAGNOSED; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ENCLOSURE RESTRICTIONS; TO REQUIRE OWNERS TO KEEP RECORDS; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO DISPOSE OF ANIMALS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO TEST DEER WITHIN ENCLOSURES FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE AND TO DEPOPULATE DEER IN AN ENCLOSURE WHERE CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IS FOUND; TO REQUIRE OWNERS OF CERTAIN ENCLOSURES TO COMPLY WITH CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE TESTING AND 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 CERVIDS WITHIN COMMERCIAL WILDLIFE ENCLOSURES; TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO REGULATE HUNTING OF CERVIDS IN NONCOMMERCIAL WILDLIFE ENCLOSURES; TO PROVIDE THAT SECTION 69-15-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED BY THIS BILL, SHALL SUPERSEDE THE REENACTED VERSION OF SUCH SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:SECTION 1. The Legislature finds Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy currently known to infect free-ranging deer and elk in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wisconsin. The disease has also infected farmed elk herds in South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and Okalahoma. With the discovery of CWD in free-ranging deer on the east side of the Mississippi River and the transport of CWD-exposed elk to numerous states, CWD has become a national concern.
Little is known about the biology and pathogenesis of CWD, including how the disease agent enters the animal, how it multiplies in the body, how it causes disease and how it is transmitted. These significant research and knowledge gaps regarding the fundamental characteristics of the disease greatly impede plans to control the disease. The only effective control has been the destruction of captive cervids and the depopulation of wild cervids in large geographical areas. Because of the urgency of the situation and the potential devastating effects on the native wildlife and recreational economies of the states, the United States Department of Agriculture had formed a task force to control and eradicate this disease. Preventing the introduction of the disease and enhancing early detection are a major emphases of the task force. Diagnostic testing, monitoring of enclosures, inspections of farmed cervids and sampling of cervid populations are critical components of the detection and prevention programs. In addition, many states have imposed emergency statewide moratoriums on the importation of cervids. There has been a proliferation of unregulated wildlife enclosures in Mississippi. Because of the potential devastating effect on native wildlife and the recreational economy dependent on wildlife, the urgency of the situation, and the need to ensure the health and safety of native wildlife and domestic animals, the Legislature finds that a temporary emergency moratorium and chronic wasting disease legislation is warranted and in the public interest.
SECTION 2. (1) (a) In addition to the ban on importing white-tailed deer under Section 49-7-54, there is hereby imposed a temporary moratorium on the importation of elk, red deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer and other cervids designated as susceptible to chronic wasting disease by the State Veterinarian and crosses of any such animals into the State of Mississippi. The moratorium on importing such animals shall end upon the adoption of chronic wasting disease regulations by the United States Department of Agriculture.
(b) Any person who possesses, buys, imports or transports any cervid that has been imported in the state in violation of the moratorium shall be subject to a Class I penalty under Section 49-7-141. Any person that imports any exotic animal into the state in violation of entry requirements or regulations of the Board of Animal Health or the Department of Wildlife shall be subject to a Class I penalty under Section 49-7-141. The agency issuing a permit for cervids or exotic animals within an enclosure shall revoke the permit of any person found in violation of the moratorium. If any cervid in an enclosure tests positive for chronic wasting disease or if any cervids within the enclosure have been imported from an area diagnosed with chronic wasting disease, then all cervids in the enclosure shall be deemed a threat to native wildlife and to public health and may be killed and disposed of by the state.
(2) It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, the Board of Animal Health, the State Veterinarian, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to consult and coordinate efforts on matters related to chronic wasting disease, the prevention of the introduction of chronic wasting disease in the state and to ensure the health and safety of the public and wildlife.
(3) The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall have plenary authority in matters related to the importation of white-tailed deer, white-tailed deer in enclosures, and prevention of the introduction of chronic wasting disease into the native wildlife population.
SECTION 3. Section 69-15-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, as reenacted by Senate Bill No. 2516, 2003 Regular Session, is amended as follows:
69-15-9. (1) The Board of Animal Health shall have plenary power to deal with all contagious and infectious diseases of animals as in the opinion of the board may be prevented, controlled or eradicated, and with full power to make, promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations as in the judgment of the board may be necessary to control, eradicate and prevent the introduction and spread of anthrax, tuberculosis, hog cholera, Texas and splenic fever and the fever-carrying tick (margaropus annulatus), cattle brucellosis, anaplasmosis, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, muscosal disease, cattle viral diarrhea, cattle scabies, sheep scabies, hog cholera, swine erysipelas, swine brucellosis, equine encephalomyelitis, rabies, vesicular diseases, salmonella group, newcastle disease, infectious laryngotracheitis, ornithosis-psittacosis, mycoplasma group, chronic wasting disease and any suspected new and/or foreign diseases of livestock and poultry and all other diseases of animals in this state, and the board is hereby vested with full authority to establish and maintain quarantine lines and to quarantine by county, supervisors district, parcel of land or herd. The State Veterinarian shall appoint as many inspectors and range riders as may be deemed necessary, and the funds at his disposal will permit, and shall delegate authority to said inspectors and range riders, to enter premises to inspect and disinfect livestock and premises, and enforce quarantine including counties, farms, pens, stables and other premises.
