Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 6394

January Session, 2003

 

LCO No. 2834

   

Referred to Committee on Environment

 

Introduced by:

 

(ENV)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ENDANGERED SPECIES PROGRAMS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 26-93 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Any person who disturbs, [molests, harasses,] hunts, takes, kills or attempts to kill any bald eagle or disturbs any active bald eagle nest shall be fined not more than one [hundred] thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both. Any person who enters a posted no access area for a bald eagle or a posted no access area for an active bald eagle nest shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

Sec. 2. Section 26-40a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

For the purposes of this section, the following wildlife or any hybrid thereof, shall be considered as potentially dangerous animals: The felidae, including, but not limited to, the lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi cat, puma, lynx and bobcat; the canidae, including, but not limited to, the wolf and coyote; and the ursidae, including, but not limited to, the black bear, grizzly bear and brown bear. No person shall possess a potentially dangerous animal. Any such animal illegally possessed may be ordered seized and may be disposed of as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. All costs associated with the confiscation, care and maintenance of the potentially dangerous animal until such time as the animal is disposed of or is permanently relocated to a proper facility shall be the responsibility of the owner or the person in illegal possession of the animal. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be [fined not more than one hundred dollars for each offense] assessed a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars, to be fixed by the court, for each offense. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may request the Attorney General to institute an action in superior court to recover such penalty and any cost associated with the confiscation, care and maintenance of any such animal. The provisions of this section shall not apply to municipal parks, zoos and nature centers, or museums, laboratories and research facilities maintained by scientific or educational institutions; to a person possessing a Bengal cat certified by an internationally recognized multiple-cat domestic feline breeding association as being without wild parentage for a minimum of four prior generations which cat was registered with the Commissioner of Agriculture on or before October 1, 1996, provided no such cat may be imported into this state after June 6, 1996; or to persons possessing animals legally on or before May 23, 1983. In any action taken by any official of the state or any municipality to control rabies, a Bengal cat shall be considered not vaccinated for rabies in accordance with accepted veterinary practice.

Sec. 3. Section 26-55 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

No person shall import or introduce into the state, or possess or liberate therein, any live fish, wild bird, wild [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate unless such person has obtained a permit therefor from the commissioner. Such permit may be issued at the discretion of the commissioner under such regulations as [he] the commissioner may prescribe. The commissioner may by regulation prescribe the numbers of live fish, wild birds, wild [quadrupeds] mammals, reptiles, [and] amphibians or invertebrates of certain species which may be imported, possessed, introduced into the state or liberated therein. The commissioner may by regulation exempt certain species or groups of live fish from the permit requirements. [He] The commissioner may by regulation determine which species of wild birds, wild [quadrupeds] mammals, reptiles, [and] amphibians or invertebrates must meet permit requirements. [He] The commissioner may totally prohibit the importation, possession, introduction into the state or liberation therein of certain species which [he] the commissioner has determined may be a potential threat to humans, agricultural crops or established species of plants, fish, birds, [quadrupeds] mammals, reptiles, [or] amphibians or invertebrates. The commissioner may by regulation exempt from permit requirements organizations or institutions such as zoos, research laboratories, colleges or universities, public nonprofit aquaria or nature centers where live fish, wild birds, wild [quadrupeds] mammals, reptiles, [and] amphibians or invertebrates are held in strict confinement. Any such fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate illegally imported into the state or illegally possessed therein shall be seized by any representative of the Department of Environmental Protection and shall be disposed of as determined by the commissioner. Any person, except as provided in section 26-55a, who violates any provision of this section or any regulation issued by the commissioner as herein provided shall be guilty of an infraction. Importation, liberation or possession of each fish, wild bird, wild [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate in violation of this section or such regulation shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation each day of continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.

Sec. 4. Section 26-57 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

No person shall transport within the state or transport out of the state any fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate for which a closed season is provided without a permit from the commissioner, except as provided herein. The commissioner may issue a permit to any person to transport within the state or to transport out of the state any fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate protected under the provisions of this chapter under such regulations as [he] the commissioner may prescribe. No fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate shall be transported out of the state unless each unit, package or container is conspicuously tagged or labeled, and such tag or label contains in legible writing the full name and address of the person legally authorized to transport out of the state such fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate. Any such fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate received by any person or by any common carrier within the state, addressed for shipment to any point without the state and not having such tag or label conspicuously attached shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this section. A permit shall not be required to transport within the state or to transport out of the state any fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate which has been legally taken, bred, propagated or possessed by a person to whom a license, registration or permit has been issued under the provisions of this chapter authorizing the taking, breeding, propagating or possessing of fish, birds, [quadrupeds] mammals, reptiles, [or] amphibians or invertebrates, and no permit shall be required to transport within the state or to transport out of the state any fish, bird, [quadruped] mammal, reptile, [or] amphibian or invertebrate that has been legally taken or acquired by a person exempt from license requirements under the provisions of this chapter. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than sixty days or be both fined and imprisoned.

This act shall take effect as follows:

Section 1

October 1, 2003

Sec. 2

October 1, 2003

Sec. 3

October 1, 2003

Sec. 4

October 1, 2003

Statement of Purpose:

To better protect bald eagle nests, hold owners of wild animals responsible for costs associated with the confiscation of such animals and update the endangered species act.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]