TEXAS ALERT:Wild and Dangerous AND Primates

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/html/HB01015I.htm

83R3908 KKR-F

 

By: Guillen

H.B. No. 1015

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 

AN ACT

 

relating to the regulation of big cats and nonhuman primates; 

 

providing penalties.

 

       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

 

       SECTION 1.  Section 822.116, Health and Safety Code, is

 

amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:

 

       (c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a county or

 

municipality subject to Subchapter F as provided by Section 822.152

 

may not adopt an ordinance or order pertaining to big cats or

 

nonhuman primates that is inconsistent with Subchapter F.

 

       SECTION 2.  Chapter 822, Health and Safety Code, is amended

 

by adding Subchapter F to read as follows:

 

SUBCHAPTER F. REGULATION OF BIG CATS AND NONHUMAN PRIMATES IN

 

CERTAIN COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES

 

       Sec. 822.151.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:

 

             (1)  “Animal control authority” means a municipal or

 

county animal control office with authority over the area in which a

 

big cat or nonhuman primate is kept or the county sheriff in an area

 

that does not have an animal control office.

 

             (2)  “Animal shelter” means a municipal or county

 

animal shelter or an animal shelter operated by a nonprofit

 

charitable organization established primarily to shelter and care

 

for stray and abandoned animals and to prevent cruelty to animals.

 

             (3)  “Big cat” means:

 

                   (A)  a cheetah;

 

                   (B)  a cougar;

 

                   (C)  a leopard;

 

                   (D)  a lion;

 

                   (E)  a jaguar;

 

                   (F)  a tiger; or

 

                   (G)  a hybrid of an animal listed in Paragraphs

 

(A)-(F).

 

             (4)  “Circus” means an exhibitor holding a valid Class

 

C license issued under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131

 

et seq.) that:

 

                   (A)  is temporarily in this state for less than 90

 

days in any year;

 

                   (B)  regularly conducts performances featuring

 

live big cats or nonhuman primates and multiple trained human

 

entertainers, including clowns and acrobats; and

 

                   (C)  does not allow a member of the public to come

 

in direct contact with or to be in proximity to, including for a

 

photographic purpose, a big cat or nonhuman primate without

 

ensuring there is sufficient distance between the animal and the

 

public member and providing protective barriers to separate the

 

animal from the public member.

 

             (5)  “Commercial activity” means:

 

                   (A)  an activity involving an animal conducted by

 

a person for profit;

 

                   (B)  an animal exhibition activity for which a fee

 

is charged; or

 

                   (C)  the sale, trade, auction, lease, or loan of

 

an animal or an animal’s body parts.

 

             (6)  “Nonhuman primate” means all species of primates,

 

excluding humans.

 

             (7)  “Owner” means any person who owns, harbors, or has

 

custody or control of a big cat or nonhuman primate.

 

             (8)  “Person” means an individual, partnership,

 

corporation, trust, estate, joint stock company, foundation, or

 

association of individuals.

 

             (9)  “Wildlife sanctuary” means a charitable

 

organization exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3),

 

Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and described under Section

 

170(b)(1)(A)(vi), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that:

 

                   (A)  operates a place of refuge where an abused,

 

neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced

 

wild animal is provided care for the animal’s lifetime, is

 

transferred to another wildlife sanctuary, or is released back to

 

the animal’s natural habitat; and

 

                   (B)  with respect to any animal owned by or in the

 

custody or control of the organization, does not:

 

                         (i)  conduct any commercial activity;

 

                         (ii)  breed any animal;

 

                         (iii)  use a big cat or nonhuman primate for

 

entertainment purposes or in a traveling exhibit; or

 

                         (iv)  allow a member of the public to come in

 

direct contact with or to be in proximity to, including for a

 

photographic purpose, a big cat or nonhuman primate without

 

ensuring there is sufficient distance between the animal and the

 

public member and providing protective barriers to separate the

 

animal from the public member.

 

       Sec. 822.152.  APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter

 

applies to a person possessing a big cat or nonhuman primate in a

 

county or municipality that has a population of at least 75,000.

 

       Sec. 822.153.  PROHIBITED ACTS. (a) Except as provided by

 

Section 822.154, a person may not own, possess, harbor, sell,

 

transfer, breed, or have custody or control of a big cat or nonhuman

 

primate.

 

       (b)  A person may not allow a member of the public to come in

 

direct contact with or to be in proximity to, including for a

 

photographic purpose, a big cat or nonhuman primate without

 

ensuring there is sufficient distance between the animal and the

 

public member and providing protective barriers to separate the

 

animal from the public member.

