Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Action
Equine Anemia Regulations
January 2002

I. Discussion: Under the Texas Agriculture Code and regulations promulgated by the Texas Animal Health Commission, all equidae (horses, mules, asses, ponies, zebras and any other equine) entering the state or undergoing change of ownership within the state are required to test negative for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) unless they are to be quarantined, slaughtered, or used for research. In order to be consistent with current regulatory policies implemented by other units of state government regarding the control of equine disease transmission, as well as to minimize the possibility that equidae on department lands might contract EIA, staff proposed at the November 2001 meeting of the commission that the regulations located at Exhibit A be published in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed regulations appeared in the December 14, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (26 TexReg 10241). Staff will present a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts 31 TAC §§59.132, 65.190, and 65.199, concerning equine anemia regulations, with changes to the proposed text as published in the December 14, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (25 TexReg 10241):

Attachments - 2

1. Exhibit A - Proposed Regulations
2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note (Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 2
Exhibit A

Equine Anemia Regulations
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §65.190, concerning Application, and §65.199, concerning General Rules of Conduct, which are part of the Public Lands Proclamation. The amendment to §65.190 would allow the amendment to §65.199 to have effect on certain federal properties. The amendment to §65.199 would require persons bringing equines to public hunting lands or allowing equines to enter public hunting lands to have evidence that the animals have been tested negative for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The amendments are necessary to ensure that equines entering public hunting lands are free of a contagious equine disease that could be transmitted to other equines.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, 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 enforcing or administering the rule.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

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

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be a reduced likelihood that equines might acquire EIA as a consequence of entering public lands.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses or microbusinesses as a result of the rules as proposed. There will be a cost to persons required to comply with the rule as proposed, namely the cost of an EIA test, which is approximately $25 per animal.

(C) 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.

(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 Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Dennis Gissell, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4407 or 1-800-792-1112 extension 4407 (e-mail: dennis.gissell@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The rules are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §81.405, which authorizes the commission to adopt regulations governing recreational activities on wildlife management areas.

The proposed rule affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 81.

§65.190. Application.

(a) This subchapter applies to all activities subject to department regulation on lands designated by the department as public hunting lands, regardless of the presence or absence of boundary markers. Public hunting lands are acquired by lease or license, management agreements, trade, gift, and purchase. Records of such acquisition are on file at the Department's central repository.

(b) On U.S. Forest Service Lands designated as public hunting lands (Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Lake McClellan Recreation Area, Moore Plantation, and Sam Houston National Forest WMAs) or any portion of Units 902 and 903, persons other than hunters are exempt from the provisions of this subchapter, except for the provisions of §65.199(14) of this title (relating to General Rules of Conduct).

(c) On U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Lands designated as public hunting lands (Aquilla, Cooper, Dam B, Granger, Pat Mayse, Ray Roberts, Somerville, and White Oak Creek WMAs), persons other than hunters and equestrian users are exempt from requirements for an access permit.

(d) On state park lands designated as public hunting lands, access for fishing and non-consumptive use is governed by state park regulations.

(e) Public hunting lands include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Alabama Creek WMA (Unit 904);

(2) Alazan Bayou WMA (Unit 747);

(3) Aquilla WMA (Unit 748);

(4) Atkinson Island WMA;

(5) Bannister WMA (Unit 903);

(6) Big Lake Bottom WMA (Unit 733);

(7) Black Gap WMA (Unit 701);

(8) Caddo Lake State Park and WMA (Unit 730);

(9) Caddo National Grasslands WMA (Unit 901);

(10) Candy Abshier WMA;

(11) Cedar Creek Islands WMA (includes Big Island, Bird Island, and Telfair Island Units);

(12) Chaparral WMA (Unit 700);

(13) Cooper WMA (Unit 731);

(14) D.R. Wintermann WMA;

(15) Dam B WMA—includes Angelina-Neches Scientific Area (Unit 707);

(16) Designated Units of the Las Palomas WMA;

(17) Designated Units of Public Hunting Lands Under Short-Term Lease;

(18) Designated Units of the Playa Lakes WMA;

(19) Designated Units of the State Park System;

(20) Elephant Mountain WMA (Unit 725);

(21) Gene Howe WMA (Unit 755)—includes Pat Murphy Unit (Unit 706);

(22) Granger WMA (Unit 709);

