2006 Regular Session
To: Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
By: Representative Mayo
AN ACT TO CREATE THE "MISSISSIPPI HUNTING RESORT ACT"; TO ESTABLISH THE LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT OF PROMOTING TOURIST HUNTING IN MISSISSIPPI; TO ALLOW THE MISSISSIPPI BOARD OF ANIMAL HEALTH TO CLASSIFY, DEFINE AND REGULATE EXOTIC LIVESTOCK; TO REQUIRE FEES FOR ENCLOSING NATIVE WILD GAME ON RESORT PROPERTY; TO REQUIRE MONITORING AND REPORTING OF INTRASTATE MOVEMENT AND INTERSTATE MOVEMENT OF EXOTIC LIVESTOCK; TO REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS AND HARVEST TAGS; TO REQUIRE REPORTS OF EXOTIC LIVESTOCK TO THE MISSISSIPPI BOARD OF ANIMAL HEALTH AND THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "Mississippi Hunting Resort Act."
SECTION 2. The Legislature finds that it is in the best public policy interest of the state to create an environment conducive to business and investment, wherein economic opportunity and prosperity may flourish through maximizing the travel, hunting and tourism opportunities in the state. This act intends to encourage economic development by promoting tourist-hunting resorts within the state as means of generating revenue through the use of the state's abundant natural wildlife resources, native game animals and the introduction of nonnative game animals to the state as an added incentive to promote tourist-hunting resorts.
SECTION 3. (1) Exotic livestock are those animals defined and regulated by the Mississippi Board of Animal Health, hereinafter MBAH.
(2) It is recognized that in the construction of the infrastructure for the housing, protection and control of exotic species, and development of infrastructure for other hunting operations, that a number of native whitetail deer may be captured. Whether by accident or design, as is the case with a commercial wildlife operation, this number of native wildlife is effectively removed from the public domain.
SECTION 4. (1) The owner or developer of an exotic livestock operation, where in the form of a commercial venture or a noncommercial venture shall pay to the State of Mississippi a fee of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) each for any whitetail deer enclosed. Where an actual count of the number of deer enclosed is not possible, then the owner or developer shall pay to the state based on per acre census data for the area of the enclosure existing at the time and place the operation is placed in service, multiplied times the acreage of the enclosure.
(2) For all operations placed in service prior to the enactment of this legislation, the owner or developer shall make a payment to the state of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per animal. This payment shall be based on an estimate of the number of animals per acre that existed in the area of operation at the time the animal was enclosed multiplied times the acreage of the enclosure.
(3) Where no census data is available, the developer shall pay to the State of Mississippi a multiple of .025 deer per acre multiplied times the acreage of the enclosure. This estimate is based on the 2005 statewide census. Notwithstanding any other statute to the contrary, all landowners or developers who make payments to the state pursuant to this act shall enjoy the same rights and privileges of ownership and control over the enclosed exotic and other animals as enjoyed by landowners, farmers and growers over their livestock.
SECTION 5. (1) (a) To prevent the importation and spread of chronic wasting disease and other diseases known to the MBAH, into the state, the interstate movement and the intrastate movement of any and all exotic or other livestock into the state shall be performed in strict accordance with the existing regulations of the MBAH.
(b) To assist with the oversight and monitoring of the interstate movement of exotic livestock, the mover or owner shall pay to the state an interstate movement fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00) per animal as shown in the Exotic Livestock Entry Permit.
(c) To assist with the oversight and monitoring of the intrastate movement of exotic livestock, the mover or owner shall pay to the state an intrastate movement fee of Five Dollars ($5.00) per animal as shown in the Exotic Livestock Transfer Record.
(d) To assist with the oversight and monitoring of the harvesting of exotic or other livestock, the hunter shall pay to the state a harvest fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per animal. The state shall initiate the issuance of exotic harvest tags for the monitoring of this fee. Noncommercial operations, breeders, growers and animals harvested for food are exempt from this fee.
(2) The hunter's name, address, and the date of the harvest shall be clearly marked on the tag and the tag shall remain with the animal during transport to its final destination. Hunters are reminded to check with the various states that the harvest may pass through to verify regulation on this movement of animals.
(3) The owner or operator of each exotic livestock permit shall keep accurate records of the number of species of animals moved into and out of their facility and records of hunter and animals harvested and report this data to the MBAH on an annual basis.
(4) The owner or operator of commercial wildlife operations where exotic or other livestock is also harvested shall also keep records and report to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in accordance with current regulations.
(5) Unused exotic harvest tags must be returned to the state for a full refund.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.