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Substitute House Bill No. 5354

Public Act No. 18-114

AN ACT CONCERNING SNAPPING TURTLES AND RED-EARED SLIDER TURTLES.

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

Section 1. Section 26-78 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) No person shall buy, sell or exchange, or have in possession with intent to sell or exchange, any wild or game bird, wild quadruped, reptile or amphibian, alive or dead, or parts thereof, including plumage of any such bird, except as provided in this chapter, provided any game bird, wild quadruped, reptile or amphibian, alive or dead, or parts thereof, not including plumage of any such bird, legally taken and legally transported into this state from any other state or country which does not prohibit the sale or exportation of such bird, wild quadruped, reptile or amphibian, may be bought or sold in this state at any time of the year under such regulations as may be made by the commissioner. The commissioner may make regulations governing the importation, transportation, purchase, sale or exchange of wild or game bird plumage. Any wild or game bird, wild quadruped, reptile or amphibian, alive or dead, or parts thereof, including plumage of such birds, possessed contrary to any of the provisions of this section or any regulation made by the commissioner, shall be seized by any representative of the department; and the commissioner or his authorized agent shall make disposition of the same by sale or destruction or by gift to any educational institution, museum, zoological park or any other suitable place where in the opinion of the commissioner an educational purpose will be served. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the possession, sale or exchange of heads, hides or pelts of legally acquired deer and fur-bearing animals or the possession and mounting of legally acquired game birds, wild quadrupeds, reptiles and amphibians. Each wild or game bird, wild quadruped, reptile or amphibian, or part thereof, or each lot or package of wild or game bird plumage, possessed contrary to any provision of this section or any regulation issued by the commissioner, shall constitute a separate offense. Said commissioner may make regulations authorizing the importation, exportation, possession, sale and exchange of legally acquired, protected and unprotected species of live wild birds, live wild quadrupeds, reptiles and amphibians under such conditions as said commissioner shall determine. Said commissioner may order any such bird, quadruped, reptile or amphibian impounded for such period, at such place and in such manner as is determined by the commissioner, to allow examination to determine if such bird, quadruped, reptile or amphibian is diseased or infected with parasites, and the commissioner is authorized to order the destruction of such bird, quadruped, reptile or amphibian when in his opinion such action would be advisable in the public interest. Any person who violates any provision of this section or any regulation or order issued by the commissioner under this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor. [The] Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the provisions of this section shall [not] also apply to red-eared slider turtles and snapping turtles.

(b) (1) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section and subdivision (2) of this subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the use of red-eared slider turtles for any educational or research-related purpose by any scientific or educational institution or the buying, selling or exchanging, or possessing with the intent to sell or exchange of any red-eared slider turtle with distinctive aberrant color patterns, including albino or amelanistic specimens, provided (A) any seller of such a red-eared slider turtle with distinctive aberrant color patterns shall retain a record of the name and address of the purchaser of such turtle on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, and (B) no such turtle exempted under the provisions of this subsection shall be released upon the lands or into the waters of this state.

(2) No person shall import any red-eared slider turtle into this state.

(3) No person shall release any red-eared slider turtle upon the lands or into the waters of this state.

Approved June 7, 2018