4-4-1 Appointment of commissioners to inspect diseased animals -- Quarantine --
The director of environmental management may appoint one or more commissioners in each county of the state, whose duty it shall be to visit and inquire into the condition of any domestic animal in their respective counties whenever there is reason to suspect that any domestic animal, or the carcass of any domestic animal, is affected with tuberculosis, or other contagious, infectious or communicable disease; and the commissioners in their respective counties are authorized to quarantine any diseased domestic animal, or the carcass of any diseased domestic animal, until inspected by the veterinarian employed by the director. The director may also employ from time to time such number of veterinary surgeons as he may find necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
4-4-2 Compensation of commissioners and veterinarians -- Duties -- Removal.
Subject to the provisions of chapter 4 of title 36, the director of environmental management is hereby authorized to fix the compensation of the cattle commissioners and veterinary surgeons, to prescribe their duties, and to remove them when deemed expedient so to do.
4-4-3 Reporting of diseased animals -- Destruction.
Any person, who, being the owner of an animal suspected of having an animal disease determined by the director of environmental management to be contagious or injurious to public health or to the health of other animals, or any veterinarian who shall treat that animal, or any other person or institution having knowledge of a diseased animal, shall make a report of that information to the state department of environmental management in such manner and form as the department shall by regulation prescribe. The director of environmental management shall promulgate by rule a list of those animals determined to be so contagious or injurious. The director of environmental management, if he determines an animal to have such contagious or communicable disease, shall cause that animal to be killed and the carcass to be disposed of in such manner as shall not be detrimental to the public health.
4-4-5 Right of entry where disease suspected.
The director of the department of environmental management or his duly authorized representatives, having reason to suspect the existence of any of the diseases mentioned in this chapter upon any grounds or premises, are hereby authorized and empowered to enter upon those grounds or premises for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
4-4-7 Compensation for condemned equine animals.
For every horse, ass or mule condemned and killed as affected with glanders or farcy there shall be paid a sum not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00); provided, however, that no payment shall be made under the authority of this section for any horse, ass or mule that has not been owned in the state of Rhode Island for the period of six (6) months next preceding the condemnation.
4-4-8 Exposure of diseased animals to contact with healthy animals.
No person having the care or custody of any animal having any one of the diseases mentioned in this chapter or chapter 5 of this title, shall, knowing the animal to have any of the diseases mentioned in this chapter or chapter 5 of this title, sell or exchange, or permit the removal, use or driving of that animal upon any public highway, or the exposure of that animal to contact with any other healthy animal of the same kind, except by permission of the director of environmental management. Any person so doing shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on being convicted shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).
4-4-9 Sale, use, or exposure of diseased animals -- Refusal to destroy.
A person who wilfully sells or offers to sell, uses, exposes, or causes or permits to be sold, offered for sale, used or exposed, any horse or other animal having the disease known as glanders or farcy, or other contagious or infectious disease dangerous to the life or health of human beings or animals, or which is diseased past recovery, or who refuses upon demand of the general agent or any special agent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals humanely to destroy an animal affected with any of those diseases shall, for every such offense, be punished in the manner provided in § 4-1-2.
4-4-10 Sale of diseased or disabled animals.
It shall be unlawful for any person holding an auctioneer's license knowingly to receive or offer for sale or to sell at public auction, other than at a sheriff 's or judicial sale under a court order, or for any person to sell or offer for sale at private sale, any animal which is suffering from any disability, lameness or disease, and any person violating any provision of this section shall, for every such offense, be punished in the manner provided in § 4-1-2.
4-4-11 Interference with enforcement -- Violation of quarantine.
Any person or persons who shall wilfully or intentionally interfere with any officers, duly authorized to carry out the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three (3) months, or a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100), or both, at the discretion of the court.
4-4-12 Co-operation with federal government in suppression of diseases.
The governor is hereby authorized to accept on behalf of the state the rules and regulations prepared by the secretary of agriculture under and in pursuance of § 3 of an act of congress approved May 29, 1884, entitled "An act for the establishment of a bureau of animal industry, to prevent the exportation of diseased cattle, and to provide means for the suppression and extirpation of pleuropneumonia and other contagious diseases among domestic animals", (21 U.S.C. §§ 113-130) and to co-operate with the authorities of the United States in the provisions of that act.
4-4-13 Powers of federal and state inspectors -- Assistance by peace officers.
The inspectors of the state department of environmental management and the department of agriculture of the United States, in cooperation with the state department of environmental management, or with any agent of the state, shall have the right of inspection, quarantine, and condemnation of animals affected with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease, or suspected to be so affected, or that have been exposed to any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease, and for these purposes are hereby authorized and empowered to enter upon any grounds or premises. The director of agriculture or inspectors of the United States department of agriculture, in cooperation with the state department of environmental management, or with any agent of the state department of environmental management shall have the power to call on sheriffs, constables, and peace officers to assist them in the discharge of their duties in carrying out the provisions of the act of congress approved May 29, 1884 (21 U.S.C. §§ 113-130), establishing the bureau of animal industry, or the provisions of the department of environmental management, and it is hereby made the duty of sheriffs, constables, and peace officers to assist those inspectors or agents when so requested, and those inspectors or agents shall have the same power and protection as peace officers while engaged in the discharge of their duties.
