2000-H 7709A am
Enacted 7/13/2000

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Introduced By:  Representatives Slater, Lima, Palangio, Carpenter and Giannini Date Introduced:   2000 February 3, 2000

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Sections 4-18-3, 4-18-6 and 4-18-13 of the General Laws in Chapter 4-18 entitled "Importation of Wild Animals" are hereby amended to read as follows:

4-18-3. Permit required to import wild animals. -- No person shall import into, receive, or possess in this state without first obtaining a permit from the department, animals of the following orders, families, and genera: Primates, carnivores, amphibia, reptilia, canidae, and insecta. The director may by regulation designate additional orders, families, genera, or species requiring a permit to import, receive or possess; or the director may by regulation waive the permit requirement for specific species, orders, families and genera.

Any animal care facility accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) shall be exempt from this provision. Provided, however, said facility provides the state veterinarian with a quarterly summary of any and all animal acquisitions and dispositions.

4-18-6. Exempted importations. -- (a) Short term nonresident exhibitions. - Animals subject to this chapter may be brought into the state for short term nonresident exhibition purposes without permit. Animal(s) permitted entry under this section shall not be disposed of by sale, trade or gift during the period within this state. Short term nonresident exhibition purposes shall not exceed thirty (30) days.

(b) Animal breeding. - Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4-18-5 animals being moved for breeding purposes as part of a recognized animal colony established for experimental breeding of animals in captivity, may be moved for this purpose upon issuance of permit provided that the conditions specified by the department in the permit are adhered to in full.

(c) Personal pets under special permit. - Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 4-18-4 and 4-18-5, a permit may be granted by the department to import a wild animal as a personal pet, if a written affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury is completed at the time of entry at the site of first arrival and transmitted either by mail or in person to the department immediately. The affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) The number and true scientific name of the species being imported as required in section 4-18-3;

(2) The date and location of acquisition of the pet animal;

(3) A statement of the place or premises where the animal will be held in quarantine pending completion of veterinary examination;

(4) An agreement that within ten (10) days the department will be notified of the name and address of the veterinarian who conducts examinations and tests required by the department, and that the required import fees be paid within the ten (10) days.

(d) Zoological collections and managed propagation facilities accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Animals subject to this chapter may be brought into the state or propagated for zoological exhibition purposes without permit if imported or born directly to a facility which is both AZA accredited and USDA licensed. Such facilities shall comply with departmental import/possession specifications prior to importation. Such importation/possession requirements may include but are not limited to: disease diagnostic tests, veterinary procedures and examinations, as well as individual identification requirements for the importation/possession of each animal subject to this chapter. The department reserves the right to immediate examination and testing of such imported/possessed wild animals when there is probable cause as determined by the department to suspect that the animals are harboring diseases or parasites suspected of endangering public health or the health of domestic animals, or that of native wild animals, may include measures deemed necessary to protect domestic animals, public health, and native wild animals but are not limited to: quarantine, treatment, seizure, destruction, and postmortem examination. The department shall be notified within three (3) months of the death of any animal subject to this chapter. Furthermore, the department shall be notified immediately upon the death of any animal subject to this chapter which death may have resulted from infectious, contagious or zoonotic disease or upon the escape of any animal subject to this chapter.

4-18-13. Exceptions. -- The department upon application may grant variances from the requirements of these regulations as it determines are authorized by law and will not result in hazard to the public health. Those applications, and variances made, shall be in writing and any variances granted under this section shall set forth conditions designed to protect the public health, and shall be granted only for a specified period, not to exceed six (6) months.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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