University of Vermont AAHS

Texas Quarantine and Health Certificate Requirements

TEXAS STATUTES
AGRICULTURE CODE
TITLE 6. PRODUCTION, PROCESSING, AND SALE OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS
SUBTITLE C. CONTROL OF ANIMAL DISEASES AND PESTS
CHAPTER 161. GENERAL DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

161.001. Definitions
(a) In this chapter:

(1) "Animal" includes livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, and exotic fowl.

(2) "Commission" means the Texas Animal Health Commission.

(3) "Livestock" includes cattle, horses, mules, asses, sheep, goats, and hogs.

(4) "Exotic livestock" means grass-eating or plant-eating, single-hooved or cloven-hooved mammals that are not indigenous to this state and are known as ungulates, including animals from the swine, horse, tapir, rhinoceros, elephant, deer, and antelope families.

(5) "Exotic fowl" means any avian species that is not indigenous to this state. The term includes ratites.

(b) References in Subchapter A, C, D, E, or H of this chapter to "livestock," "domestic animals," "domestic fowl," or other specifically named animals shall be construed to include all or part of the carcasses of those animals.


161.002. Caretaker of Animal

(a) A person is subject to this chapter as the caretaker of an animal and is presumed to control the animal if the person:

(1) is the owner or lessee of the pen, pasture, or other place in which the animal is located and has control of that place; or

(2) exercises care or control over the animal.

(b) This section does not limit the care and control of an animal to any person.


161.003. Duty of County Commissioners Court

(a) The commissioners court of each county shall cooperate with and assist the commission in protecting livestock, domestic animals, and domestic fowl from communicable diseases, regardless of whether a particular disease exists in the county.

(b) Each commissioners court may employ a veterinarian at the expense of the county. Any veterinarian employed is subject to approval by the commission.


161.004. Disposal of Diseased Livestock Carcass

A person who is the owner or caretaker of livestock that die from a disease listed in Section 161.041 of this code, or who owns or controls the land on which the livestock die or on which the carcasses are found, shall, within 24 hours after the carcasses are found:

(1) bury the carcass of each animal by digging a grave five feet deep, placing the carcass in the grave, covering the carcass with lime, and filling the grave with dirt; or

(2) set fire to the carcass of each animal and burn it until it is thoroughly consumed.


161.005. Commission Written Instruments

(a) The commission may authorize the executive director or another employee to sign written instruments on behalf of the commission. A written instrument, including a quarantine or written notice, signed under that authority has the same force and effect as if signed by the entire commission.

(b) Any written instrument issued by the commission is admissible as evidence in court if certified by the presiding officer or the executive director.


161.006. Documents to Accompany Shipment

(a) If this chapter requires that a certificate or permit accompany animals or commodities moved in this state, the document must be:

(1) in the possession of the conductor of a train and attached to the waybill of the shipment, if the movement is by rail; or

(2) in the possession of the person in charge of the animals or commodities, if the movement is made by any other means.

(b) This section does not apply to a certificate provided for by Section 161.088 of this code.


161.007. Exposure or Infection Considered Continuing

If a veterinarian employed by the commission determines that a communicable disease exists among livestock, domestic animals, or domestic fowl or on certain premises or that livestock, domestic animals, or domestic fowl have been exposed to the agency of transmission of a communicable disease, the exposure or infection is considered to continue until the commission determines that the exposure or infection has been eradicated through methods prescribed by rule of the commission.


161.008. State Funds Reform Act Applicable

All money paid to the commission under this chapter is subject to Subchapter F, Chapter 404, Government Code.

SUBCHAPTER B. TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION

 

161.021. Composition
(a) The commission is composed of twelve commissioners appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, with the appropriate number from each of the following categories:

(1) a practitioner of veterinary medicine;

(2) a dairyman;

(3) a cattle raiser;

(4) a hog raiser;

(5) a sheep or goat raiser;

(6) a poultry raiser;

(7) an individual involved in the equine industry;

(8) an individual involved in the feedlot industry;

(9) an individual involved in the livestock marketing industry;

(10) two members of the general public; and

(11) an individual involved in the exotic livestock or exotic fowl industry.

