Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing Deer Breeders Permits

Comment online through 09:00 a.m. November 10, 2020.

Required Information

Please enter your name and county.



I currently hold:         

Please limit submissions to one per person.


DEER BREEDER’S PERMIT RULES

PROPOSAL PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

        The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes the repeal of §65.604, amendments to §§65.601-65.603, 65.605, and 65.610-65.612, and new §65.604, concerning Deer Breeder Permits. In general, the amendments harmonize the subchapter with the contents of Chapter 65, Subchapter B, concerning Disease Detection and Response, but also make specific substantive and non-substantive changes as noted.

        Prior to 2015, the department’s regulatory apparatus for detecting chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer breeding facilities was contained in this subchapter (Chapter 65, Subchapter T). The testing standards imposed by the rules were considered to be at best minimally efficacious for detecting CWD in captive deer populations and were intended to be the least burdensome regulatory footprint possible in light of the fact that up to that point in time, CWD had not been discovered in captive breeding facilities in Texas. However, with the discoveries of multiple CWD-positive deer in deer breeding facilities in 2015 and 2016, the department adopted rules that imposed more robust testing protocols and movement restrictions. Those rules are contained in Chapter 65, Subchapter B, and supersede the testing rules currently contained in Chapter 65, Subchapter T.

        CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects some cervid species, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, red deer, sika, and their hybrids (susceptible species). It is classified as a TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy), a family of diseases that includes scrapie (found in sheep), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, found in cattle), and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans.

        Much remains unknown about CWD. The peculiarities of its transmission (how it is passed from animal to animal), infection rate (the frequency of occurrence through time or other comparative standard), incubation period (the time from exposure to clinical manifestation), and potential for transmission to other species are still being investigated. There is no scientific evidence to indicate that CWD is transmissible to humans. What is known is that CWD is invariably fatal to cervids and is transmitted both directly (through deer-to-deer contact) and indirectly (through environmental contamination). Moreover, a high prevalence of the disease correlates with deer population declines, and human dimensions research suggests that hunters will avoid areas of high CWD prevalence. Additionally, the apparent persistence of CWD in contaminated environments represents a significant obstacle to eradication of CWD from either captive or free-ranging cervid populations.

        The proposed repeal of §65.604, concerning Disease Monitoring, is necessary because the section is now superfluous and unnecessary, since disease monitoring and testing requirements for CWD, including those for deer breeders and persons who obtain or receive deer from deer breeders, are contained in Chapter 65, Subchapter B.

        The proposed amendment to §65.601, concerning Definitions, would eliminate the definitions for “accredited test facility,” “certified wildlife biologist,” “release,” and “sale.” The definition for “accredited test facility” is no longer necessary since disease monitoring and testing requirements for CWD are contained in Chapter 65, Subchapter B. The proposed amendment to §65.603(b) would create a “certified facility inspector” function to replace that previously performed under the rubric of “certified wildlife biologist,” which the department has determined is not an appropriate descriptor of the activities being performed. The definitions for “release” and “sale” are being eliminated because the department is using the term “transfer” to encompass all situations in which a transfer permit is required, which includes purposes of release and/or sale. For the same reasons, the proposed amendment would alter the definition of “transfer permit” to simply state that a transfer permit is a permit authorizing the movement of breeder deer to any person or registered facility authorized to possess or receive breeder deer. Finally, the proposed amendment would replace the term “unique number” with "unique identifier" to be consistent with terminology used in Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.3561, and clarify that a unique identifier is issued by the department to the deer breeder, who will ultimately assign the number to a breeder deer born in that permit holder’s facility.

        The proposed amendment also would alter the definition of “facility” to specify that enclosures within a facility must be contiguous (physically bordering or adjoining each other; connected). The department, in consultation with Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), is managing CWD-positive deer breeding facilities that in some cases consist of multiple enclosures that are not contiguous with each other and in some instances are separated by miles of pasture land or private and county roads. Under current rules, deer can be moved between such enclosures without activation of transfer permits. Consequently, neither the department nor TAHC have accurate records documenting which non-contiguous enclosure any particular deer is actually in, or any documentation of movement history between enclosures, which challenges both agencies’ disease-management strategies. Requiring a separate facility identification number for each enclosure that is physically separate from other enclosures and requiring a transfer permit to be activated to transfer deer between such enclosures is a prudent disease management and prevention action that is expected to introduce minimal, if any, burden on the permittee; however, the department notes that proposed amendment would require persons who wish to maintain multiple enclosures that are not contiguous to obtain a separate deer breeding permit for each enclosure that is not contiguous to other enclosures.

        The proposed amendment to §65.602, concerning Permit Requirement and Permit Privileges; General Provisions, would clarify subsection (a) to provide that a person may possess live deer in this state by means other than a permit (e.g., an authorization to temporarily retain breeder deer in an enclosure to allow them to acclimate to a release site), and remove a generic reference to the subchapter in favor of a reference to a specific provision of the Parks and Wildlife Code that enumerates the specific statutory privileges enjoyed by the holder of a deer breeder’s permit. As mentioned previously in this preamble, the department is replacing terms such as “sale” and “release” with the term “transfer” because most if not all instances in which a breeder deer is moved require the activation of a transfer permit; those changes are made throughout the proposed rulemaking. Similarly, the proposed amendment would eliminate current paragraphs (b)(4), (6) and (7) because the activities addressed in those provisions are also effected by activation of a transfer permit. ­­­­The proposed amendment also would add new subsection (d) to stipulate that registered breeding facilities may possess only white-tailed deer or only mule deer. The department will not issue a permit allowing both species of deer to be kept in a single facility, which is necessary to eliminate the possibility of accidental or intentional comingling of species and hybridizing. Similarly, the proposed amendment would add new subsection (e), which would stipulate that other than deer that are not required to be identified and reported to the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, no deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals may be present in, confined in, or have access to a deer breeding facility other than the deer listed on the reconciled herd inventory for the facility reported to the department, which is necessary to reduce disease risks that could be introduced by other animals and not limited to CWD-susceptible species.

