Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Action
Scientific Breeder Proclamation
April 2001

I. Discussion: Under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, the Commission is authorized to promulgate regulations governing the possession of white-tailed deer and mule deer for scientific, management, and propagation purposes. The Commission at its January 20, 2000, meeting adopted a series of amendments to the Scientific Deer Breeder Proclamation, which were submitted to the Texas Register for publication on February 15, 2000. Due to an error on the part of the Texas Register, the Notice of Adoption was inadvertently published as a withdrawal. The error was discovered in January of 2001, by which time it was too late to be administratively rectified by the Texas Register. For this reason, the amendments must be re-proposed and re-adopted. The proposed amendments as adopted by the Commission in January of 2000 were re-published in the March 2, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (26 TexReg 1826). Staff will present the Commission with a summary of public comment, if any, at the time of the April meeting. During the period of time from February 15, 2000 to the present, there were no citations issued for violations of the amendments.

II. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §§65.601, 65.602, 65.605, and 65.607-65.610, concerning the Scientific Breeder Proclamation, with changes to the proposed text as published in the March 2, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 1826).

Attachments - 2
1. Exhibit A - Proposed Scientific Breeder Proclamation
2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

Scientific Breeder Proclamation

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§65.601, 65.602, 65.605, and 65.607 - 65.610, concerning Scientific Deer Breeders. The proposed amendments are identical to the provisions of those sections as adopted by the Parks and Wildlife Commission on January 20, 2000 and submitted on February 15, 2000 for publication in the March 3, 2000, issue of the Texas Register. Due to circumstance beyond the agency's control, the Notice of Adoption was not published. The department therefore must re-propose and re-adopt the regulations. The departments regrets any confusion and stresses that the contents of the proposal are identical in every respect to the contents of the Notice of Adoption submitted on February 15, 2000.

The amendment to §65.601, concerning Definitions, provides for an optional marking convention. The amendment to §65.602, concerning Permit Requirement and Permit Privileges, stipulates that a scientific breeder may temporarily relocate deer for nursing or breeding purposes. The amendment to §65.605, concerning Holding Facility Standards and Care of Deer, removes provisions for temporary relocation of fawns for nursing purposes, which are being revamped and installed in another section. The amendment to §65.607, concerning Marking of Deer, would: allow scientific breeders to defer the tattooing of deer until such time as they leave a breeding facility; provide for an optional marking convention; require all deer within a facility to be ear-tagged by March 1 of each year; and mandate, as a consequence of purchase, the replacement of the seller’s ear tags with the buyer’s ear tags prior to the introduction of deer from a facility. The amendment to §65.608, concerning Annual Reports and Records, would require permittees to submit an annual report by November 1 of each year, at which time they would also furnish all purchase permits used during the reporting period. The amendment to §65.609, concerning Purchase of Deer and Purchase Permit, would simplify provisions for the acquisition and use of purchase permits by: eliminating the requirement for possession of a return fax from the department prior to transport and replacing it with a more flexible notification and reporting procedure; and allowing purchase permits to be obtained in bulk, to be used as necessary during the span of a scientific breeder permit’s validity. The amendment to §65.610, concerning Transport of Deer and Transport Permit, would provide for the temporary movement of deer for breeding or nursing purposes by implementing a notification requirement for such activities, and would create an identification requirement for vehicles and trailers used to transport deer.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for the first five years that the amendments as proposed are in effect, there will be no additional fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the amendments.

3. Public Benefit-Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the amendments are in effect:

(A) the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be the department's discharge of its statutory obligation to regulate persons possessing white-tailed or mule deer for propagation, scientific, and management purposes.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses or microbusinesses. There are additional economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed, but the department has determined that such costs range from minimal to negligible.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as the department has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) 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.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rules may submitted to Jerry Cooke, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4774 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, which authorizes the Parks and Wildlife Commission to establish regulations governing the possession of white-tailed and mule deer for scientific, management, and propagation purposes.

The amendments 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) 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) 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.

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

(4) Designated agent - An individual, identified on an application for a scientific breeder's permit, who is authorized by the permittee to conduct activities on behalf of the permittee.

(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) Fawn - Any deer with a spotted coat.

(7) Propagation - The holding of captive deer for reproductive purposes.

(8) Sale - The transfer of possession of deer for consideration and includes a barter and an even exchange.

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

(10) Serial Number - A permanent number assigned to the scientific breeder by the department.

(11) 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. [A four-digit alphanumeric identifier issued by the department to a scientific breeder for the purpose of permanently marking a deer such that the animal's history of ownership can be tracked.]

§65.602. Permit Requirement and Permit Privileges.

(a) Except as provided in this subchapter, no [No] person may possess a live deer in this state unless that person possesses a valid permit issued by the department under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapters C, E, L, or R.

