2017 Regular Session
To: Agriculture; Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Dearing
AN ACT TO CREATE A LICENSE REQUIREMENT TO OPERATE AS A PET DEALER OR TO OPERATE A KENNEL, STABLE OR ANIMAL SHELTER; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE TO INVESTIGATE APPLICANTS AND ISSUE ANNUAL LICENSES WHERE REQUIRED; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSIONER TO SET PERMIT FEES; TO ALLOW FEES TO DIFFER BETWEEN TYPES OF PERMIT HOLDERS; TO PROVIDE FOR A 100% PENALTY FOR LATE APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT OR RENEWAL OF A PERMIT; TO PROVIDE THAT OPERATING WITHOUT A LICENSE IS A MISDEMEANOR; TO PROVIDE FOR ENFORCEMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 69-1-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a pet dealer or operate a kennel, stable, or animal shelter unless the person has a valid license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture. Any person acting without a license in violation of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(2) Licenses shall be issued for a period of one (1) year and shall be annually renewable. The commissioner may establish separate classes of licenses, including wholesale and retail licenses. Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the commissioner shall fix fees for licenses so that the revenue derived from licenses shall approximate the total direct cost of administering this act. The commissioner may establish different fees for the different classes of licenses established, but the annual fee for any such license shall be at least Fifty Dollars ($50.00) but shall not exceed Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00). Any fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the State General Fund.
(3) Applications for licenses shall be on a form furnished by the commissioner and, together with such other information as the commissioner shall require, shall state:
(a) The name of the applicant;
(b) The business address of the applicant;
(c) The complete telephone number of the applicant;
(d) The location of the pet dealership, kennel, stable, or animal shelter;
(e) The type of ownership of the pet dealership, kennel, stable, or animal shelter; and
(f) The name of the owner or, if a partnership, firm, corporation, or other entity, the name of the partners or stockholders.
(4) The license fees fixed pursuant to subsection (2) of this section shall be increased by one hundred percent (100%) for the renewal of any license not renewed within ten (10) days following the expiration date of the license or for the issuance of a new license to any person who has failed to apply for a license within ten (10) days following the date on which written notice of the need for a license has been given to the person by the commissioner or his authorized representative.
SECTION 2. A license must be prominently displayed at each place of business of a pet dealer and at each kennel, stable, and animal shelter in this state.
SECTION 3. The commissioner is authorized to deny, suspend, or revoke any license required by this act, subject to notice and a hearing, in any case in which he finds that there has been a violation of this act or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this act.
SECTION 4. The commissioner or the commissioner's designated agents are authorized to enter upon any public or private property at any time for the purpose of inspecting the business premises of any pet dealer or any animal shelter, kennel, or stable and the dogs, cats, equines, or other animals housed at the facility to determine if the facility is licensed and for the purpose of enforcing this act, the rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this act, and the animal cruelty laws of this state.
SECTION 5. Section 69-1-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
69-1-13. The following are the duties of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce:
(a) He shall encourage the proper development of agriculture, horticulture and kindred industries.
(b) He shall encourage the organization of neighborhood and county agricultural clubs and associations, and out of these the organization of the state agricultural association.
(c) He shall collect and publish statistics and such other information regarding such industries of this state and of other states as may be of benefit in developing the agricultural resources of the state. To this end he shall put himself in connection and shall cooperate with the agricultural department of other states and with the Commissioner of Agriculture of the United States, and shall provide for the proper and careful distribution of all documents and information coming into his possession on account of the department that may be of interest and benefit to the people of the state.
(d) He shall cause to be investigated the diseases of grain, cotton, fruit and other crops grown in this state and also remedies for such diseases, and also the habits and propagation of the various insects that are injurious to the crops of the state and the proper mode of their destruction.
(e) He shall investigate the subject of grasses and report upon their value and the cultivation of the varieties best adapted to the different sections of the state.
(f) He shall inquire into the subjects connected with dairying that he may deem of interest to the people of the state, and in this connection the raising of stock and poultry, the obtaining of such as are of most value, and the breeding and propagation of the same; and shall encourage raising of fish and the culture of bees.
(g) He shall investigate the subjects of subsoiling, drainage, etc., and the best modes of effecting each, and of irrigation and what portions of the state can be best benefited thereby.
(h) He shall investigate and report upon the culture of wool and the utility and profit of sheep-raising, also the culture of silk and its manufacture and preparation for market.
(i) He shall investigate and report on the question of broadening the market for cotton and cotton goods in the United States and foreign countries.
(j) He shall cause a proper collection of agricultural statistics to be made annually, and to this end shall furnish blank forms to the tax assessors of each county, and it is made the special duty of the tax assessor to whom said blanks are furnished to report to the bureau a list of all public or private ginners in his county, with their post offices, upon the demand of the commissioner. It shall be the duty of the commissioner to furnish to such ginner a form or forms of report to be made to the bureau at such time as the commissioner may direct. A failure to make such reports on the part of the ginner or assessor as required by said commissioner shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, punished as provided by law. It shall be the duty of the members of the boards of supervisors and the county tax assessor of each county in this state to make such reports as may be required by this bureau touching the matter within the scope of this chapter; and failure of any supervisor or tax assessor to make such report when required shall be deemed a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided by law.
(k) He shall appoint county correspondents who shall report to him from time to time, as may be desired.
(l) He shall collect specimens of wood suitable for manufacture and other purposes, and specimens of agricultural, mineral, phosphate and marl deposits of the state; cause correct analysis of such as may be deemed expedient to be made and recorded in a substantial book to be kept for this purpose.
(m) He shall also, as soon as practicable, prepare a convenient handbook with necessary illustrated maps, which shall contain all necessary information as to the mines, mineral, forest, soil, and other products, climate, water, waterpower for the establishing of factories, land, flowers, fisheries, mountains, streams, and all other statistics as are best adapted to the giving of proper information and the attraction of advantages which the state affords to immigrants, and shall make illustrated expositions thereof whenever practicable at international and state expositions.
(n) He shall have the primary responsibility for developing programs that will enhance the marketing of the state's agricultural products to both national and international markets.
(o) He shall perform such other investigatory and regulatory functions as may be prescribed by law.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.