 

       Sec. 822.154.  EXEMPTIONS. (a)  Section 822.153(a) does not

 

apply to:

 

             (1)  a county, municipality, agency of this state, or

 

agency of the United States or an agent or official of a county,

 

municipality, or agency acting in an official capacity;

 

             (2)  an institution accredited by the Association of

 

Zoos and Aquariums;

 

             (3)  a related facility certified by the Association of

 

Zoos and Aquariums that is a participant in a species survival plan

 

program for the breeding of species listed as threatened or

 

endangered pursuant to Section 4, Endangered Species Act of 1973

 

(16 U.S.C. Section 1533);

 

             (4)  a research facility, as defined by Section 2(e),

 

Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2132(e)), that is licensed by

 

the secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture under

 

that Act;

 

             (5)  a wildlife sanctuary that is verified or

 

accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries;

 

             (6)  an animal shelter that temporarily houses a big

 

cat or nonhuman primate seized under Section 822.157 or on the

 

written request of an animal control authority or a law enforcement

 

agency acting under the authority of this subchapter;

 

             (7)  a licensed veterinarian who is providing treatment

 

to a big cat or nonhuman primate;

 

             (8)  a law enforcement officer, including an animal

 

control officer or a county sheriff, who has possession of a big cat

 

or nonhuman primate for law enforcement purposes;

 

             (9)  a circus;

 

             (10)  a college or university that displays a single

 

big cat as a sports mascot and that:

 

                   (A)  submits to the Department of State Health

 

Services an affidavit signed by an official of the college or

 

university attesting that the college or university will provide

 

lifetime care for the big cat in a facility that is accredited by

 

the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or in a wildlife sanctuary;

 

                   (B)  maintains liability insurance in an amount

 

not less than $1 million to cover claims for injury or damage to a

 

person or property caused by the big cat; and

 

                   (C)  began displaying a big cat as a mascot before

 

September 1, 2013;

 

             (11)  a television or motion picture production company

 

during the filming of a television or motion picture production in

 

this state, provided that the company:

 

                   (A)  has temporary custody or control of a big cat

 

or nonhuman primate; and

 

                   (B)  does not allow a member of the public to be in

 

proximity to the big cat or nonhuman primate without ensuring there

 

is sufficient distance between the animal and the public member and

 

providing protective barriers to separate the animal from the

 

public member;

 

             (12)  a person temporarily transporting a legally owned

 

big cat or nonhuman primate through this state if:

 

                   (A)  the transit time is not more than 96 hours;

 

                   (B)  the big cat or nonhuman primate is not

 

exhibited;

 

                   (C)  the big cat or nonhuman primate is maintained

 

at all times in a species-appropriate cage or other travel

 

container;

 

                   (D)  the owner of the big cat or nonhuman primate,

 

or a designated carrier or intermediate handler of the animal,

 

complies with all transportation standards that apply to that

 

animal under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.);

 

and

 

                   (E)  the owner of the big cat or nonhuman primate,

 

or a designated carrier or intermediate handler of the animal,

 

complies with all other applicable state, local, or federal laws,

 

including laws requiring a veterinary certificate or other permit;

 

or

 

             (13)  a person who lawfully possesses a big cat or

 

nonhuman primate before September 1, 2013, provided that:

 

                   (A)  the person complies with the applicable

 

requirements under Subchapter E, including registration, caging,

 

husbandry, inspection, disposition, and notification requirements;

 

and

 

                   (B)  the person does not acquire, by any means,

 

including purchase, donation, or breeding, an additional big cat or

 

nonhuman primate after September 1, 2013.

 

       (b)  Section 822.153(b) and the other provisions of this

 

subchapter concerning preventing a member of the public from coming

 

into direct contact with or being in proximity to an animal do not

 

prohibit the owner of a big cat or nonhuman primate from allowing an

 

employee of the owner, a licensed veterinarian, or a veterinary

 

student accompanying the veterinarian to come in direct contact

 

with or to be in proximity to the animal.

 

       Sec. 822.155.  CIVIL PENALTY. (a) A person who violates

 

Section 822.153 is liable to the county or municipality in which the

 

violation occurs for a civil penalty of not less than $200 and not

 

more than $2,000 for each animal with respect to which there is a

 

violation and for each day that a violation continues.

 

       (b)  The county or municipality in which the violation occurs

 

may bring an action to collect the penalty and may also recover the

 

reasonable costs of recovering the penalty and the reasonable

 

investigation costs, attorney’s fees, and expert witness fees

 

incurred by the county or municipality, or the animal control

 

authority in the county or municipality.

 

       (c)  Costs or fees recovered under Subsection (b) for the

 

animal control authority must be credited to the animal control

 

authority’s operating account.

