TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:
Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, O.C.G.A. §§ 2-7-204 and 50-13-4, notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Agriculture will be accepting written comments regarding the adoption of a new Chapter, 40-13-15, entitled “Transportation and Holding of Live Feral Hogs.” The Department will be accepting written comments from July 16, 2018, to the close of business (4:30 p.m. EST) on August 15, 2018.
SYNOPSIS, MAIN FEATURES AND DIFFERENCES:
The Department is proposing to adopt a new Chapter, 40-13-15, entitled “Transportation and Holding of Live Feral Hogs,” which is necessary to administer O.C.G.A. § 2-7-200 et. seq.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.01 entitled “Definitions” would provide definitions for necessary terminology.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.02 entitled “Applicability of Rules” would establish that these rules apply to the transportation and holding of live feral hogs within the State of Georgia.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.03 entitled “General Provisions” would describe general provisions for the administration, enforcement, and requirements relating to the transportation and holding of live feral hogs. Specifically, the Rule provides that live feral hogs transported or held in violation of these rules may be quarantined, disposed of, and/or destroyed in accordance with Georgia law; that the Commissioner may deny and/or revoke any Feral Hog Transport Permit and/or Feral Hog Facility License for any violation of these rules; that all carcasses, parts of carcasses, fetuses, embryos, effluent, or blood of taken feral hogs shall be disposed of in accordance with the Georgia Dead Animal Disposal Act; that Official Identification shall not be removed from any live feral hog; that any person who takes a live feral hog to which Official Identification is already affixed shall notify the Department within forty-eight (48) hours of such taking; and that complete and legible records documenting the transportation and/or holding of all live feral hogs shall be maintained as required by the Rules.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.04 “Transportation of Live Feral Hogs” would provide that no person shall transport live feral hogs in Georgia without having a valid Feral Hog Transport Permit and that live feral hogs shall only be transported to approved slaughter facilities, licensed Feral Hog Facilities, or other premises for immediate personal consumption unless a special written exemption is obtained from the State Veterinarian. Live feral hogs would not be permitted to be moved to, or offered for sale in, any Georgia Department of Agriculture approved auction market or collection point. This proposed rule would also establish additional requirements for the transportation of live feral hogs including, but not limited to: premises registration for the physical holding location of all common carriers and conveyance used to transport live feral hogs, and sanitation requirements for carriers and conveyances used to transport live feral hogs. The rule would also require that all live feral hogs be individually identified by a method acceptable to the State Veterinarian prior to transport. Acceptable options would include Official Identification being affixed to each individual live feral hog or obtaining a temporary transport authorization via the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division “Go Outdoors Georgia” smartphone application. Information relating to Official Identification would be obtained by contacting the Department’s Livestock/Poultry Program during normal business house or by visiting the Department’s website.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.05 entitled “Feral Hog Transport Permit” would establish the procedure for obtaining, and requirements for maintaining, a Feral Hog Transport Permit. This rule would provide that, among other things, the permit application shall be made online at the Department’s website; would provide that the permit is valid upon the date of issuance and expires annually on July 31; would provide that the annual permit fee is $15.00 and shall be remitted before the permit is issued or renewed; would provide that the permit is valid only for the applicant stated on the permit and is not transferable; would provide that the permit must be carried on the person of the permit holder at all times during transportation of live feral; would provide that the holder of the permit must maintain complete and legible records on all feral hogs transported; would provide that the permit holder may use the “Go Outdoors Georgia” smartphone application to comply with record-keeping requirements; and would provide that records must be maintained by the permit holder for two (2) consecutive years with the previous one (1) year of records being carried on the permit holder at all times during transportation of live feral hogs.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.06 entitled “Feral Hog Facility Requirements” would provide that a license is required for the operation of a Feral Hog Facility which holds live feral hogs. This proposed rule would also require premises registration for all physical locations where live feral hogs are held; would provide that any operator of a licensed Feral Hog Facility who intends to personally transport live feral hogs must obtain and maintain a Feral Hog Transport Permit; would provide that live feral hogs held at a licensed Feral Hog Facility may only be transported to approved slaughter facilities, other licensed Feral Hog Facilities, or for immediate personal consumption unless a special written exemption is obtained from the State Veterinarian prior to transport; would require that all live feral hogs have Official Identification applied with 48 hours of arrival at an approved destination unless such live feral hog is slaughtered within 48 hours of arrival; would establish official brucellosis and pseudorabies testing requirements; would require the licensed facility to observe and maintain health and/or sanitization practices necessary and appropriate to prevent and/or control the spread of contagious or infections livestock diseases; would establish fencing requirements; would require that live feral hogs be maintained in secure escape-proof pens; would reiterate that it is unlawful for any person to accidentally or intentionally release a live feral hog; would provide that feral hogs held at a licensed Feral Hog Facility shall not be permitted to breed; would provide that all boars shall be castrated or maintained in separate confinement from female hogs until castration; would provide that all progeny of female swine bred prior to introduction to the facility be held and treated in accordance with these rules; and would provide that information relating to Official Identification would be obtained by contacting the Department’s Livestock/Poultry program during normal business hours or visiting the Department’s website.
Proposed Rule 40-13-15-.07 entitled “Feral Hog Facility License” would establish the procedure for obtaining, and requirements for maintaining, a Feral Hog Facility License. This rule would provide that, among other things, the license application shall be made online at the Department’s website; would provide that the license is valid upon the date of issuance and expires annually on July 31; would provide that the annual license fee is $100.00 and shall be remitted before the license is issued or renewed; the license is valid only for the applicant and location stated on the license and is not transferable; would require the facility to pass a pre-license compliance inspection administered by the Department prior to issuance of a license; would require that the license be prominently displayed in a visible location at the facility at all times; would require the holder of the license to maintain complete and legible records on all feral hogs held at the facility; and would require that records be maintained for two (2) consecutive years
COMMENT PERIOD AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
The Department will be accepting written comments from July 16, 2018, to the close of business (4:30 p.m. EST) on August 15, 2018. Comments will be considered on August 16, 2018. Please submit written comments to:
Dr. Robert M. Cobb,
DVM State Veterinarian
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone Number: 404-656-3667
Interested persons may call or submit a written request to obtain a copy of the proposed rules. A copy of the synopsis and the proposed rules may be downloaded from the Georgia Department of Agriculture website at www.agr.georgia.gov.
This notice is given in compliance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4