        The proposed amendment to §65.603, concerning Application and Permit Issuance, would clarify application requirements with respect to the infrastructure of a prospective deer breeding facility, require an inspection of the facility to performed by a facility inspector authorized by the department, and establish the minimum requirements for a person to become an authorized facilityinspector.

        The proposed amendments would clarify several areas regarding the content of applications for deer breeder permits. The current rules require an applicant to “submit a completed application to the department.” The application requires, among other things, a plat of the prospective facility (to include individual enclosures, the dimension and size of each enclosure; the approximate location of feeding and watering devices within each enclosure, the approximate location of man-made and/or natural shelters, and the location of all fences and gates). In addition, the application requires a letter of endorsement from a certified wildlife biologist attesting that the prospective facility meets the department’s regulatory requirements for facility standards; deer are not currently within the facility; that deer eventually introduced to the facility will have adequate access to food, water, and shade and/or shelter; the facility identified in the application is fully constructed and functional; and any additional information the biologist deems pertinent. The department has determined that the contents of the application relating to facility infrastructure should be specified by rule in order to avoid misunderstandings, confusion, or the implication that the information required in an application is voluntary rather than mandatory or that the accuracy of the information is open to interpretation by the applicant. To that end, the proposed amendment to §65.603 would require an application to include a diagram of the facility that clearly defines each distinct enclosure within the facility, including fences and gates, and would explicitly require the letter of endorsement from an authorized pen inspector to affirm that the infrastructure of a prospective deer breeding facility is adequate for the humane treatment of breeder deer (including adequate access to food, continuous supplies of water and ample cover or shelter), has been secured to prevent ingress to and egress from the facility by animals similar to deer or livestock, and that no animals similar to deer or livestock are present within the facility.

        The proposed amendment to §65.603 also would alter current rules regarding facility inspections. Under current rule, prospective deer breeding facilities must be inspected by a certified wildlife biologist as a condition of potential licensure. The department has determined that although it is necessary to require facility inspections and to require them to be performed by persons with the educational and experiential background necessary to do so effectively, it is not necessary to require accreditation as a certified wildlife biologist. Therefore, proposed new subsection (b) would stipulate that an authorized facility inspector be a person not employed by the department who has been awarded a bachelor’s degree or higher in wildlife science, wildlife management, or related discipline; has at least three years of post-graduate experience associated with breeder deer within the five-year period preceding any facility inspection activity; has no record within the previous five years of non-compliance with department regulations regarding breeder deer herd inventories; and has not been finally convicted of or been assessed an administrative penalty for a legal violation that would prevent the person from being an agent or surrogate for a deer breeder under applicable department rules in Chapter 65, Subchapter U. The department reasons that it is appropriate to prohibit persons who exhibit a demonstrable disregard for laws and regulations governing wildlife from acting as an authorized facility inspector for the purposes of the subchapter.

        The proposed amendment to §65.603 also would stipulate that additions to a facility must be approved by the department. Current rules require permittees to submit an accurate diagram of the facility indicating all changes to the facility; however, it is not explicitly stated that the diagram must be updated each time a change is made to the facility. The proposed amendment would remedy that.

        Finally, the proposed amendment to §65.603 would amend a reference to a subsection within the section, which is necessary because the designation of the referenced subsection would change as a result of the proposed amendments.

        Proposed new §65.604, concerning Disease Monitoring, would provide a reference to Chapter 65, Subchapter B, Division 2, concerning Chronic Wasting Disease – Movement of Deer, which contains applicable provisions governing disease management with respect to breeder deer.

        The proposed amendment to §65.605, concerning Holding Facility Standards and Care of Deer, would amend subsection (a) to clarify that facility fencing requirements apply to all facilities authorized to hold breeder deer, including nursing and medical facilities.

        The proposed amendment to §65.605 would also add new subsection (b) to require permittees to ensure that deer in a breeding facility have access to adequate food, water, and cover. Although the pen inspection required by §65.603, concerning Permit Application and Issuance, requires attestation that adequate food, a continuous supply of water, and ample cover or shelter is provided at any given breeding facility, the department believes it is important to stipulate that those things are not simply conditions for permit issuance, but expectations of day-to-day operations. The current rule does not explicitly address food, water, or shelter requirements, as the department has thus far considered that since breeder deer are at least anecdotally very valuable to deer breeders, it should be axiomatic that deer breeders would protect the deer they are permitted to possess; however, the department has become aware of situations in which permittees have failed to provide what the department considers to be basic standards of animal care, and in at least one instance a deer breeder has been cited for animal cruelty. Therefore, the department believes it is necessary to provide for such standards by rule.

        The proposed amendment also would alter current subsection (b) to specify notification requirements for deer breeders in the event that a deer escapes from a breeding facility. Under current rule, a permittee must notify the department immediately upon discovering the escape of a deer from the breeding facility, which initiates a ten-day window for recapture efforts and provides for an additional five-day period provided the permittee proves to the department’s satisfaction that reasonable efforts have been made to recapture the deer. The department has encountered situations in which it is difficult to ascertain the nature and progress of a permittee’s efforts to recapture escaped deer, which is problematic from a disease management perspective. Therefore, the proposed amendment would require the notification to include a detailed description of the permittee’s intended efforts to recapture the deer, including the methods, dates, and times of attempted recapture efforts and a daily notification of the execution of those recapture efforts. The proposed amendment also would eliminate the additional five-day period for recapture and allow recapture and reintroduction to a deer breeding facility after 10 days only if the department approves that action for disease management purposes. The department believes that 10 days is sufficient time for bona fide recapture attempts to take place, and that reintroduction of escaped deer after that time is warranted only if the department has determined it is necessary, based on the CWD status of the facility in question and that of the surrounding landscape to which the deer has escaped.