(b) In making appointments to the commission, the governor, to the extent practicable, shall give proportionate representation to the northern, eastern, southern, and western portions of the state.

(c) Appointments to the commission shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees.

(d) A person is not eligible for appointment as a public member of the commission if the person or the person's spouse:

(1) is registered or licensed by the commission;

(2) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization regulated by the commission or receiving funds from the commission;

(3) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization regulated by the commission or receiving funds from the commission; or

(4) uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or funds from the commission, other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for commission membership, attendance, or expenses.


161.022. Term

Commissioners serve for staggered terms of six years, with the terms of four members expiring every other year.


161.023. Mandatory Training Program for Commissioners

(a) Before a member of the commission may assume the member's duties and before the member may be confirmed by the senate, the member must complete at least one course of the training program established under this section.

(b) A training program established under this section shall provide information to the member regarding:

(1) the enabling legislation that created the commission;

(2) the programs operated by the commission;

(3) the role and functions of the commission;

(4) the rules of the commission with an emphasis on the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;

(5) the current budget for the commission;

(6) the results of the most recent formal audit of the commission;

(7) the requirements of the:

(A) open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code;

(B) open records law, Chapter 552, Government Code; and

(C) administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code;

(8) the requirements of the conflict of interest laws and other laws relating to public officials; and

(9) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the commission or the Texas Ethics Commission.


161.024. Presiding Officer

The governor shall designate a member of the commission as the presiding officer of the commission to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the governor.


161.025. Vacancies

The governor shall fill vacancies by appointment for the unexpired term.


161.026. Expenses and Per Diem

Each commissioner is entitled to reasonable travel expenses incurred in performing official duties and to the per diem set in the General Appropriations Act for members of state boards and commissions.


161.027. Sunset Provision

The Texas Animal Health Commission is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the commission is abolished September 1, 2007.


161.028. Restrictions on Commission Appointment, Membership, and Employment

(a) An employee or paid consultant of the Texas Poultry Federation or a statewide Texas trade association in the field of livestock production may not be a member of the commission or an employee of the commission who is exempt from the state's position classification plan or is compensated at or above the amount prescribed by the General Appropriations Act for step 1, salary group 17, of the position classification salary schedule.

(b) A person who is the spouse of a manager or paid consultant of the Texas Poultry Federation or a statewide Texas trade association in the field of livestock production may not be a commission member and may not be a commission employee who is exempt from the state's position classification plan or is compensated at or above the amount prescribed by the General Appropriations Act for step 1, salary group 17, of the position classification salary schedule.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a Texas trade association is a nonprofit, cooperative, and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest. A Texas trade association does not include an association formed to benefit or promote a particular breed of livestock or exotic livestock.

(d) A person may not serve as a member of the commission or act as the general counsel to the commission if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the commission.


161.029. Removal of Commission Members

(a) It is a ground for removal from the commission if a member:

(1) does not have at the time of appointment the qualifications required by Section 161.021 of this code;

(2) does not maintain during service on the commission the qualifications required by Section 161.021 of this code;

(3) violates a prohibition established by Section 161.028 of this code;

(4) cannot discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the term for which the member is appointed because of illness or disability; or

(5) is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled commission meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year unless that absence is excused by a majority vote of the commission.

(b) The validity of an action of the commission is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a commission member exists.

(c) If the executive director has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the commission of the ground. The presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest officer of the commission, who shall notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.


161.030. Separation of Authority

The commission shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policy-making responsibilities of the commission and the management responsibilities of the executive director and the staff of the commission.

 

161.0305. Executive Director; Qualifications
The executive director must hold a degree in veterinary medicine.


161.031. Personnel

(a) The executive director or the executive director's designee shall develop an intraagency career ladder program that addresses opportunities for mobility and advancement for employees within the commission. The program shall require intraagency posting of all positions concurrently with any public posting.

