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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

31.05 EMBARGOES AND CONDEMNATIONS.

Subdivision 1. Definitions.

As used in this section, "animals" means cattle; swine; sheep; goats; poultry; farmed cervidae, as defined in section 35.153, subdivision 3; llamas, as defined in section 17.455, subdivision 2; ratitae, as defined in section 17.453, subdivision 3; equines; and other large domesticated animals.

Subd. 1a. Tag or notice.

A duly authorized agent of the commissioner who finds or has probable cause to believe that any food, animal, or consumer commodity is adulterated or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent, or is in violation of section 31.131 shall affix to such article or animal a tag or other appropriate marking giving notice that such article or animal is, or is suspected of being, adulterated or misbranded and has been detained or embargoed, and warning all persons not to remove or dispose of such article or animal by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by such agent or the court. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or dispose of such detained or embargoed article or animal by sale or otherwise without such permission.

Subd. 2. Action for condemnation.

When an article or animal detained or embargoed under subdivision 1 has been found by such agent to be adulterated, or misbranded, the agent shall petition the district court in the county in which the article or animal is detained or embargoed for an order and decree for the condemnation of such article or animal. Any such agent who has found that an article or animal so detained or embargoed is not adulterated or misbranded, shall remove the tag or other marking.

Subd. 3. Remedies.

If the court finds that a detained or embargoed article or animal is adulterated or misbranded, such article or animal shall, after entry of the decree, be destroyed at the expense of the claimant thereof, under the supervision of such agent, and all court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses, shall be taxed against the claimant of such article or animal or the claimant's agent; provided, that when the adulteration or misbranding can be corrected by proper labeling or processing of the article or animal, the court, after entry of the decree and after such costs, fees, and expenses have been paid and a good and sufficient bond, conditioned that such article or animal shall be so labeled or processed, has been executed, may by order direct that such article or animal be delivered to claimant thereof for such labeling or processing under the supervision of an agent of the commissioner. The expense of such supervision shall be paid by claimant. The article or animal shall be returned to the claimant and the bond shall be discharged on the representation to the court by the commissioner that the article or animal is no longer in violation and that the expenses of such supervision have been paid.

Subd. 4. Duties of commissioner.

Whenever the commissioner or any of the commissioner's authorized agents shall find in any room, building, vehicle of transportation or other structure, any meat, seafood, poultry, vegetable, fruit, or other perishable articles of food which are unsound, or contain any filthy, decomposed, or putrid substance, or that may be poisonous or deleterious to health or otherwise unsafe, the same being hereby declared to be a nuisance, the commissioner, or the commissioner's authorized agent, shall forthwith condemn or destroy the same, or in any other manner render the same unsalable as human food, and no one shall have any cause of action against the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized agent on account of such action.

Subd. 5. Emergency response.

In the event of an emergency declared by the governor's order under section 12.31, if the commissioner finds or has probable cause to believe that livestock, food, or a consumer commodity within a specific area is likely to be adulterated because of the emergency or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent, or is in violation of section 31.131, subdivision 1, the commissioner may embargo a geographic area that is included in the declared emergency. The commissioner shall provide notice to the public and to those with custody of the product in as thorough a manner as is practical under the emergency circumstances.