1701. Animal husbandry expert
The commissioner is authorized to employ an animal husbandry expert. He may employ such assistants as he deems necessary, subject to the Civil Service Law. Such expenses in connection therewith shall be paid as the commissioner may approve.
There shall be left with the owner of all condemned animals a proper certificate, duly authenticated, showing the number condemned and the value at which they are appraised, which shall be transferable only with the consent and acceptance of the commissioner.
1703. Prosecution by district attorney
The several district attorneys shall prosecute all violations of chapters 201, 207, 301, 303 and 305 which shall be brought to their notice or knowledge by any person making the complaint under oath. The District Court and the Superior Court shall have concurrent jurisdiction in all prosecutions under said chapters.
The commissioner may employ veterinarians licensed in this State and other agents and employees as may be necessary to enforce chapters 201, 207, 301, 303 and 305, subject to the Civil Service Law.
The actual and necessary traveling expenses of the commissioner and his employees, any and all expense of prevention, control and eradication of disease, destroying diseased animals and those exposed to disease, and paying for the same, and all other expenses necessary to properly carry out chapters 201, 207, 301, 303 and 305 shall be paid out of such amounts as the Legislature may appropriate.
1. Violation. Except as provided in section 1707 or unless another specific penalty or forfeiture is provided, a person commits a civil violation if that person violates a provision of or a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to:
A. This chapter;
B. Chapter 207;
C. Chapter 303; or
D. Chapter 305.
2. Penalty. A person who violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $500 per day for each violation may be adjudged, except that the total of the fines may not exceed $50,000.
§ 1707. Intentional, knowing or reckless introduction of a disease or pathogen
A person who intentionally, knowingly or recklessly introduces or takes a substantial step or action that could introduce a disease or pathogen to livestock or poultry commits a Class D crime.
As used in chapters 201, 207, 301, 303 and 305, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words shall have the following meanings:
1. Commissioner. "Commissioner" shall mean the Commissioner of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources or his duly authorized agent.
2. Domestic animals. "Domestic animals" means cattle, equines, goats, sheep, swine, cats, dogs, domesticated cervids or other domesticated animals; large game as defined in section 1341, subsection 5; and poultry.
3. Authorized agent. "Authorized agent" means employees of the department, veterinarians licensed by the State to practice veterinary medicine while performing official duties for the department, employees of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, or other persons designated by the commissioner.
4. Person. "Person" shall mean the State, any municipality, political subdivision, institution, public or private corporation, individual, partnership or other entity.
5. Poultry. "Poultry" means all domesticated birds.
The commissioner shall adopt rules that are necessary for the enforcement of chapters 201, 202, 202-A, 207, 301, 303 and 305. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
1753. Duties of commissioner
The commissioner shall, so far as possible, prevent the introduction and spread of contagious, infectious and parasitic diseases, and exposure thereto, among domestic animals in the State, especially those diseases transmitted to man, either directly or indirectly, and those of greatest economic importance.
The commissioner shall cause investigation and diagnosis to be made by approved methods as to the existence of contagious, infectious and parasitic diseases among domestic animals in the State, and the commissioner may enter any premises, buildings or places, including stockyards, cars, trucks, planes and vessels within any county or part of the State in or at which the commissioner has reason to believe there exists any such disease, and make such investigation, diagnosis or diagnostic tests as to the existence of disease that the commissioner may consider necessary.
The commissioner shall formulate and apply programs for the control or eradication of any diseases or pathogens as required by the United States Department of Agriculture and any other diseases or pathogens the commissioner considers necessary or practicable to control or eradicate so far as funds are available.
The commissioner may, upon discovery or upon suspicion of the existence of any disease or pathogen among domestic animals or poultry in the State, take whatever action the commissioner considers necessary to prevent possible spread and to control or eradicate the disease or pathogen. Such action may include quarantine of domestic animals, birds, wild animals in captivity and products derived from them, including the quarantine of articles, materials and premises, equipment or areas, for a time and under conditions as the commissioner considers necessary to eradicate or control the disease or pathogen. This quarantine may not be considered licensing or an adjudicatory proceeding, as defined by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act.