(b) The executive director or the executive director's designee shall develop a system of annual performance evaluations that are based on documented employee performance. All merit pay for commission employees must be based on the system established under this subsection.

(c) The commission shall provide to its members and employees, as often as necessary, information regarding their qualifications for office or employment under this chapter and their responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers or employees.

(d) The executive director or the executive director's designee shall prepare and maintain a written policy statement to assure implementation of a program of equal employment opportunity under which all personnel transactions are made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin. The policy statement must include:

(1) personnel policies, including policies relating to recruitment, evaluation, selection, appointment, training, and promotion of personnel that are in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 21, Labor Code;

(2) a comprehensive analysis of the commission work force that meets federal and state guidelines;

(3) procedures by which a determination can be made about the extent of underuse in the commission work force of all persons for whom federal or state guidelines encourage a more equitable balance; and

(4) reasonable methods to appropriately address those areas of underuse.

(e) A policy statement prepared under Subsection (d) of this section must cover an annual period, be updated annually and reviewed by the Texas Commission on Human Rights for compliance with Subsection (d)(1) of this section, and be filed with the governor's office.

(f) The governor's office shall deliver a biennial report to the legislature based on the information received under Subsection (e) of this section. The report may be made separately or as a part of other biennial reports made to the legislature.


161.0311. Acceptance of Gifts and Grants

(a) The commission may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations for the purposes of this chapter.

(b) The commission shall report to the legislature by December 31 of each year the source and amount of each gift, grant, and donation received under this section.


161.032. Annual Report

The commission shall prepare annually a complete and detailed written report accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the commission during the preceding fiscal year. The annual report must meet the reporting requirements applicable to financial reporting provided in the General Appropriations Act.


161.033. Public Interest Information and Complaints

(a) The commission shall prepare information of public interest describing the functions of the commission and the commission's procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by the commission. The commission shall make the information available to the public and appropriate state agencies.

(b) The commission by rule shall establish methods by which consumers and licensees or permittees are notified of the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the commission for the purpose of directing complaints to the commission. The commission may provide for that notification:

(1) on each registration form, application, or written contract for services of an individual or entity regulated under this chapter; or

(2) in a bill for service provided by an individual or entity regulated under this chapter.

(c) The commission shall keep a file about each written complaint filed with the commission that the commission has authority to resolve. The commission shall provide to the person filing the complaint and the persons or entities complained about the commission's policies and procedures pertaining to complaint investigation and resolution. The commission, at least quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the person filing the complaint and the persons or entities complained about of the status of the complaint unless the notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

(d) The commission shall keep information about each complaint filed with the commission. The information shall include:

(1) the date the complaint is received;

(2) the name of the complainant;

(3) the subject matter of the complaint;

(4) a record of all persons contacted in relation to the complaint;

(5) a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint; and

(6) for complaints for which the agency took no action, an explanation of the reason the complaint was closed without action.


161.034. Public Meetings

(a) The commission is subject to the open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code.

(b) The commission shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the commission and to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the commission.


161.035. Advisory Committees

(a) The commission may establish advisory committees as it considers necessary to assist it in developing proposed rules for the regulation of exotic livestock and exotic fowl.

(b) A member of an advisory committee established under this section serves at the pleasure of the commission.

(c) A member of an advisory committee established under this section is not entitled to compensation.


161.036. Program and Facility Accessibility

The commission shall comply with federal and state laws related to program and facility accessibility. The executive director shall also prepare and maintain a written plan that describes how a person who does not speak English can be provided reasonable access to the commission's programs and services.


161.037. Periodic Review of Agency Functions

(a) The commission shall periodically review services provided by the commission, including laboratory services, that also are provided in the private sector in order to determine the most cost-effective method for delivering the services.

(b) The commission shall consult the Council on Competitive Government for assistance during each review performed under this section.


161.038. Administrative Procedure Act Applicable

The commission is subject to the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code.