4-4-14 State immunity.
The state shall not be liable for any damages or expenses incurred under §§ 4-4-12 and 4-4-13.
4-4-17 Importation or exposure of diseased animals.
Every person bringing into the state any neat cattle or other animals which he knows to be infected with any infectious or contagious disease, or who shall expose the cattle or other animals, known to him to be so infected, to other cattle and animals not infected with an infectious or contagious disease, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).
4-4-18 Town ordinances.
The town councils of the several towns may pass such ordinances as they may think proper, to prevent the spread of infectious or contagious diseases among cattle and other animals within their respective towns, and may prescribe penalties for the violation thereof, not exceeding twenty dollars ($20.00) for any one (1) offense.
4-4-19 Orders prohibiting importation of animals.
The director of environmental management may prohibit the introduction of any cattle or other domestic animals into the state. Every person who shall bring, transport or introduce any cattle or other domestic animals into the state, after the director shall have issued an order forbidding the introduction of that cattle or other domestic animal into the state, or after the director shall have published for five (5) successive days in such newspapers published in this state as the director may direct, an order forbidding that introduction, shall be fined not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) for every such offense; and every officer or agent of any company or other person, who shall violate that order, shall be subject to the fine aforesaid. In case of the introduction into the state of cattle or other domestic animals, contrary to the order of the director, the introduction of each animal shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
4-4-20 Publication of information on diseases.
The director of environmental management shall endeavor to obtain full information in relation to any contagious disease which may prevail among cattle or other domestic animals near the borders of the state, and shall publish and circulate that information in his discretion; and should any contagious disease break out, or should there be reasonable suspicion of its existence among cattle or other domestic animals in any town in the state, he shall examine the cases, and publish the result of his examination, for the benefit of the public.
4-4-21 Inspectors on roads and railroads.
The director may appoint suitable and discreet persons, on or near the several highways, turnpike roads, railroads and thoroughfares in the state, who shall inquire into all violations of this chapter and report those violations to the director.
4-4-22 Sale of infected animals or milk.
Every person who shall sell or offer to sell any cattle or other domestic animals, or any part thereof, known to him to be infected with any contagious disease, or with any disease dangerous to the public health, or who shall sell or offer to sell any milk from any infected cattle or other domestic animals, shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned not exceeding two (2) years, either or both, in the discretion of the court.
4-4-23 Regulations for suppression of disease.
The director of environmental management may make all necessary regulations for the prevention, treatment, cure and extirpation of such disease; and every person who shall fail to comply with any regulation so made shall be fined not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) or be imprisoned not exceeding one (1) year.
4-4-24 State rules paramount to local.
Whenever the director of environmental management shall make and publish any regulations concerning the extirpation, cure or treatment of cattle or other domestic animals infected with, or which have been exposed to any contagious disease, those regulations shall supersede the regulations made by the authorities of the several towns and cities upon that subject; and the operation of those regulations made by those authorities shall be suspended during the time those made by the director shall be in force.
4-4-26 Limitation of prosecutions.
All prosecutions for offenses against the provisions of §§ 4-4-17 -- 4-4-25, inclusive, shall be commenced within thirty (30) days after the offense shall have been committed, and not afterwards.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) "CEM" means contagious equine metritis.
(b) "Director" means the director of the department of environmental management.
(c) "Department" means the department of environmental management.
(d) "Equine" means horses, including ponies, mules and donkeys.
(e) "State veterinarian" means a veterinarian employed or designated by the department.
4-4.1-2 Quarantine procedure.
Any person who wishes to establish a quarantine facility in this state for any equine imported from a CEM affected country shall have the proposed facility inspected and approved by the department. A representative of the department shall, upon request, make an initial visit to the proposed facility and make recommendations for any changes required. The owner or manager shall then submit a drawing of the farm as well as a detailed to scale drawing of all buildings, paddocks, pastures, and tracks intended for quarantine use. Upon receipt of these drawings the state veterinarian shall make an inspection and, if notified the facility is adequate, approve its use as a quarantine facility.
The director may adopt regulations to carry out the intent of this chapter, which may include, without limitation, provisions relating to quarantine facilities, staff and procedures, laboratory and testing procedures, and the handling of equines, equipment and waste material handling.
The director may, by regulation, provide for the payment of fees to reimburse the state for the hourly expense of the state veterinarian or agent and his or her travel and administrative expense, incurred in carrying out the responsibilities provided for by the chapter and any applicable federal law or regulation
4-4.1-5 Violations -- Penalties.
Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted hereunder shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each violation.
Amended in 1999.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in January 2002.
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