Senate Bill No. 73
Introduced By crippen
By Request of the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act protecting Montana livestock, agricultural interests, and wildlife by modifying the manner in which the fish, wildlife, and parks commission may restrict the importation of wildlife by allowing the commission to develop a listing, by rule, restricting and regulating wildlife importation; defining "import"; increasing the penalty for the intentional importation, introduction, or transplantation of wildlife; amending sections 87-5-701, 87-5-702, 87-5-703, 87-5-712, and 87-5-721, MCA; repealing section 87-5-112, MCA; and providing effective dates."
STATEMENT OF INTENT
A statement of intent is required for this bill because 87-1-712 grants rulemaking authority to the fish, wildlife, and parks commission to regulate and restrict the importation of certain wildlife.
The legislature intends that the commission adopt a "clean list" concept to regulate the importation of wildlife into Montana. A "clean list", as established by rule, would allow the importation of only wildlife species that the commission can be reasonably certain will not pose unacceptable risks to native wildlife and habitat, domestic livestock, and the health and safety of humans, thus providing for management of the known, unknown, and unknowable risks of importing wildlife species.
It is further intended that the commission first consider those species that are commonly imported into Montana for the purpose of adopting rules addressing those species that would be effective on the effective date of this act, October 1, 1997. This would allow the continued importation of wildlife species that pose minimal impacts or risks, while prohibiting or restricting the importation of wildlife species that may impose significant impacts or risks.
The legislature intends that the commission adopt rules to implement a petition procedure whereby individuals could request the commission to allow importation of a specific species. The requestor must be required to provide the commission with data and analysis demonstrating that importation of the requested species would create minimal impacts or risks.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 87-5-701, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-5-701. Purpose. The legislature finds that in order to protect the native wildlife and plant species of Montana,
protect the agricultural production of Montana, and to protect human health and safety, it is necessary to provide for the
control of the importation, of importation for introduction, and the of transplantation or introduction of wildlife in the state.
Serious threats, known and unknown, to the well-being of native wildlife and plant species, and to agricultural production,
and to human health and safety, resulting from the intentional or accidental introduction of wildlife into natural habitats,
necessitate the prohibition of importation, of the importation for introduction, and the of transplantation or introduction of
wildlife into natural habitats unless it can be shown that no harm will result from such the transplantation or introduction.
Any importation for introduction or the transplantation or introduction permitted must be conducted in a manner to assure
ensure that the introduced or transplanted population can be controlled if harm arises from unforeseen effects."
Section 2. Section 87-5-702, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-5-702. Definitions. For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Feral" means the appearance in a natural habitat of an animal that has escaped
domestication captivity and become
(2) "Import" means to receive, to bring or have brought, or to ship into the state any wildlife from a location outside the state.
(3) "Importation" means the act of bringing into the state any wildlife.
(3)(4) "Introduction" means the release of or attempt to release, intentional or otherwise, wildlife from outside the state
into natural habitats of the state. (4)(5) "Natural habitat" means any area in which the introduction of wildlife species may result in an uncontrolled,
naturally reproducing population of that species becoming established. (5)(6) "Transplantation" means the release of or attempt to release, intentional or otherwise, wildlife from one place within
the state into natural habitats in another part of the state. (6)(7) "Wildlife" means any wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean, or other wild animal or the
egg, sperm, embryo, or offspring thereof of the wild animal."
Section 3. Section 87-5-703, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-5-703. Applicability to other provisions for importation or introduction of wildlife.
Sections 87-5-701 through
87-5-704, 87-5-711, 87-5-713 through 87-5-716, and 87-5-721 do not apply to the importation of wildlife for the
commercial pet trade or All sections in this part apply to the importation or introduction of wildlife in addition to the
provisions on importation or introduction of wildlife contained in the following laws:
(1) Title 80;
(2) 87-3-207 and 87-3-208;
(3) 87-3-221 through 87-3-224 or 87-3-209, 87-3-210, and 87-3-225 through 87-3-227;
87-5-112; (6) 87-5-205; (7)(6) 87-5-302; or (8)(7) Title 81, chapter 2."
Section 4. Section 87-5-712, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-5-712. Authority for commission to control importation generally of certain wildlife species -- adoption of rules
regarding importation. (1) The commission may, after public hearing, list by
administrative rule wildlife species that may
be imported as pets, prohibited from importation imported for captive breeding for research or commercial purposes or,
imported for the commercial pet trade, or imported for any other reason if the commission finds, based on scientific
investigation, that the species, because of behavioral traits or other biological considerations, would not be readily subject
to control by man humans while in captivity or and that if released into natural habitat would not pose a substantial threat to
native wildlife and plants or agricultural production or would not pose a risk to human health and safety, domestic
livestock, or native wildlife through disease transmission, ecological or environmental damage, or threats to health or
(2) A person may not import into the state any wildlife species unless the importation of that species is allowed by the commission and the person obtains any required permit from the department.
(3) The commission shall adopt rules, based on the hearings, investigations, and findings required in subsection (1), listing:
(a) wildlife species that may not be imported;
(b) wildlife species that may be imported under established conditions and controls and pursuant to a permit issued by the department; and
(c) wildlife species that may be imported without any restrictions because they present minimal disease, ecological, environmental, safety, or health risks.
(4) This section does not apply to wildlife whose importation is allowed and regulated by another provision of law.
(5) Any importation of wildlife must also comply with the requirements of the department of livestock pursuant to Title 81."
Section 5. Section 87-5-721, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-5-721. Penalty -- license and permit revocation and denial. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who violates a provision of this part is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided in 87-1-102, and the department, upon conviction of the person, shall revoke any license or permit issued by it under this title to the person and deny any application by the person for a license or permit under this title for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of the conviction.
(2) A person who intentionally imports, introduces, or transplants fish or wildlife in violation of this part:
(a) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both;
(b) is civilly liable for the amount necessary to eliminate or mitigate the effects of the violation. The damages may be recovered on behalf of the public by the department or by the county attorney of the county in which the violation occurred, in a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction. Money recovered by the department or a county attorney must be deposited in the state special revenue fund as provided in 87-1-601(1).
(c) upon conviction or forfeiture of bond or bail, shall forfeit from the date of conviction or forfeiture any current hunting, fishing, or trapping license issued under this title and the privilege to hunt, fish, or trap in this state for not less than 24 months. If the time necessary to eliminate or mitigate the effects of the violation exceeds 24 months, a person may be required to forfeit the privilege to hunt, fish, or trap in this state for more than 24 months. If the effects of the violation cannot be eliminated or mitigated, a person may be required to forfeit the privilege to hunt, fish, or trap in this state for the lifetime of that person."
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Repealer. Section 87-5-112, MCA, is repealed.
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Effective dates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), [this act] is effective October 1, 1997.
(2) To facilitate rulemaking by the fish, wildlife, and parks commission, [section 4(1) and (3) and this section] are effective on passage and approval, but rules adopted pursuant to [section 4] may not become effective before October 1, 1997.