Any positive diagnosis of a disease made by recognized procedures by recognized diagnostic laboratories, or by recognized qualified persons, must be considered as official diagnosis until proved otherwise.
Quarantine may be made by registered mail or in person by an authorized agent of the commissioner, or by any other person authorized to do so.
The commissioner may use placards or any other methods considered necessary to give notice or warning of the quarantine.
It is illegal to violate any quarantine by any person, and such violation is punishable by penalties as outlined in section 1706.
1756. Appraisal, destruction and indemnity
Upon discovery of any contagious or infectious disease or pathogen among domestic animals, the commissioner may cause the affected or exposed animals to be appraised and destroyed, and a proper disposition of the carcasses made in accordance with rules and adopted by the commissioner in a manner consistent with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, Title 5, chapter 375. [FN1] The commissioner shall appraise each domestic animal at its true market value at the time it is condemned, provided that no indemnity may be paid except as established in section 1757 or in state-federal cooperative eradication programs for domestic animals and in those amounts as set by those agreements. In no case may the combined amount received from salvage and state and federal indemnity exceed the amount of appraisal.
Indemnity may not be paid on any domestic animals imported into the State if the importation was in violation of the laws of the State or rules in effect at the time of importation.
1801. Reportable diseases
The commissioner shall, by rule adopted in a manner consistent with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, determine which diseases or pathogens must be classified as "reportable." The form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy known as chronic wasting disease is reportable. It is a violation of this chapter for any owner, agent of any owner, veterinarian or other person having knowledge of the existence of such disease or pathogen or the exposure of domestic animals to such disease or pathogen not to properly report the existence of such disease or pathogen or exposure of domestic animals to the department immediately after knowledge of such disease or pathogen or exposure of domestic animals to such disease or pathogen.
It is a violation of this chapter for any person to cause a domestic animal to be driven, trucked or otherwise moved intrastate or interstate when that person has knowledge that the animal is infected with or has been exposed to a reportable disease or pathogen. It is a violation of this chapter for any person to cause a domestic animal to be driven, trucked or otherwise moved intrastate or interstate when that person has knowledge that the animal has been treated with a vaccine or other substance that might make that animal capable of spreading a reportable disease or pathogen among susceptible domestic animals. A domestic animal infected with or exposed to a reportable disease or pathogen may be moved only under the direction of the commissioner.
1802. Condemnation of diseased animals
The commissioner may, when he deems it necessary, condemn and take possession of diseased or exposed domestic animals, or domestic animals suspected of being diseased or exposed, for diagnostic purposes, and may pay the owner for the same, health, condition and market value being considered. This condemnation shall not be considered licensing or an adjudicatory proceeding, as defined by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act.
1803. Transportation of diseased animals
It is a violation of this chapter for a person to cause a domestic animal to be driven, trucked or otherwise moved into the State when that person has knowledge that the animal is infected with or has been exposed to any contagious disease or to a pathogen that is classified as a reportable pathogen under section 1801.
1805. Securing animals for treatment
It is a violation of this chapter for an owner of domestic animals or that owner's agent to refuse or neglect to secure and restrain domestic animals to be tested, vaccinated, branded or tattooed to indicate vaccination or infection status, or otherwise treated as the commissioner may direct.
The commissioner may require proper disinfecting by the owner of stables and premises where condemned diseased domestic animals are found and may withhold indemnity until satisfied that proper cleaning and disinfecting of premises have been completed.
1806. Tampering with labels forbidden; brucellosis
It is a violation of this chapter to tamper with, remove or alter eartags, labels, placards or notices affixed or posted by the commissioner to notify of and assist in the control of disease.
§ 1806-A. Restrictions of sales
The commissioner may restrict the sale of milk or milk products in the State from any herd of any species having any reportable disease or exposed to a reportable pathogen that may be transmitted in milk or milk products. A livestock product or byproduct may not be sold or offered for sale from any herd having a reportable disease or exposed to a reportable pathogen that may be transmitted in those products.