        The proposed amendment to §65.605 also would add new subsection (d) to address the failure to recapture breeder deer that escape from a deer breeding facility that is prohibited by law from receiving or transferring breeder deer under the provisions of Chapter 65, Subchapter B, Division 2 at the time of or subsequent to the escape. The proposed new subsection would address such instances by requiring the implementation of a disease-testing plan for the property where the breeding facility is located and any contiguous tract of land under common ownership. The disease-testing plan would specify CWD testing and reporting requirements for deer harvested on the affected properties and additional CWD testing requirements in the deer breeding facility. The intent of the proposed new subsection is to address concerns regarding deer that have escaped from breeding facilities known to be of epidemiological concern with respect to CWD.

        The proposed amendment to §65.610, concerning Transfer of Deer, would amend subsection (a) to clarify that transfer permit requirements apply to breeder deer in a trailer or vehicle. The current provision requires activation of a transfer permit when deer are moved into or out of a facility but does not specifically indicate an exact point in time at which the transfer permit activation must occur. The department has determined that it is reasonable to assume that transfer activities have started when deer are loaded into a trailer or vehicle; thus, the proposed amendment would require a transfer permit to have been activated prior to deer being possessed in a trailer or vehicle.

        The proposed amendment also would alter subsection (b) to comport its contents with the disease management provisions of Chapter 65, Subchapter B, which, as noted previously in this preamble, governs the movement of breeder deer pursuant to disease management regulations. The proposed amendment would eliminate paragraphs (1) – (4) and (6) and add clarifying language to the remaining paragraphs to comport terminology.

        The proposed amendment also would add new subsection (c) to stipulate that white-tailed deer and mule deer may not be transferred to any facility located in a county for which there is no open season for that species. The department believes that it is biologically irresponsible to allow breeder deer to be transferred to destinations outside of the natural or historic range of the species, especially in light of the nearly 3,000 reported escapes of breeder deer and the 9,687 breeder deer that department inspections have determined cannot be accounted for by permittees responsible for such deer. Desert mule deer have evolved in and are adapted to a specific historical range in West Texas; to allow desert mule deer to be transferred to facilities outside their historic native range would introduce a host of potential known and unknown problems (transmission of diseases, parasites, etc.) that the department believes can be avoided by prohibiting movement outside of historic range.

        The proposed amendment would eliminate the contents of current subsection (c) because they are superfluous in light of other provisions governing transfer permits (addressed earlier in this preamble) and replace them with the contents of current §65.610(d)(1), which provides that the department will not authorize the release of deer if the release would detrimentally affect existing populations or systems.

The proposed amendment would alter current subsection (d) by removing paragraph (1) as discussed previously in this preamble.

        The proposed amendment would alter the provisions of current subsection (e) to clarify that the deer specifically identified on the transfer permit are the only deer that may be moved under the transfer permit during the 48-hour time period authorized by the permit, and that a transport manifest identifying the specific deer in possession while in transport must be physically possessed by the person in possession of the deer during transport if the transfer involves multiple trips, vehicles, or destinations. The intent of the proposed amendment is to remove any ambiguity as to what a transfer permit applies to or what a transfer permit specifically authorizes. The department has encountered situations in which permittees have activated a transfer permit, but the transfer permit does not accurately identify the deer in the transport vehicle or even the number of deer in the transport vehicle. Sometimes there are situations when a deer breeder makes multiple trips or uses multiple transport vehicles to complete a transfer, and it is important that each shipment of deer is accompanied by a transport manifest clearly identifying the specific deer on the transport vehicle. The department believes that it is reasonable to expect that in any given instance of transport, the deer in a trailer or means of transportation are in fact the deer identified on the transfer permit as the deer being transported.

        Under the provisions of current subsection (e)(3), a transfer permit may be activated by phone or online. The proposed amendment would require all permit activations to be executed online, but would also provide for activation by phone or email in the event the department’s online system is unavailable. The department believes that the ubiquity of smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices makes phone notification unnecessary except in special circumstances.

        The proposed amendment would non-substantively alter current subsection (e)(4) to clarify that the current requirement that an application for a transfer permit indicate the source and destination of the deer being moved and includes the facility identification numbers assigned by the department to the source and destination facilities. Similarly, the proposed amendment would alter current subsection (e)(5) to replace “all activities” with “movement of deer” for purposes of improved precision.

        The proposed amendment to current subsection (e)(6) would replace “veterinarian” with “veterinarian’s medical facility for emergency medical treatment” to more precisely describe the destination and conditions under which a breeder deer may be transported without activation of a transfer permit, and would amend the provision to require that if deer moved without a transfer permit under the provision are removed from the means of transportation and temporarily housed in a location that may house other susceptible species at any point between departure from the source facility and return to the source facility, a transfer permit must be activated prior to the return of the deer to the source facility. The proposed new provision is necessary for epidemiological contact tracing in the event that the deer or the source facility become part of an epidemiological investigation at a later date. The proposed amendment would also clarify that an eligible-aged breeder deer that dies at or while being transported to or from a veterinary facility under the provisions of the proposed amendment is considered to be an eligible mortality for the purposes of the department’s CWD management rules contained in Chapter 65, Subchapter B.

        The proposed amendment to §65.611, concerning Prohibited Acts, would consist of several actions. The proposed amendment would alter the provisions of subsection (b) to state that it is an offense to possess or place breeder deer in any place or facility if the herd inventory on file with the department does not account for the deer, which is necessary for purposes of disease control.

        The proposed amendment also would add new subsection (d) to prohibit the possession of a breeder deer in a nursing facility later than 120 days following the deer’s birth. The current rules allow the transport of fawns to nursing facilities in order to provide nourishment until the fawns are self-sufficient. It is a generally accepted fact of deer biology that fawns have been weaned within the first 120 days of life. The department believes that fawns should be returned to their respective breeding facilities when they are capable of feeding on their own.

