Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Scientific Breeder Regulations
Disease Testing and Monitoring Procedures
May 2002

I. Discussion: At the April meeting, the Commission deferred action on a proposed definition of “healthy condition” as well as mandatory testing and monitoring protocols for detection of tuberculosis and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer held under scientific breeder permits. The deferral was to allow time for Texas Deer Association (TDA) members to voluntarily establish a testing/monitoring program amenable to the Texas Animal Health Commission. The TDA also indicated at that time that a disease management plan for their membership would be developed and presented to the Commission at the May meeting.

II. Recommendation: Staff recommends that should the voluntary testing/monitoring program be inadequate, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts 31 TAC §65.601 and §65.611, concerning Scientific Breeder’s Permits, with changes to the proposed text as published in the March 1, 2002, issue of the Texas Register (27 TexReg 1463).”

Attachments – 2

1. Exhibit A – Proposed Scientific Breeder Rules
2. Exhibit B – Fiscal Note (Available upon request)

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Scientific Breeder Permits
Proposed Rules

The proposed rules affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L.

§65.601. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms shall have the meanings assigned by Parks and Wildlife Code.

(1) Authorized agent—An individual designated by the permittee to conduct activities on behalf of the permittee. For the purposes of this subchapter, the terms 'scientific breeder' and 'permittee' include authorized agents.

(2) Certified Wildlife Biologist—A person not employed by the department who has been certified as a wildlife biologist by The Wildlife Society, or who:

(A) has been awarded a bachelor's degree or higher in wildlife science, wildlife management, or a related educational field; and

(B) has not less than five years of post-graduate experience in research or wildlife management associated with white-tailed deer or mule deer within the past 10 years.

(3) Common Carrier—Any licensed firm, corporation or establishment which solicits and operates public freight or passenger transportation service or any vehicle employed in such transportation service.

(4) Deer—White-tailed deer of the species Odocoileus virginianus or mule deer of the species Odocoileus hemonius.

(5) Facility—One or more enclosures, in the aggregate and including additions, that are the site of scientific breeding operations under a single scientific breeder's permit.

(6) Healthy Condition – deer possessed under a Scientific Breeder permit are in a healthy condition if the scientific breeder possessing the deer also possesses:

(A) proof of a current, valid herd health plan for the deer within the scientific breeder facility approved by Texas Animal Health Commission; or

(B) proof that the Texas Animal Health Commission has certified the deer within the scientific breeder facility with a Chronic Wasting Disease Complete Monitored Herd status no less stringent than Level A under the provisions of 4 TAC Chapter 40 (relating to Chronic Wasting Disease); and

(C) proof that Texas Animal Health Commission has certified the deer within the scientific breeder facility with a Tuberculosis Herd Accreditation status no less stringent than “Surveyed Herd” under the provisions of 4 TAC Chapter 43, Subchapter C (relating to Eradication of Tuberculosis in Cervidae).

(7)[(6)] Propagation—The holding of captive deer for reproductive purposes.

(8)[(7)] Sale—The transfer of possession of deer for consideration and includes a barter and an even exchange.

(9)[(8)] Scientific—The accumulation of knowledge, by systematic methods, about the physiology, nutrition, genetics, reproduction, mortality and other biological factors affecting deer.

(10)[(9)] Serial Number—A permanent number assigned to the scientific breeder by the department.

(11)[(10)] Unique number—A four-digit alphanumeric identifier used by the department to track the ownership of a specific deer. Unique numbers may be assigned by the department or by the permittee. If the permittee chooses to assign the unique numbers, each deer must be tattooed with the permittee's serial number in one ear and the unique number in the other ear. No two deer shall share a common unique number.

§65.611. Prohibited Acts.

(a) Deer obtained from the wild under the authority of a permit or letter of authority issued pursuant to Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C, E, or R shall not be commingled with deer held in a permitted scientific breeder facility.

(b) A person commits an offense if that person places or holds deer in captivity at any place or on any property other than property for which a scientific breeder's permit, or a permit authorized under other provisions of this title or Parks and Wildlife Code, is issued, except that a permittee may transport and temporarily hold deer at a veterinary facility for treatment.

(c) No live deer taken from the wild may be possessed under a scientific breeder's permit or held in a scientific breeder's facility.

(d) No deer shall be held in a trailer or other vehicle of any type except for the purpose of immediate transportation from one location to another.

(e) Possession of a scientific breeder's permit is not a defense to prosecution under any statute prohibiting abuse of animals.

(f) No scientific breeder shall hunt or kill, or allow the hunting or killing of deer held pursuant to this subchapter.

(g) No scientific breeder shall exceed the number of deer allowable for the permitted facility, as specified by the department on the scientific breeder's permit.

(h) No person may purchase deer, sell deer, offer deer for sale, transport deer (except as provided in §65.610(a)(5) of this title (relating to Transport of Deer and Transport Permit)), temporarily relocate deer, or release deer into the wild in this state if the deer are in not in a healthy condition as defined in §65.601 of this title (relating to Definitions).

(i) No person may sell deer to another person unless either the purchaser or the seller possesses a purchase permit valid for that specific transaction.

(j) Except as provided in this subsection, no person may possess a deer acquired from an out-of-state source. This subsection does not apply to deer lawfully obtained prior to the effective date of this subsection.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on

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