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Part 181: Control Of Rabies In Wildlife

(Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law,§§ 11-0325, 11-0527)

Contents:

Sec.

§181.1 Findings and purpose

The Department of Environmental Conservation hereby finds that rabies in certain wildlife species exists in the State and threatens the health and welfare of people and native animal populations. The virulent nature of rabies requires prompt and extraordinary actions. The purpose of this Part is to identify such actions with respect to taking, possession, transportation, sale or liberation of wildlife which may have been exposed to or contracted rabies. All such actions are necessary in the public interest to prevent the development, spread or further introduction of rabies.

§181.2 Definitions

(a) Department means the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(b) License or permit means the authorization issued by the department to undertake a regulated activity involving wildlife issued pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law, article 11.

(c) Wildlife means all animal life existing in a wild state in New York, except fish, shellfish, and crustacea, and shall include domestic game birds, domestic game animals, migrant species and captive exotic animals.

(d) Euthanize means to bring about rapid death.

§181.3 Department actions and prohibitions

(a) The importation, possession, transportation, sale or release of any live raccoon, skunk, red fox, gray fox or bat is prohibited except under license or permit issued by the department.

(b) The department may summarily amend, suspend or revoke any license or permit issued which allows the taking, possession, transportation, sale or release of any wildlife, when wildlife possessed pursuant to such license or permit is suspected of having been exposed to or contracted rabies.

(c) The department may immediately seize, quarantine and euthanize any wildlife which it reasonably suspects to have been exposed to or contracted rabies.

(d) The department may direct any person possessing wildlife suspected of having rabies to comply with any measures that are necessary to stop or mitigate the spread of rabies.

(e) Department staff may euthanize, using a firearm or other means, any wildlife which is at large and is suspected of having been exposed to rabies.

(f) Raccoons taken pursuant to a trapping license may not be transported alive or sold alive.

§181.4 Enforcement and liability

Any person possessing wildlife is liable for all reasonable expenses incurred by the department as a result of its actions to quarantine or euthanize said wildlife or for necessary measures taken to stop or mitigate the spread of rabies caused by said wildlife.

§181.5 County plans for control of rabies in wildlife

(a) Plan. Any county within which rabies in wildlife has been certified to exist pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law, section 11-0525 may submit a plan, for eliminating, reducing or confining the disease rabies in wildlife, for joint approval by the Departments of Health, Agriculture and Markets, and Environmental Conservation pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law, section 11-0527. The plan, if approved, will become part of an approved wildlife rabies control program.

(b) Department representation. The Department of Environmental Conservation regional wildlife manager in each Department of Environmental Conservation region is designated to carry out negotiations with counties, provide technical advice to counties for the development of county plans, supervise implementation of wildlife rabies control programs and make certification for reimbursement of funds pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law, section 11-0527.

(c) Wildlife rabies control program. The regional wildlife manager will develop and implement a wildlife rabies control program within the manager's region. The purpose of the wildlife rabies control program is to eliminate, reduce or confine the disease rabies in wildlife in designated wildlife control areas within the region through methods deemed appropriate by the regional wildlife manager.

(d) Wildlife rabies control areas. In counties where the disease rabies has been certified to exist pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law, section 11-0525 and where an approved rabies control program has been established, the regional wildlife manager will identify wildlife rabies control areas as part of the wildlife rabies control program.

(e) Selection of wildlife rabies control personnel. Personnel to be employed by a county in a wildlife rabies control program must be approved by the regional wildlife manager.

(f) Wildlife rabies control program assignments. County wildlife rabies control personnel will be assigned by a regional wildlife manager or an authorized representative to a specific wildlife rabies control area(s) for a period of time sufficient to meet the objective of the wildlife rabies control program.

(g) Supervision. Activities of county wildlife rabies control personnel will be supervised by the regional wildlife manager or an authorized representative. Personnel found not to be performing satisfactorily will be reported to the county for appropriate action.

(h) Reports. County wildlife rabies control personnel must keep records of activities and submit reports as required by Environmental Conservation Law, section 11-0527 and the regional wildlife manager or an authorized representative.

(i) State aid. Only wildlife rabies control activities conducted by a county as part of an approved wildlife rabies control program will be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law, section 11-0527.