SUBCHAPTER C. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSION

 

161.041. Disease Control
(a) The commission shall protect all livestock, domestic animals, and domestic fowl from the following:

(1) tuberculosis;

(2) anthrax;

(3) glanders;

(4) infectious abortion;

(5) hemorrhagic septicemia;

(6) hog cholera;

(7) Malta fever;

(8) foot-and-mouth disease;

(9) rabies among animals other than canines;

(10) bacillary white diarrhea among fowl;

(11) equine infectious anemia; and

(12) other diseases recognized as communicable by the veterinary profession.

(b) The commission may act to eradicate or control any disease or agent of transmission for any disease that affects livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, exotic fowl, or canines regardless of whether the disease is communicable. The commission may adopt any rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection, including rules concerning testing, movement, inspection, and treatment.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly fails to handle, in accordance with rules adopted by the commission, an animal infected with a disease listed in Subsection (a) of this section.

(d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly fails to identify or refuses to permit an agent of the commission to identify, in accordance with rules adopted by the commission, an animal infected with a disease listed in Subsection (a) of this section.

(e) An offense under Subsection (c) or (d) of this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

 

161.0415. Disposal of Diseased or Exposed Livestock
(a) The commission by order may require the slaughter of livestock, under the direction of the commission, or the sale of livestock for immediate slaughter at a public slaughtering establishment maintaining federal or state inspection if the livestock is exposed to or infected with a disease other than bluetongue or vesicular stomatitis that:
(1) is recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as a foreign animal disease;
(2) is the subject of a cooperative eradication program with the United States Department of Agriculture;
(3) is named on "List A" of the Office International Des Epizooties; or
(4) is the subject of a state of emergency, as declared by the governor.

(b) The commission by order may require the slaughter and disposal of livestock exposed to or infected with a disease not listed in Subsection (a) if the commission determines that action to be necessary for the protection of animal health in this state. The commission shall immediately deliver a copy of an order issued under this subsection to the appropriate legislative oversight committees.

(c) A person may appeal an order of the commission under this section as provided by Chapter 2001, Government Code.


161.043. Regulation of Exhibitions

The commission may regulate the entry of livestock, domestic animals, and domestic fowl into exhibitions, shows, and fairs and may require treatment or certification of those animals as reasonably necessary to protect against communicable diseases.


161.044. Regulation of Livestock Movement From Stockyards or Railway Shipping Pens

The commission may regulate the movement of livestock out of stockyards or railway shipping pens and require treatment or certification of those animals as reasonably necessary to protect against communicable diseases.


161.045. Employees; Chief Veterinarian

The commission may employ personnel as necessary in the administration of this chapter or other duties of the commission, including a chief veterinarian, a first assistant veterinarian, other veterinarians, and clerical personnel.


161.046. Rules

The commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.


161.047. Entry Power

(a) A commissioner or a veterinarian or inspector employed by the commission may enter public or private property for the exercise of an authority or performance of a duty under this chapter.

(b) If the commissioner, veterinarian, or inspector under Subsection (a) of this section desires to be accompanied by a peace officer, he or she shall apply for a search warrant to a magistrate of the county in which the property is located. The magistrate shall issue the search warrant on a showing of probable cause by oath or affirmation. The search warrant shall describe the place to be entered in a reasonable manner that will enable the owner or caretaker of the property to identify the property described, but the warrant is not required to describe the property by field notes or by metes and bounds.

(c) A search warrant issued under this section authorizes the person to whom it is issued to be accompanied by a peace officer and by as many assistants as the person considers necessary.

(d) A search warrant issued under this section permits entry and reentry for the purposes of this section for 30 days after the day on which it is issued. After that period, additional search warrants may be issued as often as necessary.


161.048. Inspection of Shipment of Animals or Animal Products

(a) An agent of the commission is entitled to stop and inspect a shipment of animals or animal products being transported in this state in order to:

(1) determine if the shipment is in compliance with the laws and rules administered by the commission affecting the shipment;

(2) determine if the shipment originated from a quarantined area or herd; or

(3) determine if the shipment presents a danger to the public health or livestock industry through insect infestation or through a communicable or noncommunicable disease.

