OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5258 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT PERMITTING THE POSSESSION OF REINDEER YEAR ROUND.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the agriculture commissioner, by September 1, 2013, to adopt regulations in consultation and agreement with the energy and environmental protection (DEEP) commissioner, to allow in-state captive herds of cervids (i. e. deer), including reindeer.

The bill requires the agriculture commissioner, by November 1, 2012, to implement a pilot program under which he issues two permits that allow up to two Connecticut businesses to have up to five reindeer each. Each reindeer must have an importation permit issued by the agriculture commissioner in consultation with the DEEP commissioner. The importation permits must be on forms the agriculture commissioner provides and are contingent on requirements he determines, including the source of the reindeer, any required health certification, fencing and containment requirements, periodic inspections, and testing. The pilot program remains in effect until regulations are adopted.

Current law allows anyone to import reindeer into the state between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day if they are (1) individually identified, (2) certified to be in good health, and (3) exported from the state by January 8. The bill specifies that current law remains in place until regulations are adopted.

*House Amendment “A” replaces the underlying file, which permitted a person to possess reindeer in the state year round under specified conditions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

REGULATIONS

The required regulations must include standards and procedures for protecting native wildlife and provisions for:

1. issuing permits for importing, exporting, and maintaining captive herds;

2. seasonal interstate transport and possession of reindeer pursuant to the pilot program (but the pilot program ends when the regulations are adopted) until domestic herds are sufficiently established to meet demand; and

3. inspections and enforcements.

The bill requires that any importation permit be issued by the agriculture commissioner in consultation with the DEEP commissioner.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

28

Nay

0

(03/21/2012)