OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 146

AN ACT CONCERNING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS OF COMMISSION SALES STABLES.

SUMMARY:

This bill revamps the law governing the places where livestock animals are sold at private auction (“commission sales stables”), which the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) commissioner supervises. Livestock animals are camelids (e.g., llamas or camels) or hooved animals raised for domestic or commercial use.

Among other things, the bill:

1. requires commission sales stables to obtain federal agency approval, in addition to a license from DoAg;

2. makes DoAg's license biennial, instead of annual, and adjusts the fee accordingly;

3. requires that all animals at these facilities be identified;

4. establishes a three-day deadline for slaughtering animals after a sale;

5. eliminates a requirement that certain dairy and breeding animals be vaccinated against brucellosis as calves to be sold;

6. requires stables to retain a licensed veterinarian who must be present when livestock are offered for sale; and

7. explicitly prohibits stables from selling wild animals, captive cervidae (e.g., deer), pets and companion animals, and psittacine birds (e.g., parrots).

The bill allows the DoAg commissioner to adopt regulations regarding commission sales stables, which may include requirements for animal identification, health and handling, facility design and construction, sanitation, and records and recordkeeping.

It also makes minor and conforming changes, such as (1) specifying that equine (e.g., horse or mule) and poultry sales must follow existing law on their sales, such as obtaining required licenses and (2) including breeding animals with dairy animals for segregation and sale order at these facilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

COMMISSION SALES STABLES

License to Operate

Current law requires commission sales stables to annually apply for a license from DoAg and establishes a license fee of $190. The bill makes the license biennial and correspondingly adjusts the fee to $380.

Under the bill, these facilities must also be approved by the federal Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and remain in good standing to operate as a livestock marketing facility.

Sale Procedure

The bill requires that dairy and breeding animals originating from Connecticut be kept separate from slaughter animals before the sales occur. Current law segregates the animals based on whether they are dairy or beef, not where the animals are from. Under the bill, animals from outside the state may commingle with slaughter animals.

The bill sets a three-day deadline to slaughter animals purchased at a commission sales stable. Current law requires immediate slaughter after the animals are moved to a slaughtering establishment. By law, slaughter animals (1) may be sold only to owners or agents of slaughtering establishments and (2) must be moved directly to the establishments after the sale.

Animal Identification Methods

The bill requires that all animals designated for slaughter be conspicuously identified by a method DoAg approves. Current law (1) limits the requirement to bovine (e.g., cows, bulls, oxen) animals weighing more than 300 pounds, but not dairy or breeding ones, and (2) requires that they be branded with an “S” in a conspicuous location or has some other DoAg-approved identification.

The bill also requires that all dairy and breeding animals be identified, rather than only those older than six months of age. It eliminates tattoos and registration papers as explicitly allowable forms of identification for these animals. Under the bill, an official ear tag or other DoAg-approved official animal identification device may be used.

Health Requirements

Current law requires all female dairy or breeding animals of at least six months of age and sold by a commission sales stable to be vaccinated against brucellosis when they were calves. The bill eliminates this requirement. Existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires that dairy and breeding animals meet certain health requirements, including testing for brucellosis or being certified as brucellosis-free (see BACKGROUND).

Veterinarian Requirement

The bill requires a commission sales stable to retain a state-licensed veterinarian who is both state- and federally accredited to practice veterinary medicine. He or she must (1) be present when livestock is offered for sale, (2) verify compliance with importation requirements, and (3) examine and issue certificates of veterinary inspection for animals traveling to another state.

BACKGROUND

Dairy and Breeding Animal Health Requirements

By law, dairy and breeding animals brought to a commission sales stable must meet certain health requirements. If they are from within Connecticut, these animals must be from herds:

1. under state supervision, having been tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis within the last 14 months;

2. tested within the last 14 months for tuberculosis and regularly tested under DoAg's brucellosis ring test program; or

3. certified by DoAg as brucellosis-free.

Dairy and breeding animals from outside the state must (1) meet the health requirements for imported cattle, (2) have a health certificate from the originating state, and (3) have a DoAg-issued permit.

Applicable Penalties

A violation of the law on commission sales stables, or obstructing DoAg in performing its duties, is a class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250, up to 30 days in prison, or both.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

24

Nay

4

(03/04/2016)