        The proposed amendment also would add new subsection (e) to prohibit the commingling and/or interbreeding of white-tailed deer and mule deer. White-tailed deer and mule deer have different breeding strategies, breeding chronologies, habitat preferences, and predator evasion behaviors, all of which are important in sustaining populations. Hybrids in captivity have shown escape behaviors that are chaotic, confused, and would lead to lower survival probabilities. It is documented in research facilities that hybrids have a higher mortality rate than purebred white-tailed deer or mule deer, and research indicates that hybrid fawns have low survival rates. The department has determined that allowing the production of hybrids and/or their release is unwise.

        The proposed amendment would also add new subsection (i) to specifically emphasize that an authorized facility inspector commits an offense by submitting the checklist or letter of endorsement required by the proposed rules if that person has not personally conducted an onsite inspection of the facility in question. The department notes that the offense would be a Class C Misdemeanor, which would give the department a less serious option to pursue for minor infractions, as opposed to a felony or Class B Misdemeanor prosecution for falsification of a government record that is also possible based on the same conduct.

        The proposed amendment would also add new subsection (j) to clarify that it is an offense for any person to violate or fail to comply with the provisions of a disease-testing plan issued under the provisions of §65.605(d). Although the rules as proposed would require a permittee under certain specific circumstances to follow a disease-testing plan following the failure to capture an escaped deer, and failure to do so would constitute a violation of permit provisions and therefore be an offense, the department believes it is important to emphasize that failure to comply with the disease-testing plan is an offense.

        The proposed amendment would add new subsection (k) to prohibit the cloning of white-tailed or mule deer except as specifically authorized under a department-issued permit. The department strongly believes that the unknown and unforeseeable biological consequences resulting from the cloning of native wildlife make it imperative to prohibit any such activity except for one possibility, which is credible scientific research predicated on a compelling scientific need.

        The proposed amendment would add new subsection (l) to prohibit the possession of deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals in a deer breeding facility, or allow such animals to access a deer breeding facility.

        Finally, the proposed amendment to §65.612, concerning Disposition of Deer, would make non-substantive change to comport the terminology in the section with changes made elsewhere in the proposed rules to standardize terminology with respect to transfer permits.

 

2. Fiscal Note.

        Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the rules, as the rules will be administered and enforced by existing staff as part of their regular duties.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

        Mr. Lockwood also has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect:

        (A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules will be in addition to better organized and more user-friendly regulations, a reduction of the probability of CWD and other diseases being spread to or from facilities and an increase in the probability of detecting CWD if it does exist, thus ensuring the public of continued enjoyment of the resource and also ensuring the continued beneficial economic impacts of hunting in Texas. Additionally, the protection of free-ranging deer herds will have the simultaneous collateral benefit of protecting captive herds and maintaining the economic viability of deer breeding operations.

        There will be adverse economic effects on persons required to comply with the rule. Those effects will be identical to the effects on small and microbusinesses described later in this preamble.

        (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small and microbusinesses and rural communities. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s direct adverse economic impacts to determine if any further analysis is required. The department considers direct economic impact to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

        There are currently 957 persons holding a deer breeder’s permit. The department does not have access to financial records of permittees; therefore, to ensure that this analysis does not inadvertently exclude any small business or microbusiness, the department assumes that all deer breeders are small or microbusinesses.

        The proposed rules would require a facility to consist of contiguous enclosures, which means that permittees who currently operate facilities containing non-contiguous enclosures would either have to consolidate their deer in a single facility or obtain a deer breeder’s permit for each non-contiguous enclosure. Department records indicate that 107 permittees have facilities with enclosures that are not contiguous (82 of those facilities have two enclosures that are not contiguous, 21 facilities have three enclosures that are not contiguous, three facilities have four enclosures that are not contiguous, and one facility has five enclosures that are not contiguous). Therefore, the department estimates the cost of compliance to range from $0 (if all breeder deer are moved to a single facility) to multiples of $200 (depending on the number of non-contiguous enclosures for which a permit is sought) to a maximum of $1,000 (for the permittee with five non-contiguous enclosures, if a new permit is sought for each of the five enclosures). Additionally, the proposed rules could result in direct costs associated with current regulatory requirements regarding CWD surveillance testing, depending on the course of action selected by permitees whose facilities consist of non-contiguous enclosures. Current disease management rules (§65.95, concerning Movement of Breeder Deer) condition the ability to transfer breeder deer to, from, or between facilities on the results of mandatory continuous surveillance testing for CWD in each facility. The proposed rules, by requiring each non-contiguous enclosure to be a separate facility, would necessitate independent surveillance testing in each non-contiguous enclosure, which could result in additional testing costs, depending on the number of deer the permittee places in each such enclosure, the number of mortalities within that enclosure through time, the extent to which a permittee utilizes ante-mortem testing to maintain transfer status (ante-mortem tests require utilization of a veterinarian and are more expensive), and changes in CWD status resulting from the transfer of deer (if any) into or out of the enclosure. Because potential outcomes are dependent on multiple independent decision variables that are unknown to the department and cannot be predicted, it is impossible to precisely quantify the possible impacts to each of the 107 permitees that could be affected; however, the department estimates the impacts to affected permittees could range from no cost (if any given permittee consolidates all breeder deer in a single enclosure or set of contiguous enclosures) to higher costs (if the permittee allocates breeder deer to enclosures under new permits in such a fashion that additional ante-mortem testing is required to maintain movement qualified (MQ) status for the deer in each new facility). The highest possible cost to any permittee would be to the one permittee with five non-contiguous enclosures. Assuming the permittee distributed the total population of deer held under the permit equally amongst five new facilities and depended solely upon ante-mortem testing to maintain MQ status, the department estimates a maximum additional cost of compliance of $2,250.