(b) The commission may detain a shipment of animals or animal products that is being transported in violation of law or a rule of the commission. The commission may require that the shipment be unloaded at the nearest available loading facility.

(c) The commission may not inspect a railroad train at any point other than a terminal.

(d) The commission may post signs on public highways and use signaling devices, including red lights, in conjunction with signs, if necessary to effectively signal and stop vehicles for inspection.

(e) In this section, "animal product" includes hides; bones; hoofs; horns; viscera; parts of animal bodies; litter, straw, or hay used for bedding; and any other substance capable of carrying insects or a disease that may endanger the livestock industry.


161.050. Injunction

The commission is entitled to appropriate injunctive relief to prevent or abate a violation of a statute administered or enforced by the commission or a rule adopted or order issued by the commission under such a statute. On request of the commission, the attorney general shall file suit for the injunctive relief. Venue is in Travis County.


161.051. Memorandum of Understanding on Enforcement of Commission Powers

(a) The commission and the Department of Public Safety by rule shall adopt a joint memorandum of understanding that includes provisions under which Department of Public Safety officers are to check for health papers and permits when a livestock vehicle is stopped for other reasons in the regular course of the officers' duties. The memorandum shall require:

(1) commission staff to provide information to Department of Public Safety officers regarding health papers and permits;

(2) Department of Public Safety officers to report potential problems to the commission;

(3) commission staff to investigate possible violations reported by Department of Public Safety officers;

(4) Department of Public Safety officers to provide assistance when requested by the commission; and

(5) commission personnel to notify the Department of Public Safety, when appropriate, of the location of commission roadblocks or special or night operations.

(b) The commission and the Department of Public Safety shall review and update the memorandum not later than the last month of each state fiscal year.


161.052. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation With Local Authorities

(a) The commission and the commissioners court of a county by rule may adopt a joint memorandum of understanding that includes provisions under which the sheriff of that county or the sheriff's deputies are to check for health papers and permits when a livestock vehicle is stopped for other reasons in the regular course of the sheriff's or the deputies' duties. The memorandum shall require:

(1) commission staff to provide information to the sheriff and the deputies regarding health papers and permits;

(2) the sheriff and the deputies to report potential problems to the commission;

(3) commission staff to investigate possible violations reported by the sheriff or the deputies;

(4) the sheriff or deputies to provide assistance when requested by the commission; and

(5) commission personnel to notify the sheriff, when appropriate, of commission roadblocks located in the county or special or night operations planned for the county.

(b) The commission and each commissioners court with which the commission adopted a memorandum of understanding shall review and update the memorandum not later than the last month of each state fiscal year.


161.0525. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation With Other States
The commission by rule, subject to approval by the governor, may adopt a joint memorandum of understanding with another state that includes provisions under which the commission and the other state may provide assistance to each other in the case of an animal disease outbreak.


161.053. Cooperative Agreements

The commission may enter into a cooperative agreement with the department to use for animal health purposes livestock export pens controlled by the department.


161.054. Regulation of Movement of Animals; Exception

(a) As a control measure, the commission by rule may regulate the movement of animals. The commission may restrict the intrastate movement of animals even though the movement of the animals is unrestricted in interstate or international commerce. The commission may require testing, vaccination, or another epidemiologically sound procedure before or after animals are moved.

(b) The commission by rule may prohibit or regulate the movement of animals into a quarantined herd, premise, or area.

(c) The commission may not adopt a rule that prohibits a person from moving animals owned by that person within unquarantined contiguous lands owned or controlled by that person.

(d) On application of the owner of an animal, a restriction on the movement of the animal imposed under this chapter may be modified by order of the executive director of the commission if the owner demonstrates that the restriction will result in unusual hardship for the owner. In considering an application under this section, the executive director may consider the effect of prolonged drought, inadequacy of pasturage or unusual feed supply resulting from disaster or other unforeseeable circumstances, or economic hardship.


161.0545. Movement of Animal Products
The commission may adopt rules that require the certification of persons who transport or dispose of inedible animal products, including carcasses, body parts, and waste material. The commission by rule may provide terms and conditions for the issuance, renewal, and revocation of a certification under this section.


