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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 17

Section 17.452

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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 Repealed, 1997 c 7 art 2 s 67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 chapters 31 and 31A or 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. Farmed cervidae must be confined in a manner designed to prevent escape. All perimeter fences for farmed cervidae must be at least 96 inches in height and be constructed and maintained in a way that prevents the escape of farmed cervidae or entry into the premises by free-roaming cervidae.

Subd. 11. Disease control programs. 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 means approved by the Board of Animal Health. Beginning January 1, 2004, the identification must be visible to the naked eye during daylight under normal conditions at a distance of 50 yards. Newborn animals must be identified before December 31 of the year in which the animal is born or before movement from the premises, whichever occurs first.

(b) The Board of Animal Health shall register farmed cervidae. 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, farmed cervidae facilities, and farmed cervidae records. For each herd, the owner or owners must, on or before January 1, pay an annual inspection fee equal to $10 for each cervid in the herd as reflected in the most recent inventory submitted to the Board of Animal Health up to a maximum fee of $100. The commissioner of natural resources may inspect farmed cervidae, farmed cervidae facilities, and farmed cervidae records with reasonable suspicion that laws protecting native wild animals have been violated and must notify the owner in writing at the time of the inspection of the reason for the inspection and must inform the owner 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. 13a. Cervidae inspection account. A cervidae inspection account is established in the state treasury. The fees collected under subdivision 13 and interest attributable to money in the account must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the cervidae inspection account in the special revenue fund. Money in the account, including interest earned, is appropriated to the Board of Animal Health for the administration and enforcement of this section.

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.

Subd. 15. Mandatory registration. A person may not possess live cervidae in Minnesota unless the person is registered with the Board of Animal Health and meets all the requirements for farmed cervidae under this section. Cervidae possessed in violation of this subdivision may be seized and destroyed by the commissioner of natural resources.

Subd. 16. Mandatory surveillance for chronic wasting disease. (a) An inventory for each farmed cervidae herd must be verified by an accredited veterinarian and filed with the Board of Animal Health every 12 months.

(b) Movement of farmed cervidae from any premises to another location must be reported to the Board of Animal Health within 14 days of such movement on forms approved by the Board of Animal Health.

(c) All animals from farmed cervidae herds that are over 16 months of age that die or are slaughtered must be tested for chronic wasting disease.

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; 2003 c 128 art 3 s 6-13