        The department considered several alternatives to the proposed rule. The department considered status quo, which was rejected because when epidemiological investigations are necessary it is imperative to know the movement history of each breeder deer in order to conduct contact tracing for deer that may subsequently have come into contact with suspect deer or deer environs. The department considered implementing a system allowing satellite enclosures with special notification and reporting requirements, which was rejected for reasons of avoiding unnecessary introduction of complexity to administration, enforcement, compliance, and disease tracing.

        The proposed new rules would require that deer held under a breeder permit not be commingled with other deer, exotic species, or livestock. The department has no method to determine how many permittees would be affected by the proposed provisions but has determined that there could be some direct costs associated with segregating currently commingled menageries. The department has determined that such direct costs would be minimal, consisting of the labor and time necessary to remove all individuals other than the breeder deer from spaces that are inhabited by and accessible to only the breeder deer. The department considered several alternatives to the rules as proposed. The department considered following the status quo, which was rejected because the purpose of the proposed rule is to segregate breeder deer from all other animals for purposes of managing and mitigating possible CWD and other disease transmission. Another alternative that was considered was to require some sort of periodic inspection and/or testing of other animals kept in the same facility with white-tailed deer or mule deer, which was rejected because of concerns with statutory authority with respect to species other than indigenous wildlife and administrative complexity. Another alternative that was considered was to prohibit comingling of any species susceptible to CWD with breeder deer in a deer breeding facility, which was rejected because of concerns related to diseases other than CWD that could be transmitted to deer, including but not limited to bovine tuberculosis and epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

        The proposed amendment would prohibit the cloning of deer under a deer breeder’s permit. The department is not aware of specific business models involving cloned deer but speculates that they could range from creating viable individuals for sale to propagating embryos to be sold or used for purposes of implantation in surrogate mothers. In any case, the department estimates that the proposed prohibition on cloning will not result in a direct adverse economic impact to any permittee, as the department is not aware of any permittees presently cloning deer and there are numerous other ways to propagate deer that are less costly than cloning. The department considered several alternatives to the proposed rule. The department considered remaining silent on the matter from the point of regulatory restraints. This alternative was rejected because the purpose of the rule is to prevent unintended negative consequences to populations of naturally occurring deer that could result from allowing the use of a technology that is not fully understood and cannot be definitively said to be free of negative outcomes. The department also considered allowing cloning under a set of special regulations specifically designed to carefully analyze and assess progress towards assurances of non-negative impacts to native populations of deer, which was rejected for reasons of administrative complexity and impacts to the regulated community. The department reasons that independent bona fide research activities will ultimately provide greater knowledge upon which to base future regulatory decisions.

        The proposed rules will not affect rural communities.

        (D) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

        (E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rules.

        (F) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

        (G) In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the department has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS). The rules as proposed, if adopted, will neither create nor eliminate a government program; not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; not affect the amount of an existing fee (but could in some circumstances result in additional fees for non-contiguous enclosures if the deer breeder chooses to have them registered as facilities); not create a new regulation; expand existing regulations (by altering rules governing the use of transfer permits; requiring harvest management plans for properties under common ownership that adjoin NMQ facilities from which deer have escaped and not been recaptured; prohibiting the commingling of breeder deer with other animals; and prohibiting the cloning of breeder deer) but not limit an existing regulation; not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to regulation; and not positively or adversely affect the state’s economy.

4. Request for Public Comment.

        Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Mitch Lockwood at (830) 792-9677, e-mail: mitch.lockwood@tpwd.texas.gov. Comments also may be submitted via the department’s website at http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/.

5. Statutory Authority.

        The amendments and new section are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, which authorizes the commission to make regulations governing the possession, transfer, purchase, and sale of breeder deer held under the authority of the subchapter; and §61.021, which provides that no person may possess a game animal at any time or in any place except as permitted under a proclamation of the commission.

        The proposed new rules affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, and Chapter 61.

6. Rule Text.

        §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) Accredited test facility — A laboratory approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to test white-tailed deer or mule deer for Chronic Wasting Disease.]

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

                 [(3) 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.]

                 (2)[(4)] Facility — One or more contiguous enclosures, in the aggregate and including additions, that are the site of deer breeding operations under a single deer breeder’s permit.

                 (3)[(5)]Movement qualified — A status, determined by the department, under which the transfer[removal] of deer to or from a facility is authorized.

                 [(6) Release — The intentional release of a live deer from a permitted facility, or from a vehicle or trailer at a location other than a facility.]

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

                 (4)[(8)]Serial Number — A permanent four-digit number assigned to a deer breeder by the department. A serial number shall be preceded by the prefix "TX".

                 (5)[(9)]Transfer permit — A permit authorizing the movement of breeder deer to or from a facility[a breeder facility, a nursing facility, or a deer management permit facility other than to an accredited veterinarian for medical purposes].

                 (6)[(10)] Unique identifier — As defined by Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.3561(a)(5).[Unique number — An alphanumeric number of not more than four characters assigned by the department to the breeding facility in which the breeder deer was born and unique to that breeder deer.]

        §65.602. Permit Requirement and Permit Privileges; General Provisions.

                 (a) Except as provided in this chapter, no person may possess a live deer in this state unless that person possesses:

                         (1) a valid permit issued by the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters C, E, L, or R; or

                         (2) specific written authorization under the provisions of this subchapter.

                 (b) In accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.357[Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter], a person who possesses a valid deer breeder’s permit may:

                         (1) engage in the business of breeding legally possessed breeder deer within the facility for which the permit was issued;

                         (2) [purchase or otherwise lawfully] take possession of breeder deer transferred from another facility in compliance with the provisions of this chapter[lawfully possessed by another deer breeder];

                         (3) [sell or] transfer breeder deer that are in the legal possession of the permittee; and

                         [(4) release breeder deer from a permitted facility into the wild as provided in this subchapter;]

                         (4)[(5)] except as provided by this subchapter, recapture lawfully possessed breeder deer that have been marked in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.3561 that have escaped from a permitted facility.[;]  

                         [(6) temporarily relocate and hold breeder deer in accordance with the applicable provisions of §65.610 of this title (relating to Transfer of Deer); and]

                         [(7) temporarily relocate and recapture buck breeder deer under the provisions of Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Deer Management Permit).]

