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PROPOSED RULEMAKINGS

GAME COMMISSION

[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 137 ]

Wildlife; Chronic Wasting Disease

[41 Pa.B. 4637]
[Saturday, August 27, 2011]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its June 28, 2011, meeting to amend § 137.34 (relating to Chronic Wasting Disease and emergency authority of Director) to update its terminology and procedures to be consistent with the Commonwealth's Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.

 The proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

 The authority for the proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

 The proposed rulemaking was made public at the June 28, 2011, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent, until September 27, 2011, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

1. Purpose and Authority

 The recent discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in a free-ranging deer in Allegany County, Maryland, just over 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border, prompted a review and updating of the Commonwealth's Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan. This update necessitates amending § 137.34 to bring the terminology and procedures in the regulation in line with the response plan.

 Section 322(c)(9) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''Prohibit the possession, importation, exportation or release of any species of birds or animals which may be considered dangerous or injurious to the general public or to the wildlife of this Commonwealth.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) provides that ''The commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game or wildlife habitat, permitting or prohibiting hunting or furtaking, the ways, manner, methods and means of hunting or furtaking and the health and safety of persons who hunt or take wildlife or may be in the vicinity of persons who hunt or take game or wildlife in this Commonwealth.'' The amendments to § 137.34 are proposed under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking will amend § 137.34 by adding language to update its terminology and procedures to be consistent with the Commonwealth's Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons wishing to import, hunt, feed, possess or rehabilitate deer within this Commonwealth will be affected by the proposed rulemaking.

4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

5. Effective Date

 The proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

6. Contact Person

 For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Richard R. Palmer, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

CARL G. ROE, 
Executive Director

Fiscal Note: 48-330. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A

TITLE 58. RECREATION

PART III. GAME COMMISSION

CHAPTER 137. WILDLIFE

§ 137.34. Chronic Wasting Disease and emergency authority of Director.

 (a) [The Director has emergency authority to remove protection on cervids, prohibit any new permits to possess live cervids in containment areas, and order the disposal of certain cervids or their parts in containment areas, if the Director determines the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) poses a threat to human safety, farm animals, pets or other cervids within or adjacent to this Commonwealth in accordance with the CWD response plan.

(1) If the Director removes the protection on cervids in containment areas, except for animals or their parts submitted for laboratory analysis, it is unlawful to:

(i) Remove any cervid carcasses or certain parts from the containment areas.

(ii) Possess or transport any live cervids contrary to 3 Pa.C.S. Chapter 23, Subchapter C (relating to detection, containment or eradication of certain diseases) within the containment areas.

(2) Nothing in this subsection prevents removal of dried or cured skins of cervids from the areas where the protection has been removed, only if removal poses no threat to other areas of this Commonwealth.

(b) The Director has emergency authority to control the spread of CWD by banning the importation of certain cervid parts from other states or nations.

(c) The Director has emergency authority to ban the feeding of cervids within the containment area to prevent the congregation or habituation to an area by cervids that could spread CWD.]

The Director has emergency authority to take actions to mitigate risk factors and to determine the prevalence and geographic distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), if the Director concludes that the spread of CWD poses a threat to human safety, farm animals, pets or other cervids within or adjacent to this Commonwealth.

(1) The Director has emergency authority to:

(i) Prohibit the importation of high risk cervid parts from areas that are known to harbor CWD.

(ii) Define and designate Disease Management Areas (DMAs) in this Commonwealth.

(2) The Director has emergency authority within designated DMAs to:

(i) Allow the taking of cervids without regard to established seasons and bag limits and methods of take.

(ii) Require mandatory checking of hunter-killed cervids.

(iii) Prohibit the removal of high risk cervid parts.

(iv) Prohibit the rehabilitation of cervids.

(v) Prohibit the use, collection, possession and exportation of cervid urine-based attractants.

(vi) Prohibit the feeding of cervids.

(vii) Prohibit new permits to possess or transport live cervids.

(b) It is unlawful for a person to violate a provision of an Executive Order issued by the Director under the authority of this section.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-1460. Filed for public inspection August 26, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]



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