(23) Guadalupe Delta WMA (Unit 729)—includes Mission Lake Unit (720), Guadalupe River Unit (723), Hynes Bay Unit (724), and San Antonio River Unit (760);

(24) Gus Engeling WMA (Unit 754);

(25) James Daughtrey WMA (Unit 713);

(26) J.D. Murphree WMA (Unit 783);

(27) Keechi Creek WMA (Unit 726);

(28) Kerr WMA (Unit 756);

(29) Lake McClellan Recreation Area;

(30) Lower Neches WMA (Unit 728)—includes Old River Unit and Nelda Stark Unit;

(31) Mad Island WMA (Unit 729);

(32) Mason Mountain WMA;

(33) Matador WMA (Unit 702);

(34) Matagorda Island State Park and WMA (Unit 1134);

(35) M.O. Neasloney WMA;

(36) Moore Plantation WMA (Unit 902);

(37) Nannie Stringfellow WMA;

(38) North Toledo Bend WMA (Unit 615);

(39) Old Sabine Bottom WMA (Unit 732);

(40) Old Tunnel WMA;

(41) Pat Mayse WMA (Unit 705);

(42) Peach Point WMA (Unit 721)—includes Bryan Beach Unit (Unit 1075);

(43) Ray Roberts WMA (Unit 501);

(44) Redhead Pond WMA;

(45) Richland Creek WMA (Unit 703);

(46) Sam Houston National Forest WMA (Unit 905);

(47) Sierra Diablo WMA (Unit 767);

(48) Somerville WMA (Unit 711);

(49) Tawakoni WMA (Unit 708);

(50) Walter Buck WMA (Unit 757);

(51) Welder Flats WMA;

(52) White Oak Creek WMA (Unit 727); and

(53) Other numbered units of public hunting lands.

§65.199. General Rules of Conduct. This section applies to all public hunting lands unless an exception for a specific area and time period is designated by the executive director or by written permission of the department. It is unlawful for any person to:

(1) fail to obey regulations posted at the area or policies established by order of the executive director, fail to comply with instructions on permits or area leaflets, or refuse to follow directives given by departmental personnel in the discharge of official duties;

(2) possess a firearm, archery equipment, or any other device for taking wildlife resources on public hunting lands, except for persons authorized by the department to hunt or conduct research on the area, commissioned law enforcement officers, and department employees in performance of their duties;

(3) camp or construct an open fire anywhere other than in a designated campsite. On the Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Moore Plantation, and Sam Houston National Forest WMAs, this restriction applies only during the period from the day prior to the opening of the archery deer season through the day following the close of the general deer season;

(4) cause, create, or contribute to excessive or disturbing sounds beyond the person's immediate campsite between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.;

(5) to establish a camp and leave it unattended for a period of longer than 24 hours;

(6) disturb or remove plants, wood, rocks, gravel, sand, soil, shell, artifacts, or other objects from public hunting lands, except as authorized by the department;

(7) write on, scratch, or otherwise deface natural features, signs, buildings, or other structures;

(8) fail to deposit refuse in designated containers or fail to remove it from the area;

(9) consume or be under the influence of alcohol while engaged in hunting activities, or to publicly consume or display an alcoholic beverage while on public hunting lands;

(10) possess dogs in camp that are not confined or leashed;

(11) use or possess any type of riding stock or pack animal on public hunting lands at any time, except:

(A) as may be provided by order of the executive director;

(B) by written authorization of the department; or

(C) when authorized for specific areas and time periods scheduled under the Texas Conservation Passport Program;

(12) use an airboat within the boundaries of public hunting lands, except as designated for specific areas and time periods by order of the executive director or by written permission of the department; [or]

(13) take an antlerless deer during the general open season on wildlife management areas jointly managed by TPW and the U.S. Forest Service (Alabama Creek, Bannister, Caddo, Moore Plantation, or Sam Houston National Forest) unless that person possesses on their person a TPW-issued WMA Antlerless Permit; or

(14) enter a unit of public hunting lands with an equine or equines, or cause the entry of an equine or equines to a unit of public hunting lands, unless that person has in their immediate possession, for each equine in the person's custody or equine that the person allowed to enter the unit of public hunting lands, a completed VS Form 10-11 (Texas Animal Health Commission) showing that the equine has tested negative to an official Equine Infectious Anemia test within the previous 12 months. The documentation required by this paragraph shall be made available for inspection upon the request of any department employee acting within the scope of official duties.

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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