§ 1. Definitions
The following words as used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the following meanings:
"Agents", employees of the division of animal health in the department of food and agriculture especially designated as agents by the director.
"Contagious disease", such disease as is recognized by the United States department of agriculture, animal health division, to be contagious or infectious.
"Director", director of animal health.
"Division", the division of animal health of the department of food and agriculture.
"Domestic animals", all animals including poultry that are kept or harbored as domesticated animals. Poultry as used in this section shall include chickens, roosters, capons, hens, turkeys, pigeons, guinea fowl, and ducks and geese other than wild species.
"Guard Dog Business", the business of furnishing, whether by lease or sale, dogs trained as guard dogs to protect life or property, or of training such guard dogs.
"Hearing dog", a dog that has completed a program of professional training to aid deaf and hearing impaired individuals whenever such dog is professionally trained by a person engaged in the hearing dog business to aid the deaf and actually being used for such purpose, or a dog owned by a person engaged in the hearing dog business within the commonwealth during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
"Hearing dog business", the business of furnishing, whether by lease, sale or otherwise, dogs trained as hearing dogs, or of training such hearing dogs.
"Inspector", inspector of animals appointed under section fifteen or sixteen.
"Pet shop", every place or premise where birds, mammals or reptiles are kept for the purpose of sale at either wholesale or retail, import, export, barter, exchange or gift.
§ 2. Powers and duties of director; orders
The director may make and enforce reasonable orders, rules and regulations relative to the following: the sanitary condition of neat cattle, other ruminants and swine and of places where such animals are kept; the prevention, suppression and extirpation of contagious diseases of domestic animals; the establishing of disease-free herds of cattle and the issuing of certificates in connection therewith; the inspection, examination, quarantine, care and treatment or destruction of domestic animals affected with or which have been exposed to contagious disease, the burial or other disposal of their carcasses, and the cleansing and disinfection of places where contagion exists or has existed. No rules or regulations shall take effect until approved by the governor and council.
§ 3. Records of inspectors; forms
The director shall make and prescribe forms for records of inspectors, certificates of examination, notices and orders of quarantine, notices and orders for killing and burial, and for returns of inspectors required by this chapter.
§ 4. Certification of documents by clerk
The director may designate an employee of the division as clerk who shall keep the records of the division, shall certify copies of such records or of any order, rule or regulation issued by the director, and shall make any certificates of issuing, recording, delivering or publishing of orders required under this chapter.
§ 5. Entry of orders, rules and regulations on records; publication
All orders, rules and regulations made by the director shall be entered on the records of his division and a copy thereof shall be sent to each inspector in the town to which the orders, rules or regulations apply, and shall be published by such inspector in the manner prescribed by the order, rule or regulation.
§ 6. Aid to director and inspectors by sheriffs, constables and police officers
Sheriffs, constables and police officers shall upon request of the director or an inspector assist him in the performance of his duties and shall have the same powers and protection, while so engaged, as peace officers.
§ 7. Entry on premises
For the purpose of inspecting or examining animals or the places where they are kept, the director, any of his agents or an inspector, duly qualified, may enter any building or part thereof or any enclosure or other place, and may examine or inspect such animals or places. Whoever prevents, obstructs or interferes with such director, agent, inspector or other person having like authority in the performance of any of his duties, or whoever hinders, obstructs or interferes with his making such inspection or examination, or whoever secretes or removes any animal, for the purpose of preventing it from being inspected or examined, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two months, or both.
§ 8. Hospitals and quarantine stations
The director may establish hospitals or quarantine stations, with proper accommodations, wherein, under prescribed regulations, animals selected by him may be confined and treated for the purpose of determining the characteristics of a specific contagion and the methods by which it may be disseminated or destroyed, and he may direct inspectors to enforce and carry into effect all regulations made from time to time for that purpose.
§ 9. Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Animal Rescue League of Boston; agents; powers and duties
The agents of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the agents of the Animal Rescue League of Boston may visit all places at which neat cattle, horses, mules, sheep, swine or other animals are delivered for transportation or are slaughtered, any pet shop where animals, birds, fish or reptiles are sold, or exhibited, or for sale, any guard dog business, any hearing dog business and any stable where horses are kept for hire or boarded for a fee, or any licensed kennel where animals are boarded for a fee or any animal dealer licensed with the United States Department of Agriculture, for the purpose of preventing violations of any law and of detecting and punishing the same and such agents shall have the power to prosecute any such violation coming to their notice. Records of inspection made under authority of this section shall be filed with the office of the division of animal health, within the department of agriculture no later than three months after such inspection. Any person who prevents, obstructs or interferes with any such agent in the performance of such duties shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two months, or both.