(2) No officer or agent of the State Veterinarian may enter the actual enclosures of any person except (1) with the consent of the person lawfully in possession thereof or (2) in the absence of such consent, with a proper writ obtained as in other cases of searches and seizures under constitutional law. When such officers and agents are lawfully on the premises, either by permission or writ, they shall be authorized to inspect the premises and the livestock and animals found thereon by entering the enclosures and buildings and they are authorized to check livestock and poultry found therein for any contagious diseases and take proper action to control or eradicate any such diseases that may be found. While such officers and agents are performing their duties hereunder, they shall not be personally liable except for gross negligence. The refusal without lawful reason of any person to give the consent aforesaid shall be deemed a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as for violations of Article 5 of this chapter as provided for in Section 69-15-115.
The Board of Animal Health shall administer the special fund created in Section 69-15-19.
(3) (a) The Board of Animal Health shall have plenary power to control, prevent, eradicate, inspect and monitor chronic wasting disease or other contagious disease of exotic cervids or other exotic livestock. It shall be the duty of the board to develop an inspection, testing and monitoring program for such diseases.
(b) An officer or agent of the State Veterinarian is authorized to enter any facility containing cervids or other exotic livestock to inspect the premises and the cervids or exotic livestock. Such officer or agent may inspect, monitor or test any cervid or exotic livestock for disease and may take proper action to control or eradicate any diseases found. While such officers or agents are performing their duties, they shall not be personally liable, except for gross negligence.
(c) As a condition of maintaining a permit for a cervid or other exotic livestock facility, it shall be the duty of the permittee to allow the agents of the State Veterinarian to enter the facility and to conduct inspections and tests.
(4) As a condition of maintaining a permit for a cervid or other exotic livestock facility, the permittee shall immediately notify the State Veterinarian upon discovery of the escape of a cervid or exotic livestock. Any such animal shall be treated as an escaped wild animal and may be disposed of accordingly.
SECTION 4. Section 69-15-109, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
69-15-109. (1) The Governor of the State of Mississippi, when advised by the Board of Animal Health that an emergency exists due to the presence of foot and mouth disease, rinderpest, contagious pleuropneumonia, or other contagious or infectious diseases of animals, or European fowl pest and similar diseases among poultry, in this state, or chronic wasting disease in any cervids, is hereby authorized to declare a state of emergency and to order all animals or poultry quarantined or slaughtered that may be affected with, or possible carriers of such diseases.
(2) The Governor is hereby authorized and empowered to cooperate with any department of the federal government engaged in the combating and control of any such disease mentioned in subsection (1) and to this end the Governor is authorized and empowered to do any and all things in cooperation with the federal government necessary to the control and extermination of any such diseases mentioned in subsection (1) among animals or poultry that may be affected therewith.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the Governor shall have full and complete police power, and shall exercise same anywhere in the State of Mississippi, and if an emergency should exist to such an extent that such becomes necessary the Governor may employ such personnel to enforce such police powers and quarantine that may be necessary to control and prevent the spreading of any such diseases mentioned in subsection (1) among animals or poultry in this state. Such personnel when appointed by the Governor shall work under the direction of the Mississippi Board of Animal Health, or its representative, and shall be paid such compensation as the Governor may determine out of any money made available for the enforcement of this section.
(4) When any animals or poultry or materials are ordered to be destroyed, under the provisions of this section, the owner of same shall be paid for each such animal or poultry or materials destroyed an amount not exceeding the amount authorized to be paid by the federal government in matching funds expended for the destruction of each such animal or poultry or materials infected with any such diseases mentioned in subsection (1).
(5) In the event of the happening of an outbreak of any such diseases mentioned in subsection (1) in Mississippi, the Governor is hereby authorized to borrow not to exceed Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) to carry out the terms and provisions of this section.
SECTION 5. 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 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 where CWD has been diagnosed within five (5) miles of the enclosure.
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. (1) The owner of any enclosure containing white-tailed deer that prevents the free egress of white-tailed deer from the enclosed area shall notify and register with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The person shall give his name, the location of the enclosure, the acreage within the enclosure, and whether any deer have been imported into the state and placed in the enclosure, and any other information required by the Commissioner on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(2) Persons who constructed an enclosure prior to July 1, 2003, shall have until January 1, 2004, to notify and provide the information required under this section. The person shall use acceptable hunting and wildlife management practices as may be determined by the department.
(3) The owner of such an 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 the enclosure, the owner of such enclosure shall allow department personnel to enter the enclosure to utilize lethal collection methods to obtain tissue samples for testing. If chronic wasting disease is diagnosed within the enclosure, the owner shall allow department personnel to enter the enclosure and depopulate the white-tailed deer within the enclosure.
(4) 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 8. (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 9. 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) (a) The commission may regulate the hunting of nonnative cervids within a commercial wildlife enclosure, and the department may enter such enclosure as provided under Section 49-11-25 and enforce such regulations.
(b) This subsection (3) shall repeal on July 1, 2005.
SECTION 10. (1) The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may regulate the hunting of nonnative cervids 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.
(2) This section shall repeal on July 1, 2005.
SECTION 11. Pursuant to Section 1-3-79, Mississippi Code of 1972, the amendments to Section 69-15-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, contained in this Senate Bill No. 2682, 2003 Regular Session, shall supersede the reenacted section contained in Senate Bill No. 2516, 2003 Regular Session.
SECTION 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.