§ 1807. Illegal vaccinations
1. Brucellosis vaccine. A person other than a licensed veterinarian may not vaccinate cattle with brucellosis vaccine. A licensed veterinarian may not vaccinate cattle with brucellosis vaccine unless:
A. The vaccine used has been approved by the commissioner; and
B. The vaccine is administered to the animal at the age recommended by the manufacturer of the vaccine or determined by the commissioner.
2. Prohibition on certain vaccines. The commissioner may prohibit a vaccination because the use of the vaccine being administered might cause the presumption that an actual disease or pathogen is present in the State.
3. Commissioner's discretion to vaccinate. Notwithstanding subsection 2, the commissioner may authorize any vaccination necessary to control an outbreak of a disease or to diminish the threat of an outbreak of a disease.
1809. Permits for state entry
1. Permit required. The commissioner may require a person who imports animals into the State to obtain a permit before the time of entry. When a permit is required, the permit or permit number must accompany the shipment. The commissioner may refuse to grant a permit or may issue one subject to quarantine at destination if the animals do not meet importation requirements or do not comply with the inland fisheries and wildlife laws and rules adopted by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife under Title 12, chapter 707, subchapter 7. The commissioner may require the owner to have those animals tested or examined by a veterinarian at the owner's expense. The commissioner may release those animals from quarantine only after the commissioner is satisfied that they are not a disease threat to other animals or humans.
When an animal is brought into the State without a required permit, the commissioner or the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife may condemn the animal and order it euthanized without indemnity.
2. Rules. The commissioner shall adopt rules to establish importation requirements necessary to maintain the health of domestic animals. The commissioner, in consultation with the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, shall maintain a list of animals for which a permit is required prior to entering the State. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
The commissioner is authorized to enter into agreements of cooperation in the name of the State with the United States Department of Agriculture, other states, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Canadian provinces for the prevention, control and eradication of diseases among domestic animals.
1811. Health requirements for exhibit animals
All domestic animals that are to be shown or exhibited in any agricultural show within the State must meet the health requirements of the rules of the commissioner.
1816. Tests and equipment
The commissioner or his agent is authorized to conduct approved diagnostic tests, procure necessary animals, personnel, equipment and facilities and take other necessary precautions for the suppression and eradication of any disease among domestic animals.
§ 1820-A. Equine infectious anemia
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Official test" means any test approved by the commissioner for the detection of equine infectious anemia. "Official test" includes, but is not limited to, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA test, and the agar gel immunodiffusion, AGID, or Coggins test.
B. "Quarantine" means to confine an equine to a stable or pasture in a manner that will prevent the spread of equine infectious anemia.
2. Duties of commissioner. The commissioner shall:
A. Require a negative Coggins test, taken within 36 months, on all equines raced on, exhibited at or stabled at racetracks or fairgrounds. The commissioner shall require a negative test from all equines entering this State within 6 months before the date of entry and may require any equines to be tested prior to entering the State. Any equine not tested or required by the commissioner to be tested prior to entering this State must be quarantined until tested at the owner's expense;
B. Require that any equine having a positive test be immediately quarantined and isolated from other equines pending a 2nd test done by a state veterinarian; and
C. Require that all other equines on the premises where an equine has tested positive remain on the premises pending an investigation and testing as the commissioner determines necessary.
3. Disposition of reactors. Any equine that has a positive 2nd test pursuant to subsection 2 must be considered a reactor. A reactor must be:
A. Humanely euthanized within 7 days of the 2nd test. Euthanasia must be performed by a licensed veterinarian or as the commissioner directs. A veterinarian euthanizing a reactor shall report the euthanasia to the commissioner within 2 working days;
B. Freeze branded with a brand with an "11 EIA" no less than 4 inches in height on the left side of the neck and shipped directly to a United States Department of Agriculture slaughter facility under a federal order; or
C. Freeze branded with a brand with an "11 EIA" no less than 4 inches in height on the left side of the neck and permanently quarantined and isolated from all other equines. The reactor must be kept a minimum of 1/4 mile from the nearest paddock, pasture or barn having an equine species or may be kept within 1/4 mile if the reactor is immediately placed and kept at all times in a screened-in enclosure acceptable to the commissioner.
Amended in 1999, 2001, 2003.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in December 2001.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in May 2003.
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