§ 10. Examination of persons under oath; mandatory attendance and testimony of witnesses
The director may examine on oath all persons who are believed to possess knowledge of material facts relative to the existence or dissemination, or danger of dissemination, of contagious diseases among domestic animals, or relative to any other matter within the provisions of this chapter, and, for the purposes of this chapter, shall have all the powers vested in justices of the peace by chapters two hundred and twenty-two and two hundred and thirty- three to take depositions, to compel witnesses to attend and testify before him and to administer oaths. Witnesses shall receive the same fees for attendance and travel as witnesses before the courts. The expense of procuring the attendance of such witnesses shall be paid by the commonwealth. Copies of the records of the division, or of any order, rule or regulation issued by the director, if duly certified by the clerk, and any certificate by the clerk of the issuing, recording, delivering or publishing of such orders, rules or regulations under this chapter, shall be competent evidence of such fact in any tribunal.
§ 11. Isolation or destruction of diseased animals; post mortem examination
If the director, or one of his agents, by examination of a case of contagious disease of domestic animals, except foot and mouth disease, is of opinion that the public good so requires, he shall cause the diseased animal to be securely isolated or to be killed without appraisal or payment. An order for killing shall be issued in writing by the director, may be directed to an inspector or other person, and shall contain such direction as to the examination and disposal of the carcass and the cleansing and disinfection of the premises where such animal was condemned as the director considers expedient. A reasonable amount may be paid from the treasury of the commonwealth for the expense of such killing and burial. If thereafter it appears, upon post mortem examination or otherwise, that such animal was free from the disease for which it was condemned, an appraisal of such animal shall be made and the amount of appraisal value therefor shall be paid to the owner by the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in section fourteen relative to foot and mouth disease.
§ 15. Inspector of animals; appointment
The city manager in cities having a plan D or plan E charter, the mayor in all other cities, except Boston, the town manager in towns having a town manager form of government and the selectmen in all other towns shall annually, in March, nominate one or more inspectors of animals, and before April first shall send to the director the name, address and occupation of each nominee. Such nominee shall not be appointed until approved by the director.
In a town which has a board of health and accepts this paragraph, the nomination of such inspectors shall be made by the board of health and not by the selectmen or town manager.
§ 16. Refusal or neglect of town to appoint inspector; appointment by director
A town shall, for each refusal or neglect of its officers to comply with the requirements of the preceding section, forfeit not more than five hundred dollars. The director may appoint one or more inspectors for such town, and may remove an inspector who refuses or neglects to be sworn or who, in the opinion of the director, does not properly perform the duties of his office and may appoint another inspector for the residue of his term.
§ 17. Oath of inspectors; compensation; reimbursement of towns
Each inspector shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his official duties, and shall receive from the town for which he is appointed reasonable compensation, if appointed by the town, or such compensation as shall be fixed by the director, but not in excess of five hundred dollars a year, if appointed by the director. Towns having a valuation of less than two and one half million dollars shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth, upon certificate of the selectmen, approved by the director, for one half of such compensation, not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars for each inspector in any one year.
§ 18. Duties of inspectors
Each inspector shall comply with and enforce all orders and regulations directed to him by the director. If he refuses or neglects so to do, he shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
§ 21. Quarantine of diseased animals; notice or order; records
An inspector who, upon an examination of a domestic animal, suspects, or has reason to believe, that it is affected with a contagious disease shall immediately cause it to be quarantined or isolated for at least ten days upon the premises of the owner or of the person in whose charge it is found, or in such other place as he may designate, and shall take such other sanitary measures to prevent the spread of such disease as may be necessary or as shall be prescribed by any order or regulation of the director. He shall also deliver to the owner or person in charge of such animal, or to any person having an interest therein, a written notice or order of quarantine signed by him, in such form as the director shall prescribe, and shall enter a copy of said notice upon his records.
§ 22. Service of notice or order of quarantine; return; evidence
Such notice or order may be served by an inspector or officer qualified to serve civil process, by delivery in hand to, or leaving at the last and usual place of abode of, the owner or person having an interest in or in charge of the animal concerned, or by posting upon the premises where said animal is quarantined or isolated. A copy thereof, with the return of said officer or inspector thereon that such service has been made, shall be competent evidence in any court that such quarantine has been imposed. If an animal has been so quarantined, it shall remain in quarantine until the further order of the director.
§ 24. Notice of quarantine
An inspector who has caused a domestic animal to be quarantined, as provided in section twenty-one, shall immediately give a written notice thereof, with a copy of the order of quarantine, to the director, and shall give such information to no other person.