161.055. Slaughter Plant Collection
(a) The commission may require slaughter plants to collect and submit blood samples and other diagnostic specimens for testing for disease.

(b) The commission by rule shall determine the method of collecting, submitting, and testing of blood samples and other diagnostic specimens.

(c) The owner or operator of a slaughter plant commits an offense if the slaughter plant fails to comply with this section or a rule adopted under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.


161.057. Classification of Areas
(a) The commission by rule may prescribe criteria for classifying areas in the state for disease control. The criteria must be based on sound epidemiological principles. The commission may prescribe different control measures and procedures for areas with different classifications.

(b) The commission by rule may designate as a particular classification an area consisting of one or more counties.


161.058. Compensation of Livestock Owner
(a) The commission may pay an indemnity to the owner of livestock exposed to or infected with a disease if the commission considers it necessary to eradicate the disease and to dispose of the exposed or diseased livestock. The commission shall provide the owner with information regarding available state or federal indemnity funds.

(b) The commission may adopt rules for the implementation of this section, including rules governing:
(1) eligibility for compensation;
(2) amounts of compensation; and
(3) limits and restrictions on compensation.

(c) The commission may spend funds appropriated for the purpose of this section only for direct payment to owners of exposed or infected livestock.


161.059. Quality Assurance Assistance
On request of an organization representing producers of a commodity in an industry regulated by the commission, the commission may assist in the development, support, and oversight of a food safety or quality assurance program, including the provision of testing services.

 

SUBCHAPTER D. QUARANTINES

 

161.061. Establishment
(a) If the commission determines or is informed that a disease listed in Section 161.041 of this code exists in another state, territory, or country, the commission shall establish a quarantine against all or the portion of the state, territory, or country in which the disease exists.

(b) If the commission determines that a disease listed in Section 161.041 of this code or an agency of transmission of one of those diseases exists in a place in this state or among livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl, or that a place in this state or livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl are exposed to one of those diseases or an agency of transmission of one of those diseases, the commission shall establish a quarantine on the affected animals or on the affected place. The quarantine of an affected place may extend to any affected area, including a county, district, pasture, lot, ranch, farm, field, range, thoroughfare, building, stable, or stockyard pen.

(c) The commission may establish a quarantine to prohibit or regulate the movement of:

(1) any article or animal that the commission designates to be a carrier of a disease listed in Section 161.041 of this code or a potential carrier of one of those diseases, if movement is not otherwise regulated or prohibited; and

(2) an animal into an affected area, including a county district, pasture, lot, ranch, farm, field, range, thoroughfare, building, stable, or stockyard pen.


161.062. Publication of Notice

(a) The commission shall give notice of a quarantine against another state, territory, or country by publishing notice in a newspaper published in Texas. The quarantine takes effect on the date of publication. The commission shall pay the expense of publication out of any appropriation made for office and stationery expenses of the commission.

(b) The commission shall give notice of a quarantine established within this state by publishing notice in a newspaper published in the county in which the quarantine is established, by posting notice at the courthouse door of that county, or by delivering a written notice to the owner or caretaker of the animals or places to be quarantined. The commission may pay the expense of publication or posting out of any appropriation made for the office and stationery expenses of the commission or out of any appropriation made for the control or eradication of communicable diseases of livestock. The commissioners court of a county in which a quarantine is established may pay the expenses of publication or posting out of any available funds of the county.


161.063. Contents of Notice

(a) A quarantine notice must state the requirements and restrictions under which animals may be permitted to enter this state or to be moved from a quarantined area within this state. If the seriousness of the disease is sufficient to warrant prohibiting the movement of animals, the notice must state that the movement is prohibited. The quarantine notice must state the class of persons authorized by the commission to issue certificates or permits permitting movement.

(b) A quarantine notice must state the cause for which the quarantine is established, whether for infection or for exposure.

(c) A quarantine notice must describe the area or premises quarantined in a reasonable manner that enables a person to identify the area or premises, but is not required to describe the area or premises by metes and bounds.