                 (c) Unless specifically provided otherwise in this subchapter or the conditions of permit, all permit applications, permit renewals, notifications, reporting, and recordkeeping required by this subchapter shall be submitted electronically via the department’s Internet-based deer breeder application.

                 (d) A deer breeding facility shall contain either white-tailed deer or mule deer, as authorized by the permit.

                 (e) Except for deer that are not required to be identified and reported to the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, no deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals may be present in, confined in, or have access to a deer breeding facility other than the deer listed on the reconciled herd inventory for the facility reported to the department.

        §65.603. Application and Permit Issuance.

                 (a) An applicant for an initial deer breeder’s permit shall submit the following to the department:

                         (1) a completed application on a form supplied by the department;

                         (2) a letter of endorsement by a person authorized by the department to conduct facility inspections stating that the person[certified wildlife biologist which states that the biologist] has personally conducted an on-site inspection at[of] the facility identified in the application and affirming[affirms] that[:]

                                  [(A)] the facility identified in the application:

                                          (A)[(i)] is constructed as depicted on the diagram submitted with the application;

                                          (B) contains infrastructure appropriate for the humane treatment of deer, including for the provision of adequate food, a continuous supply of water, and ample cover or shelter; [physically exists; and]

                                          (C)[(ii)] is adequate for the lawful conduct of activities governed by this subchapter; [and]

                                          (D)[(B)] has been secured in such a fashion to prevent ingress to and egress from the facility by any deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals; and

                                          (E) no deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals are present or confined within the facility[no deer are present within the facility];

                         (3) a diagram of the physical layout of the facility that clearly defines each distinct enclosure within the facility boundaries and all gates and fences;

                         (4) the application processing fee specified in Chapter 53, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Fees); and

                         (5) any additional information that the department determines is necessary to process the application.

                 (b) For the purposes of this subchapter, an authorized facility inspector is a person not employed by the department who:

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

                         (2) has not less than three years of post-graduate experience associated with breeder deer within the five years preceding any facility inspection conducted by the person;

                         (3) has not, according to department records, failed to maintain a reconciled herd, as defined by §65.90(27) of this title (relating to Definitions), within the five years immediately preceding any inspection conducted for purposes of satisfying the requirements of this subchapter; and

                         (4) has not been finally convicted of or been assessed an administrative penalty for violation of an offense listed in §65.703 of this title (relating to Proscription of Certain Agents and Surrogates).

                 (c)[(b)] A deer breeder’s permit may be issued when:

                         (1) the application and associated materials have been approved by the department; and

                         (2) the department has received the fee as specified in Chapter 53, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Fees).

                 (d)[(c)] An initial deer breeder’s permit shall be a one-year permit valid from the date of issuance until the immediately following July 1. The department may issue a three or five-year deer breeder’s permit if the permit holder has met the requirements of subsection (e)[(d)] of this section for the three-year period immediately prior to application for a three or five-year permit renewal. A three-year or five-year deer breeder permit renewal is valid for the three-year or five-year period specified on the permit.

                 (e)[(d)] Except as provided in subsection (i)[(h)] of this section, a deer breeder’s one, three, or five-year permit may be renewed prior to the date of expiration, provided that the applicant:

                         (1) is in substantial compliance with the provisions of this subchapter and Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters L and X;

                         (2) has submitted a timely application for renewal or is, as determined by the department, making satisfactory progress towards resolution of deficiencies that prevent timely renewal;

                         (3) has filed the annual report in a timely fashion, as required by §65.608 of this title (relating to Annual Reports and Records);

                         (4) has paid the permit renewal fee as specified in Chapter 53, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Fees); and

                         (5) for a permit renewal of three-years or five-years, meets the criteria for a three-year and five-year permit specified in Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.352.

                 (f)[(e)] An authorized agent may be added to or deleted from a permit at any time by notifying the department. No person added to a permit under this subsection shall participate in any activity governed by a permit unless that person is listed on an amended permit issued by the department.

                 (g)[(f)] Except as provided by this subchapter for [release,] transfer[, or transport] of breeder deer, a deer breeder’s permit authorizes the holding of breeder deer only within the physical layout of a facility described by the diagram required by subsection (a)(3) of this section. If a permittee wishes to enlarge, reduce, reconfigure, or otherwise alter [the exterior dimensions of] a facility,[either by enlargement or reconfiguration,] the permittee shall submit to the department an accurate diagram of the altered facility, indicating all changes to the existing facility[, to the department]. It is unlawful to introduce, cause the introduction of, or hold breeder deer anywhere other than within the dimensions of the facility as indicated by an approved[the] diagram on file with the department.

                 (h)[(g)] In addition to the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter G, the department may refuse permit issuance or renewal as provided in Subchapter U of this chapter (relating to Authority to Refuse to Issue or Renew Permit).

                 (i)[(h)] The department shall conduct all reviews of department decisions to deny issuance or renewal of a permit under this subchapter in compliance with the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter G and Subchapter U of this chapter.

        §65.604. Disease Monitoring. The provisions of Subchapter B, Division 2, of this chapter apply to the possession and movement of deer pursuant to a permit issued under this subchapter.

        §65.605. Holding Facility Standards and Care of Deer.

                 (a) The entire perimeter fence of a facility containing breeder deer, including nursing and medical facilities, shall be no less than seven feet in height, and shall be constructed of department-approved net mesh, chain link or welded wire that will retain breeder deer. An indoor facility is acceptable if it meets the standards described in this section and provides permanent access to an outdoor environment that is sufficient for keeping the breeder deer in captivity.

