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17.452 Farm-raised cervidae.

Subdivision 1. Promotion and coordination. The commissioner shall promote the commercial raising of farmed cervidae and shall coordinate programs and rules related to the commercial raising of farmed cervidae. Farmed cervidae research, projects, and demonstrations must be reported to the commissioner before state appropriations for the research projects or demonstrations are encumbered. The commissioner shall maintain a data base of information on raising farmed cervidae.

Subd. 2. Development program. The commissioner may establish a Minnesota development and aid program that may support applied research, demonstration, financing, marketing, promotion, breeding development, registration, and other services for owners.

Subd. 3. Repealed, 1997 c 7 art 2 s 67

Subd. 4. Farmed cervidae are livestock. Farmed cervidae are livestock and are not wild animals for purposes of game farm, hunting, or wildlife laws. Farmed cervidae and their products are farm products and livestock for purposes of financial transactions and collateral.

Subd. 5. Raising farmed cervidae is an agricultural pursuit. Raising farmed cervidae is agricultural production and an agricultural pursuit.

Subd. 6. Running at large prohibited. (a) An owner may not allow farmed cervidae to run at large. The owner must make all reasonable efforts to return escaped farmed cervidae to their enclosures as soon as possible. The owner must notify the commissioner of natural resources of the escape of farmed cervidae if the farmed cervidae are not returned or captured by the owner within 24 hours of their escape.

(b) An owner is liable for expenses of another person in capturing, caring for, and returning farmed cervidae that have left their enclosures if the person capturing the farmed cervidae contacts the owner as soon as possible.

(c) If an owner is unwilling or unable to capture escaped farmed cervidae, the commissioner of natural resources may destroy the escaped farmed cervidae. The commissioner must allow the owner to attempt to capture the escaped farmed cervidae prior to destroying the farmed cervidae. Farmed cervidae that are not captured by 24 hours after escape may be destroyed.

Subd. 6a. Wild cervidae inside confinement area. An owner, or employee or agent under the direction of the owner, must destroy wild cervidae found within the owner's farmed cervidae confinement area. The owner, employee, or agent must report the wild cervidae destroyed to a conservation officer or an employee of the department of natural resources, division of wildlife, within 24 hours. The wild cervidae must be disposed of as prescribed by the commissioner of natural resources.

Subd. 7. Farming in native elk area. A person may not raise farmed red deer in the native elk area without written approval of the commissioner of natural resources. The native elk area is the area north of U.S. Highway 2 and west of U.S. Highway 71 and trunk highway 72. The commissioner shall review the proposed farming operation and approve with any condition or deny approval based on risks to the native elk population.

Subd. 8. Slaughter. Farmed cervidae must be slaughtered and inspected in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture voluntary program for exotic animals, Code of Federal Regulations, title 9, part 352.

Subd. 9. Sales of farmed cervidae and meat products. Persons selling or buying farmed cervidae sold as livestock, sold for human consumption, or sold for slaughter must comply with chapters 17A, 31, 31A, and 31B.

Subd. 10. Fencing. (a) Farmed cervidae must be confined in a manner designed to prevent escape. Fencing must meet the requirements in this subdivision unless an alternative is specifically approved by the commissioner. The board of animal health shall follow the guidelines established by the United States Department of Agriculture in the program for eradication of bovine tuberculosis. Perimeter fencing must be of the following heights:

(1) for fences constructed before August 1, 1995, for farmed deer, at least 75 inches;

(2) for fences constructed before August 1, 1995, for farmed elk, at least 90 inches; and

(3) for fences constructed on or after August 1, 1995, for all farmed cervidae, at least 96 inches.

(b) The farmed cervidae advisory committee shall establish guidelines designed to prevent the escape of farmed cervidae and other appropriate management practices.

(c) The commissioner of agriculture in consultation with the commissioner of natural resources shall adopt rules prescribing fencing criteria for farmed cervidae.

Subd. 11. Disease inspection. Farmed cervidae herds are subject to chapter 35 and the rules of the board of animal health in the same manner as livestock and domestic animals, including provisions relating to importation and transportation.

Subd. 12. Identification. (a) Farmed cervidae must be identified by United States Department of Agriculture metal ear tags, electronic implants, or other means of identification approved by the board of animal health in consultation with the commissioner of natural resources. Newborn or imported animals are required to be identified by March 1 of each year. The board shall authorize discrete permanent identification for farmed cervidae in public displays or other forums where visible identification is objectionable.

(b) Identification of farmed cervidae is subject to sections 35.821 to 35.831.

(c) The board of animal health shall register farmed cervidae upon request of the owner. The owner must submit the registration request on forms provided by the board. The forms must include sales receipts or other documentation of the origin of the cervidae. The board shall provide copies of the registration information to the commissioner of natural resources upon request. The owner must keep written records of the acquisition and disposition of registered farmed cervidae.

Subd. 13. Inspection. The commissioner of agriculture and the board of animal health may inspect farmed cervidae and farmed cervidae records. The commissioner of natural resources may inspect farmed cervidae and farmed cervidae records with reasonable suspicion that laws protecting native wild animals have been violated. The owner must be notified in writing at the time of the inspection of the reason for the inspection and informed in writing after the inspection of whether (1) the cause of the inspection was unfounded; or (2) there will be an ongoing investigation or continuing evaluation.

Subd. 14. Contested case hearing. A person raising farmed cervidae that is aggrieved with any decision regarding the farmed cervidae may request a contested case hearing under chapter 14.

HIST: 1993 c 375 art 9 s 2; 1995 c 39 s 2,3; 1999 c 86 art 2 s 1; 2002 c 373 s 2,3

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