(b) A person who possesses a valid scientific breeder's permit may:

(1) possess deer within the permitted facility for the purpose of propagation;

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

(3) sell deer that are in the legal possession of the permittee;

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

(5) recapture lawfully possessed deer that have been marked in accordance §65.607 of this title (relating to Marking of Deer) that have escaped from a permitted facility; and

(6) temporarily relocate and hold deer in accordance with the provisions of §65.610(a)(2) and (3) of this title (relating to Transport of Deer and Transport Permit) for breeding or nursing purposes.

§ 65.605. Holding Facility Standards and Care of Deer.

(a) The entire perimeter fence of a facility 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 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 deer in captivity.

(b) A permittee shall notify the department immediately upon discovering the escape of deer from a facility. Such notice shall be made on a form provided by the department and shall be notarized. The permittee shall have ten days from the date of such report to capture only those deer that are marked in accordance with § 65.607 of this title (relating to Marking of Deer). All recaptured deer must be returned to the facility from which the deer escaped. If after ten days the permittee is unable to capture escaped deer that have been reported in accordance with this subsection, 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.

[(c) A scientific breeder may move fawns from a permitted facility to another location for nursing purposes, provided: ]

[(1) the nursery is located on the same tract of land as the permitted breeding facility;]

[(2) the scientific breeder requests and receives written authorization from the department to establish a designated location for nursing purposes; and]

[(3) all fawns in such a nursery are marked in accordance with §65.607(a) of this title (relating to Marking of Deer).]

§65.607. Marking of Deer.

(a) Each deer held in captivity by a permittee under this subchapter shall be permanently marked by [;]

[(1) a unique number tatooed in one ear; and]

[(2)] an ear tag that shows the letters “TX” followed by the serial number assigned to the scientific breeder. All deer within a scientific breeder facility shall be tagged by March 1 of the year immediately following their birth.

(b) No person shall remove or knowingly allow the removal of a deer held in a facility by a permittee under this subchapter unless it has been permanently tattooed in one or both ears with a unique number. [Fawns must be permanently marked by the first November 1 following birth.]

(c) No person shall introduce deer to a facility under the provisions of a purchase permit unless the ear tag identifying the seller has been removed form the deer and replaced with an ear tag bearing the TX number of the purchaser. [All deer held in a scientific breeder facility prior to the effective date of this section must be marked upon first handling or prior to leaving the facility, whichever occurs first.]

§65.608. Annual Reports and Records.

(a) Each scientific breeder shall file a completed annual report on a form supplied or approved by the department, accompanied by the originals of all invoices for the temporary relocation of deer and all purchase permits used by the permittee during the reporting period, by not later than April 16 of each year.

(b) A permittee shall notify the department in writing by November 1 of each year of the number of fawns held by the permittee in each permitted facility, including fawns that have been temporarily relocated for nursing purposes.

(c)[(b)] The holder of a scientific breeder's permit shall maintain and, on request, provide to the department adequate documentation as to the source or origin of all deer held in captivity, including all invoices for the temporary relocation of deer, and buyer’s and seller’s copies, as applicable, of all purchase permits used by the permittee.

§65.609. Purchase of Deer and Purchase Permit.

(a) Deer may be purchased or obtained for:

(1) holding for propagation purposes if the purchaser possesses a valid scientific breeder's permit; or

(2) liberation for stocking purposes.

(b) Deer may be purchased or obtained only from:

(1) a holder of a valid scientific breeder's permit; or

(2) a lawful out-of-state source.

(c) An individual may possess or obtain deer only after a purchase permit has been issued by the department. A purchase permit is valid for a period of 30 days after it [Purchase permits shall be valid for 30 days from the date that the scientific breeder] has been:

[(1)] completed (to include the unique number of each deer being transferred[purchased]), dated, signed, and faxed to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin prior to the transport of any deer. The purchase permit shall also be signed and dated by the other party to a transaction at the time that the transfer of possession of any deer.[;]

[(2) received and possesses on their person a return fax from the department in acknowledgment of the fax required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.]

(d) A purchase permit is valid [only during the period of validity of a scientific breeder's permit, is effective] for only one transaction and expires after one instance of use.

(e) A one-time, 30-day extension of effectiveness for a purchase permit may be obtained by notifying the department prior to the original expiration date of the purchase permit.

(f) A person may amend a purchase permit at any time prior to the transport of deer; however:

(1) the amended permit shall reflect all changes to the required information submitted as part of the original permit;

(2) the amended permit information shall be reported by phone to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin at the time of the amendment; and

(3) the amended permit information shall be faxed to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin within 48 hours of transport.

(g) [(f)] The department may issue a purchase permit for liberation for stocking purposes if the department determines that the release of deer will not detrimentally affect existing populations or systems.