                 (b) A permittee shall ensure that deer have access to adequate food, a continuous supply of water, and ample cover or shelter.

                 (c)[(b)] Immediately upon discovering the escape of breeder deer from a facility, a permittee shall notify the department. The notification shall include a detailed description of the permittee’s intended actions to recapture the escaped deer, including the methods that will be employed to recapture the deer and the dates and times that recapture will be attempted. The permit holder shall notify the department daily of the efforts to capture the escaped deer until the escaped deer are captured.[The permittee shall have ten days from the date of such report to capture only those breeder deer that are marked in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, §43.3561. All recaptured breeder deer must be returned to the facility from which the breeder deer escaped.] If after ten days the permittee is unable to capture escaped breeder deer that have been reported in accordance with this subsection, the deer may not be recaptured or held in a deer breeding facility unless specifically authorized in writing by the department for purposes of disease management[the department may grant an additional five-day period for capture efforts to continue, contingent upon the permittee proving to the department’s satisfaction that reasonable efforts were made to effect the capture during the first ten-day period].

                (d) If a permit holder is unable to recapture escaped breeder deer reported as provided under subsection (c) of this section and the breeding facility is designated as NMQ at the time of or subsequent to the time of escape under the provisions of Subchapter B, Division 2, of this chapter, the property on which the deer breeding facility is located and any tract of land contiguous to the property under common ownership shall be subject to a department disease-testing plan requiring mandatory CWD testing and reporting.

        §65.610. Transfer of Deer.

                 (a) General [requirement]. No person may possess breeder deer in a trailer or vehicle, or remove or allow removal of breeder deer from a trailer, or accept, introduce, or allow introduction of breeder deer into a permitted facility, [No person may remove deer from or accept breeder deer into a permitted facility] unless a valid transfer permit has been activated as provided in this section.

                 (b) Transfer by deer breeder. In accordance with the provisions of Subchapter B, Division 2, of this chapter (concerning Chronic Wasting Disease – Movement of Deer), the[The] holder of a valid deer breeder’s permit may transfer legally possessed breeder deer to:

                         [(1) to or from another deer breeder as a result of sale, purchase or other arrangement]

                         [(2) to or from another deer breeder on a temporary basis for breeding purposes;]

                         [(3)] to or from another person on a temporary basis for nursing purposes; ]

                         [(4)] to an individual who purchases or otherwise lawfully obtains the deer for purposes of release but does not possess a deer breeder’s permit;]

                         (1)[(5)] a facility registered with the department for purposes of veterinary treatment; or[to an individual for the purpose of obtaining medical attention, provided the breeder deer do not leave this state;]

                         [(6) to a facility authorized under Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Deer Management Permit) to receive buck deer on a temporary basis; or]

                         (2)[(7)] an[to the holder of a valid] educational display or zoological facility permitted[permit issued] by the department. A transfer under this paragraph is final; breeder deer transferred[donated] to a permitted[the holder of an] educational display or zoological facility[permit] may not be returned to any breeder facility.

                 (c) White-tailed deer and mule deer may not be transferred to a facility located in a county for which there is no open season for that species.

                 (d)[(c)] The department will not authorize the transfer of breeder deer to a release site if the department has determined that the transfer will detrimentally affect existing populations or systems.[Transfer by person other than deer breeder. An individual who does not possess a deer breeder’s permit may possess deer under a transfer permit if the individual is transporting breeder deer within the state and the breeder deer were legally obtained from a deer breeder]

                 (e)[(d)] Release.

                         [(1) The department may authorize the release of breeder deer for stocking purposes if the department determines that the release of breeder deer will not detrimentally affect existing populations or systems.]

                         (1)[(2)] Breeder deer lawfully transferred to a registered release site may be held in temporary captivity for any period of time from March 1 through the eleventh day immediately preceding an open deer season to acclimate the breeder deer to habitat conditions at the release site; however, such temporary captivity must be specifically authorized in writing by the department. Not later than 11:59 p.m. on the eleventh day immediately preceding an open deer season, all deer being held in temporary captivity under the provisions of this paragraph shall be released. Release shall consist of the removal of at least 20 feet of the components of a pen that serve to maintain deer in a state of detention within the pen; however, no opening shall be less than 10 feet in width. Such components shall be removed for no fewer than 30 consecutive days.

                         (2)[(A)] An enclosure used to temporarily detain deer under this paragraph shall be physically separate from any deer breeding facility and the deer being temporarily held shall not be commingled with breeder deer. Deer held in temporary captivity shall not be returned to any deer breeding facility.

                         (3)[(B)] The department will not authorize the detention of deer under this paragraph during an open hunting season.

                         (4)[(C)] Deer in temporary captivity under the provisions of this paragraph shall not be hunted while in temporary captivity.

                 (f)[(e)] Transfer permit.

                         (1) A transfer permit is valid for 48 consecutive hours from the time of activation.

                         (2) A transfer permit authorizes the transfer of the breeder deer specifically identified on the transfer permit to one and only one registered facility[receiver].

                         (3) A transport manifest is a written document that specifically identifies the deer in a means of transport at any given time between departure from the source facility identified on the transfer permit and any destination facility identified on the transfer permit. A person in possession of deer during transport under a transfer permit must physically possess a transport manifest under any of the following conditions:

                                  (A) multiple vehicles are employed to transport deer to only one destination identified in a single transfer permit;

                                  (B) a single vehicle is employed for multiple trips to a single destination identified in a single transport permit; or

                                  (C) a single instance of transport involves stops at multiple destinations. 

                 (4)[(3)] A transfer permit is activated only by:

                                  [(A) notifying the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin by phone; or]

                                  (A)[(B)] utilizing the department’s online[Internet-based deer breeder] application; or

                                  (B) notifying the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin by phone or email in the event the department’s online application is offline or otherwise unavailable to the general public.