 

       Sec. 822.156.  OFFENSE; PENALTY. (a)  A person commits an

 

offense if the person violates Section 822.153. Each animal with

 

respect to which there is a violation and each day that a violation

 

continues is a separate offense.

 

       (b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

 

       Sec. 822.157.  SEIZURE OF BIG CAT OR NONHUMAN PRIMATE. (a) A

 

justice court, county court, or municipal court shall:

 

             (1)  order the animal control authority to seize a big

 

cat or nonhuman primate and shall issue a warrant authorizing the

 

seizure:

 

                   (A)  on the sworn complaint of any person,

 

including the county attorney, the city attorney, an animal control

 

officer, or a peace officer, that a big cat or nonhuman primate is

 

owned, possessed, harbored, sold, transferred, bred, or controlled

 

in violation of this subchapter; and

 

                   (B)  on a showing of probable cause to believe

 

that the big cat or nonhuman primate is owned, possessed, harbored,

 

sold, transferred, bred, or controlled in violation of this

 

subchapter as stated in the complaint; and

 

             (2)  schedule a hearing to be held on a date not later

 

than the 10th day after the date the warrant is issued to determine:

 

                   (A)  whether a violation of this subchapter has

 

occurred; and

 

                   (B)  the final disposition of the big cat or

 

nonhuman primate.

 

       (b)  The officer executing the warrant shall serve written

 

notice of the hearing required under Subsection (a)(2) to the owner

 

of the big cat or nonhuman primate at the time the animal is seized.

 

       (c)  The animal control authority shall seize the big cat or

 

nonhuman primate and shall provide for the impoundment of the big

 

cat or nonhuman primate in secure and humane conditions until the

 

court orders the disposition of the big cat or nonhuman primate.

 

       (d)  A big cat or nonhuman primate that has been seized and

 

impounded shall be kept in the custody of an institution accredited

 

by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a wildlife sanctuary, or

 

an animal shelter until a judicial determination regarding the

 

disposition of the big cat or nonhuman primate is made.

 

       (e)  Subsection (d) does not preclude the animal control

 

authority from impounding a big cat or nonhuman primate on the

 

property where the animal is located at the time of the seizure

 

until placement under Subsection (d) is made.

 

       Sec. 822.158.  FORFEITURE OF BIG CAT OR NONHUMAN PRIMATE.

 

(a) A big cat or nonhuman primate that is considered forfeited by

 

judicial determination or is voluntarily forfeited under

 

Subsection (d):

 

             (1)  shall be placed by the animal control authority in

 

the custody of an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos

 

and Aquariums or a wildlife sanctuary; or

 

             (2)  may be humanely euthanized in compliance with

 

state and federal law if an animal control authority, after making a

 

reasonable effort, is unable to find an institution that is willing

 

and able to take custody of a forfeited big cat or nonhuman primate.

 

       (b)  The court shall assess against the owner of the seized

 

animal the reasonable costs of caring for the seized big cat or

 

nonhuman primate, including the boarding costs and medical care

 

costs.

 

       (c)  A judicial determination regarding the disposition of a

 

seized big cat or nonhuman primate under this subchapter is final

 

and may not be appealed.

 

       (d)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a

 

person from voluntarily forfeiting the big cat or nonhuman primate

 

to an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and

 

Aquariums or a wildlife sanctuary.

 

       (e)  Voluntary forfeiture under Subsection (d) has no effect

 

on criminal charges brought under this subchapter.

 

       Sec. 822.159.  INJUNCTION. (a) A person who is directly

 

harmed or threatened with harm by a violation of this subchapter or

 

a failure to enforce this subchapter may sue an owner of a big cat or

 

nonhuman primate to enjoin a violation of this subchapter or to

 

enforce this subchapter.

 

       (b)  The county or municipality in which a big cat or

 

nonhuman primate is kept may sue an owner of the animal to enjoin a

 

violation of this subchapter or to enforce this subchapter.

 

       Sec. 822.160.  EFFECT OF SUBCHAPTER ON OTHER LAW. (a) This

 

subchapter does not prevent a county or municipality from adopting

 

or enforcing an ordinance, order, rule, or other legal requirement

 

that places additional restrictions on the ownership, possession,

 

harboring, sale, transfer, breeding, or custody or control of big

 

cats or nonhuman primates.

 

       (b)  This subchapter does not affect the applicability of any

 

other law, rule, order, ordinance, or other legal requirement of

 

this state or a political subdivision of this state.

 

       SECTION 3.  Section 822.153, Health and Safety Code, as

 

added by this Act, applies only to an offense committed on or after

 

the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the

 

effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the

 

date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in

 

effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense

 

was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element

 

of the offense occurred before that date.

 

       SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

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~ by topcatsroar on February 6, 2013.

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