(h) [(g)] Deer lawfully purchased or obtained for stocking purposes may be temporarily held in captivity:

(1) to acclimate the deer to habitat conditions at the release site;

(2) when specifically authorized by the department;

(3) for a period to be specified on the purchase permit, not to exceed six months;

(4) if they are not hunted prior to liberation; and

(5) if the temporary holding facility is physically separate from any scientific breeder facility and the deer being temporarily held are not commingled with deer being held in a scientific breeder facility. Deer removed from a scientific breeder facility to a temporary holding facility shall not be returned to any scientific breeder facility.

§65.610. Transport of Deer and Transport Permit.

(a) The holder of a valid scientific breeder's permit or a designated agent may, without any additional permit, transport legally possessed deer:

(1) to another scientific breeder when a valid purchase permit has been issued for that transaction;

(2) to another scientific breeder on a temporary basis for breeding purposes. The scientific breeder providing the deer shall complete and sign a free, department-supplied invoice prior to transporting any deer, which invoice shall accompany all deer to the receiving facility. The scientific breeder receiving the deer shall sign and date the invoice upon receiving the deer, and shall maintain a copy of the invoice during the time the deer are held in the receiving facility. At such time as the deer are to return to the originating facility, the invoice shall be dated and signed by both the scientific breeder relinquishing the deer and the scientific breeder returning the deer to the originating facility, and the invoice shall accompany the deer to the original facility. The original of the invoice shall be submitted to the department with the annual report required by §65.608 of this title (relating to Annual Reports and Records). In the event that a deer has not been returned to a facility at the time the annual report is due, a scientific breeder shall submit a photocopy of the original invoice and submit the original invoice with the following year’s report.

(3) to another person on a temporary basis for nursing purposes. The scientific breeder shall complete and sign a free, department-supplied invoice prior to transporting deer to a nursery, which invoice shall accompany all deer to the receiving facility. The person receiving the deer shall sign and date the invoice upon receiving the deer, and shall maintain a copy of the invoice during the time the deer are held by that person. At such time as the deer are to return to the originating facility, the invoice shall be dated and signed by both the person holding the deer and the scientific breeder returning the deer to the originating facility, and the invoice shall accompany the deer to the original facility. The original of the invoice shall be submitted to the department with the annual report required by §65.608 of this title (relating to Annual Reports and Records).

(4) [(2)] to an individual who does not possess a scientific breeder's permit if a valid purchase permit for release into the wild for stocking purposes has been issued for that transaction; and

(5) [(3)] to and from an accredited veterinarian for the purpose of obtaining medical attention.

(b) The department may issue a transport permit to an individual who does not possess a scientific breeder's permit if the individual is transporting deer for liberation purposes and the deer were legally purchased or obtained from:

(1) a scientific breeder; or

(2) a lawful out-of-state source.

(c) All deer entering the boundaries of this state shall:

(1) be accompanied by a certificate of health, signed by an accredited veterinarian, which bears the purchaser's name and address, specifies the destination of the deer, and certifies that the deer:

(A) have been inspected by the veterinarian named on the certificate within 10 days prior to the time of transport;

(B) are free of external parasites;

(C) are free of evidence of contagious and communicable diseases; and

(D) have been tested in accordance with any applicable regulations of the Texas Animal Health Commission; and

(2) be accompanied by a permit or document from the government agency authorizing the exportation of the deer from the state or country of origin, if such permit or document was required as a condition for export from the state or country of origin.

(d) Deer may not be transported for the purposes of this subchapter during any open season for deer or during the period beginning 10 days immediately prior to an open season for deer unless the scientific breeder notifies the department by contacting the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin no less than 24 hours before actual transport occurs.

(e) Transport permits shall be effective for 30 days from the date that the scientific breeder has[:]

[(1)] completed (to include the unique number of each deer being transported), dated, signed, and faxed the permit to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin prior to the transport of any deer. The transport permit shall also be signed and dated by the other party to a transaction upon the transfer of possession of any deer.[; and]

[(2) received and possesses on their person a return fax from the department in acknowledgment of the fax required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.]

(f) A transport permit is valid for only one transaction, and expires after one instance of use.

(g) A person may amend a transport permit at any time prior to the transport of deer; however:

(1) the amended permit shall reflect all changes to the required information submitted as part of the original permit;

(2) the amended permit information shall be reported by phone to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin at the time of the amendment; and

(3) the amended permit information shall be faxed to the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin within 48 hours of transport.

(h) [(g)]A one-time, 30-day extension of effectiveness for a transport permit may be obtained by notifying the department prior to the original expiration date of the transport permit.

(i) Except as provided by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, no person may possess, transport, or cause the transportation of deer in a trailer or vehicle 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 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 scientific breeder, the inscription shall be "TXD". If the person is s scientific breeder, the inscription shall be the scientific breeder serial number issued to the person.

This agency hereby certifies 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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