Presenter: Clayton Wolf

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Action
Scientific Breeder Permit Regulations
January 25, 2007

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed changes to rules governing the Scientific Breeder's Permit program to:

II. Discussion: Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43, Subchapter L, requires the Commission to establish permits and authorizes the promulgation of rules governing the possession of white-tailed deer and mule deer for scientific, management, and propagation purposes. Following the comprehensive reorganization of the regulations governing the scientific breeder program in 2006, two minor inconsistencies were identified by staff. The proposed regulations (located at Exhibit A) were published in the December 15, 2006 issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 10083). Staff will present a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the commission adopt the proposed motion:

"Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to §§65.610 and 65.611, concerning Scientific Breeder's Permit rules, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the December 15, 2006 issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 10083)."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Amendments to the Scientific Breeder Regulations

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit A

Scientific Breeder's Permit Rules
Proposal Preamble
January 25, 2007

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§65.610 and 65.611, concerning Scientific Breeder’s Permits. The proposed amendments would correct an inaccurate provision regarding who may receive deer from a scientific breeder on a temporary basis and would remove a reference to a permit that no longer exists.

Current §65.610(b) stipulates that a scientific breeder may transfer deer temporarily for breeding or nursing purposes only to another scientific breeder. In a comprehensive revision of the subchapter adopted earlier this year (31 TexReg 4227), the department intended to restrict the temporary transfer of scientific breeder deer for breeding purposes but did not intend to prevent anyone from temporarily holding deer for nursing purposes. The proposed amendment is necessary to allow this to occur.

Current §65.611, concerning Prohibited Acts, provides that no person may sell deer to another person unless either the purchaser or the seller possesses a purchase permit. The extensive revision of the subchapter earlier this year eliminated both the purchase permit and transport permits and replaced them with a single permit called a transfer permit. The proposed amendment is necessary to eliminate obsolete terminology and to prevent confusion.

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 rules.

3. Public Benefit — Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has 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 clear and accurate regulations.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effects on small businesses, microbusinesses, or persons required to comply with the amendments as proposed.

(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 Comment.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4775 (e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

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

The proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 43.

§65.610. Transfer of Deer.

(a) General requirement. No person may remove deer from or accept deer into a permitted facility unless a valid transfer permit on a form provided by the department has been activated as provided in this section.

(b) Transfer by scientific breeder. The holder of a valid scientific breeder's permit may transfer legally possessed deer:

(1) to or from another scientific breeder as a result of sale, purchase or other arrangement;

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

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

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

(5)[(4)] to an individual for the purpose of obtaining medical attention, provided the deer do not leave this state; and

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

(c) Transfer by person other than scientific breeder. An individual who does not possess a scientific breeder's permit may possess deer under a transfer permit if the individual is transporting deer within the state and the deer were legally purchased or obtained from a scientific breeder for purposes of release.

(d) Release.

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

(2) Deer lawfully purchased, possessed, or obtained for stocking purposes may be held in captivity for no more than 30 days:

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

(B) when specifically authorized by the department;

(C) if they are not hunted prior to release; and

(D) 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. No deer shall be released from a temporary holding facility during an open season or within ten days of an open season unless the antlers immediately above the pedicel have been removed.

(3) An individual who does not possess a scientific breeder's permit may possess deer under a transfer permit if the individual is transporting deer within the state and the deer were legally purchased or obtained from a scientific breeder for purposes of release.

(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 deer to one and only one receiver.

(3) A transfer permit is activated only by:

(A) notifying the Law Enforcement Communications Center in Austin prior to the transport of any deer; or

(B) utilizing the department's web-based activation mechanism prior to the transport of any deer.

(4) A person in possession of live deer at any place other than within a permitted facility shall also possess on their person a department-issued transfer permit legibly indicating, at a minimum:

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

(B) the source and destination facilities, or, if applicable, the specific release location for each deer in possession;

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

(5) Not later than 48 hours following the completion of all activities under a transfer permit, the permit shall be:

(A) legibly completed and faxed to the Wildlife Division in Austin by the person designated on the permit as the party responsible for notification of the department; or

(B) completed and submitted using the department's web-based permit-completion mechanism.

(6) A scientific breeder may transport deer without a transfer permit from a permitted facility to a licensed veterinarian, provided:

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

(B) the deer are not removed from the means of transportation at any point between the permitted facility and the veterinary facility; and

(C) the deer do not leave this state.

(f) Marking of vehicles and trailers. No person may possess, transport, or cause the transportation of 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 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 a scientific breeder, the inscription shall be the scientific 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 scientific breeder facility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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