§ 25. Records of inspectors of animals; returns
Each inspector shall keep a record of all inspections made by him and of his doings therein, and shall make regular returns thereof to the division, but such returns need not be retained for more than two years, and may then be destroyed or disposed of by their lawful custodian, and any proceeds received in the course of their disposal shall be paid to the commonwealth. The director shall prescribe the form in which and the time at which such records and returns shall be made, and may at any time inspect them and make copies thereof.
§ 26. Application of chapter to inspectors in Boston
The provisions of this chapter relative to the duties of inspectors shall apply to persons officially performing the functions of inspectors in Boston.
§ 27. Seizure, quarantine and destruction of imported diseased animals
Animals brought into this commonwealth from places which in the opinion of the director are infected, may be seized and quarantined by the director at the expense of their owners or consignees, so long as the public safety requires; and, if in his opinion safety so requires, he may cause such animals to be killed without appraisal or payment.
§ 28. Notice of contagious disease to director
The board of health of a town, any member or agent thereof or any other person who has knowledge of or reason to suspect the existence of any contagious disease among any domestic animals in the commonwealth, or that any domestic animal is affected with a contagious disease, whether such knowledge is obtained by personal examination or otherwise, shall immediately give written notice thereof to the director, or to an inspector for the town where the animal is kept. Whoever fails to give such notice shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars. Upon the receipt of such notice by said inspector, he shall proceed as provided in sections twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-four and twenty-nine. Upon receipt of such notice by the director he shall inspect or cause his agent to inspect such animal, and thereafter shall proceed as provided in section eleven or fourteen, as the case may be.
§ 29. Expense of quarantine
If animals have been quarantined, collected or isolated upon the premises of the owner or of the person in possession of them at the time such quarantine is imposed, the expense thereof shall be paid by such owner or person; but if specific animals have been quarantined or isolated under section eight or twenty-one for more than ten days upon such premises, as suspected of being affected with a contagious disease, and the owner is forbidden to sell any of the product thereof for food, or if animals have been quarantined, collected or isolated on any premises other than those of such owner or person in possession thereof, the expense of such quarantine shall be paid by the commonwealth, except that, in the case of any animal quarantined for biting or scratching a person, the expense of such quarantine shall be paid by the county in which the injury was inflicted.
§ 30. Effect of quarantine; release; violation of quarantine; penalty
An animal which has been quarantined or isolated by order of the director or of his agent, or of an inspector, shall, during the continuance of such quarantine or isolation, be deemed to be affected with a contagious disease. Whenever an animal has been released from quarantine by order of the director the same animal shall not again be quarantined or isolated by an inspector during the period of thirty days immediately following such release except upon order of the director. Whoever knowingly breaks or authorizes or causes to be broken a quarantine so imposed, or whoever, contrary to such order of quarantine or isolation, knowingly removes an animal or authorizes or causes it to be removed from a building, place or enclosure where it is quarantined or isolated, or whoever, contrary to an order or notice of quarantine, knowingly places or causes or authorizes to be placed any other animals within a building, place or enclosure where an animal is quarantined, or in contact therewith, or whoever knowingly conceals, sells, removes or transports, or knowingly causes or authorizes to be concealed, sold, removed or transported, an animal, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it is affected with a contagious disease, or whoever knowingly authorizes or permits such animal to go at large upon any public way within the commonwealth, or whoever knowingly brings or authorizes or permits to be brought from another country, state, district or territory into this commonwealth, an animal which is affected with or has been exposed to a contagious disease, or whoever disobeys a lawful order or regulation of the director or of any of his agents or of inspectors in the performance of their duty under this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
§ 31. Damages; arbitration; petition for assessment of damages
If an owner is entitled to compensation for the killing of an animal or the destruction of other property under this chapter, and cannot agree with the director as to its value, the director and the owner may each select an arbitrator, and if the owner neglects or refuses to select an arbitrator within twenty-four hours after notice that the director has selected one, the arbitrator selected by the director may select another. In each case if the two arbitrators cannot agree as to the value, they may select a third. The arbitrators shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties and shall determine the value within the limits provided by sections eleven to fourteen, inclusive, and the amount so fixed shall be paid to the owner.
If the owner's right to compensation is in dispute, if either party prefers to submit the amount of damages to judicial determination, or if the award of the arbitrators is unsatisfactory to either party, the owner or the director may, within thirty days after the killing of such animal or the destruction of such property, or, if arbitrators have been appointed, within thirty days after the date of their award, file a petition for the assessment of damages in the superior court for Suffolk county or for the county where the killing or destruction occurred. A copy of the petition shall be served upon the adverse party. If upon such petition it appears that the owner is entitled by law to compensation, the damages shall be assessed under chapter seventy-nine within the limits provided by sections eleven to fourteen, inclusive, of this chapter. The damages, costs and expenses incurred by the director in prosecuting or defending the petition shall be paid by the commonwealth.