                                  (C) It is an offense for any person to transport a deer under a transfer permit unless the person also possesses a confirmation number issued by the department indicating receipt of the notification for that instance of transport.

                         (5)[(4)] No person may possess a live breeder deer at any place other than within a permitted facility unless that person also possesses on their person a department-issued transfer permit legibly indicating, at a minimum:

                                  (A) the species, sex, and unique number of each breeder deer in possession;

                                  (B) the facility identification numbers for the source and destination facilities[, or, if applicable, the specific release location for each breeder deer in possession]; and

                                  (C) the date and time that the permit was activated.

                         (6)[(5)] Not later than 48 hours following the completion of the movement of breeder deer[all activities] under a transfer permit, the permit shall be completed and submitted to the department.

                         (7)[(6)] A deer breeder may transport breeder deer without a transfer permit from a permitted facility to a licensed veterinarian’s medical facility for emergency medical treatment, [veterinarian]provided:

                                  (A) the transport occurs by the most feasible direct route;

                                 (B) the breeder deer are not removed from the means of transportation at any point from the time of departure from the source facility to the time of return to the source facility, including at the place of treatment [between the permitted facility  and the veterinary facility]; and

                                  (C) the breeder deer do not leave this state.

                                  (D) If a breeder deer is removed from the means of transportation to the medical facility and is temporarily housed in a location that may house other susceptible species, then a transfer permit reflecting that transport must be activated and completed and an additional transfer permit must be activated prior to the deer returning to the deer breeding facility.

                                  (E) An eligible-age deer that is transported to a veterinary medical facility under the provisions of this section and dies at any time before being returned to a breeding facility is an eligible mortality for the purposes of the requirements of Subchapter B of this chapter.

                 (g)[(f)] Marking of vehicles and trailers. No person may possess, transport, or cause the transportation of breeder deer in a trailer or vehicle under the provisions of this subchapter unless the trailer or vehicle exhibits an applicable inscription, as specified in this subsection, on the rear surface of the trailer or vehicle. The inscription shall read from left to right and shall be plainly visible at all times while possessing or transporting breeder deer upon a public roadway. The inscription shall be attached to or painted on the trailer or vehicle in block, capital letters, each of which shall be of no less than six inches in height and three inches in width, in a color that contrasts with the color of the trailer or vehicle. If the person is not a deer breeder, the inscription shall be "TXD". If the person is a deer breeder, the inscription shall be the deer breeder serial number issued to the person.

        §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 deer breeding facility.

                 (b) A person commits an offense if that person places or holds breeder deer in captivity at any place or in any facility for which the herd inventory on file with the department does not account for those breeder deer, except for fawn breeder deer that are not yet required to be reported to the department[on any property other than property for which a deer 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 breeder deer at another location for breeding, nursing, or veterinary purposes as provided in this subchapter].

                 (c) No breeder 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.

                 (d) No person may possess a breeder deer in a nursing facility beyond 120 days following the deer’s birth.

                 (e) No person may hold more than one cervid species at any time in a deer breeding facility, or cause or allow the interbreeding by any means of white-tailed deer and mule deer.

                 (f)[(d)] Possession of a deer breeder’s permit is not a defense to prosecution under any statute prohibiting abuse of animals.

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

                 (h)[(f)] This subsection does not apply to breeder deer lawfully obtained prior to June 21, 2005. Except as provided in this subsection, no person may:

                         (1) possess a deer acquired from an out-of-state source; or

                         (2) import or attempt to import deer from an out-of-state source.

                 (i) It is an offense for any person the department has authorized as a facility inspector to submit the checklist or letter of endorsement required by §65.603(a)(2) of this title (relating to Application and Permit Issuance) if the person has not personally conducted an onsite inspection at the facility.

                 (j) It is an offense for any person to violate or fail to comply with the provisions a disease-testing plan created under the provisions of §65.605(d) of this subsection.

                 (k) No person may clone or authorize or participate in the cloning of a white-tailed deer or mule deer unless specifically authorized to do so by a permit issued by the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter C. For the purposes of this subsection, cloning is the creation or attempted creation of a white-tailed or mule deer from a single progenitor cell.

                 (l) No person may possess deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals in a deer breeding facility, or allow deer, livestock, exotic livestock, or similar animals to access a deer breeding facility other than:

                         (1) the deer identified in the reconciled herd inventory for the facility; and

                         (2) offspring that are not required to be identified and reported to the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L.

        §65.612. Disposition of Deer.

                 (a) Upon termination, suspension, or revocation of a deer breeder’s permit, the permittee shall dispose of all breeder deer covered by the permit.

                 (b) Breeder deer may be disposed of by:

                         (1) transfer[sale or donation] to another deer breeder;

                         (2) transfer[sale or donation] to a holder of a zoological permit issued by the department;

                         (3) transfer[sale or donation] to the holder of an educational display permit issued by the department; or

                         (4) transfer to registered release sites[release to the wild] as specifically authorized by the department.

                 (c) Breeder deer still in possession 30 days following termination, revocation, or suspension of a permit shall be disposed of at the discretion of the department.

                 (d) Disposition of all breeder deer shall be at the expense of the permittee.

        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

        The repeal is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, which authorizes the commission to make regulations governing the possession, transfer, purchase, and sale of breeder deer held under the authority of the subchapter; and §61.021, which provides that no person may possess a game animal at any time or in any place except as permitted under a proclamation of the commission.

        The proposed repeal affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter E, and Chapter 61.

        §65.604. Disease Monitoring.

        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

Comment on Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing Deer Breeder's Permits
  •   
  •   
  •   

  •  
    The comment limit is 5,000 characters per item.

Submit Your Comments
  • Make sure that you filled in your name and county of residence near the top of the page.
  • When you are finished making your choices, click the Submit button below.
  • Please limit submissions to one per person.

Clear the form and start over.