PA 12-127—HB 5258

Environment Committee

AN ACT PERMITTING THE POSSESSION OF REINDEER YEAR ROUND

SUMMARY: This act 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 act 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.

By law, anyone may 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. Under the act, these provisions remain in place until regulations are adopted.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

REGULATIONS

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

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

2. seasonal interstate transport and possession of reindeer under 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 enforcement.

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

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