§ 36. Notice of contagious diseases
Whoever kills an animal or causes it to be killed, with the consent of the owner or person in possession thereof, upon suspicion that it is affected with or has been exposed to a contagious disease, and who, upon the inspection of the carcass thereof, finds or is of opinion that it is affected with a contagious disease, shall forthwith notify such owner or person in possession thereof, and the director or an inspector for the town where such animal was kept, of the existence of such disease, and of the place where the animal was found, the name of the owner or person in possession thereof and of the disposal made of such carcass. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two months, or both.
§ 36D. Importation of vaccinated animals; conditions
Vaccinated animals which are over eighteen months of age may be imported into the commonwealth if within thirty days prior to entry they have reacted negatively to an approved blood test conducted in a laboratory approved by the state of origin. Vaccinated animals eighteen months of age and under may be imported into the commonwealth without such blood test if accompanied by a certificate stating the animals have been vaccinated between the ages of four to eight months, inclusive, by a veterinarian duly licensed by the state of origin of said animals.
§ 44. Testing of imported equine animals for infectious anemia; certification
No person shall import into the commonwealth any equine animal without a certificate relative to such animal from a laboratory approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, dated within one year from the time of such importation certifying a negative test for infectious equine anemia by a method approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for detecting said disease. Whoever violates any provisions of this section, or of any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, shall be punished for a first offense by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars and for any subsequent offense by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both.
§ 44A. Destruction or quarantine of infected equine animals
Any equine animal positive to a test approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for the detection of equine infectious anemia may be humanely destroyed; provided, that such destruction is observed by an agent of the division or of the United States department of agriculture, or may be so destroyed by a licensed veterinarian who shall report such destruction to the division, or may be sold or given under a permit from the division to an approved slaughter house or research facility, or, at the owner's option, may be retained under quarantine and held in isolation on the owner's premises; provided, however, that it may be pastured, ridden or driven on the owner's premises within a radius of two hundred yards of where it is stabled, provided, that no other horses are stabled or normally ridden or pastured within that area. Upon the discovery of one or more test positive animals within a quarter of a mile of where such animal is normally stabled, all such reactor animals shall be quarantined to screened stalls.
§ 45. License to deal in or auction equine animals
Every person engaging in the business of dealing in equine animals or auction of said animals and tack shall obtain a license therefor from the director, the fee for which shall be fifty dollars, and such license shall expire on October thirty-first following the date of issuance, unless sooner revoked, provided that the fee for any person licensed under the provisions of section two B of chapter one hundred and twenty-eight shall be five dollars. The director shall, subject to the approval of the commissioner of food and agriculture make rules and regulations governing the issuance and revocation of such licenses and the conduct of the businesses so licensed and relative to the maintenance of premises, buildings and conveyances, the health of equine animals and the method and time of checking and inspection of said animals. The purpose is to prohibit the transportation and slaughter of horses by inhumane means.
§ 46. License plates for vehicles transporting equine animals
Each vehicle used for the transportation of equine animals by any person engaged in the business of dealing with such animals, when operated on any way, shall bear a metal license plate, attached to the side of the vehicle to the left of the person operating or driving the same, such plate to be furnished by the director on the payment of a fee of five dollars. Said plate shall be valid for the term for which the license is granted, but shall be returned to the director on revocation of said license. The use of multiple deck vehicles or the so-called "possum belly" vehicle used in the transportation of equine animals is prohibited.
§ 47. Bill of sale or memorandum
A person who transports equine animals for immediate slaughter upon any public way in connection with the purchase or sale thereof, shall have in his possession a bill of sale or memorandum signed by the owner or vendor of such animals, containing the address of such owner or vendor, the date of purchase or sale, the number of animals and means of identification of each animal. Any such person transporting such equine animals shall on demand exhibit such bill of sale or memorandum to any officer qualified to serve a criminal process. No such person shall accept any such equine animal which has been transported over any such way unless accompanied by such bill of sale or memorandum. Such person accepting such animals shall endorse the bill of sale or memorandum in such manner as will signify his acceptance of such animals. Horses intended for immediate slaughter shall not be required to have a certificate as provided in section forty-four.
§ 48. Violations, penalties
Whoever violates any provisions of section forty-five to forty-seven, inclusive, or any rule or regulation made under section forty-five shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars and for any subsequent offense by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years, or both.
Reviewed by AAHS in December 2001.
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