(d) If the quarantine regulates or prohibits the movement of a carrier or potential carrier of a disease, the commission may prescribe any exceptions, terms, conditions, or provisions that the commission considers necessary or desirable to promote the objectives of this chapter or to minimize the economic impact of the quarantine without endangering those objectives or the health and safety of the public. Any exceptions, terms, conditions, or provisions prescribed under this subsection must be stated in the quarantine notice.


161.064. Effect of Quarantine

A quarantine that is established for any location has the effect of quarantining all livestock, domestic animals, or domestic fowl of the kind mentioned in the quarantine notice that are on or enter that location during the existence of the quarantine, regardless of who owns or controls the livestock, domestic animals, or domestic fowl.


161.065. Movement From Quarantined Area; Movement of Quarantined Animals

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this section, a person, in violation of a quarantine, may not:

(1) move livestock, domestic animals, or domestic fowl in this state from any quarantined place in or outside this state;

(2) move quarantined livestock, domestic animals, or domestic fowl from the place in which they are quarantined; or

(3) move commodities or animals designated as disease carriers or potential disease carriers in this state from a quarantined place in or outside this state.

(b) The commission may provide for a written certificate or written permit authorizing the movement of commodities or animals from quarantined places or the movement of quarantined commodities or animals. The certificate or permit must be issued by a veterinarian or other person authorized by the commission to issue a certificate or permit. Each certificate or permit must be issued in conformity with the requirements stated in the quarantine notice.

(c) If the commission finds animals that have been moved in violation of a quarantine established under this chapter or in violation of any other livestock sanitary law, the commission shall quarantine the animals until they have been properly treated, vaccinated, tested, dipped, or disposed of in accordance with the rules of the commission.

 

SUBCHAPTER E. IMPORTATION

 

161.081. Importation of Animals
(a) The commission by rule may regulate the movement, including movement by a railroad company or other common carrier, of livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl into this state from another state, territory, or country.

(b) The commission by rule may provide the method for inspecting and testing animals before and after entry into this state.

(c) The commission by rule may provide for the issuance and form of health certificates and entry permits. The rules may include standards for determining which veterinarians of this state, other states, and departments of the federal government are authorized to issue the certificates or permits.

(d) The commission shall charge a fee of 25 cents for each health certificate.


 

SUBCHAPTER F. VETERINARIAN REPORTS OF DISEASED ANIMALS

 

161.101. Duty to Report
(a) A veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal shall report the existence of the following diseases among livestock, exotic livestock, bison, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl to the commission within 24 hours after diagnosis of the disease:
(1) anthrax;
(2) avian infectious laryngotracheitis;
(3) avian influenza;
(4) avian tuberculosis;
(5) chronic wasting disease;
(6) duck virus enteritis;
(7) duck virus hepatitis;
(8) equine encephalomyelitis;
(9) equine infectious anemia;
(10) infectious encephalomyelitis in poultry or other fowl;
(11) ornithosis;
(12) paramyxovirus infection in poultry or other fowl; or
(13) scabies in sheep or cattle.

(b) In addition to reporting required by Subsection (a), the commission may adopt rules that require a veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal to report the existence of a disease other than bluetongue in an animal to the commission within 24 hours after diagnosis if the disease:
(1) is recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as a foreign animal disease;
(2) is the subject of a cooperative eradication program with the United States Department of Agriculture;
(3) is named on "List A" of the Office International Des Epizooties; or
(4) is the subject of a state of emergency, as declared by the governor.

(c) The commission may adopt rules that require a veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal to report a disease not covered by Subsection (a) or (b) if the commission determines that action to be necessary for the protection of animal health in this state. The commission shall immediately deliver a copy of a rule adopted under this subsection to the appropriate legislative oversight committees. A rule adopted by the commission under this subsection expires on the first day after the last day of the first regular legislative session that begins after adoption of the rule unless the rule is continued in effect by act of the legislature.

 

SUBCHAPTER H. REMEDIES AND PENALTIES

 

161.131. Injunction
(a) Any citizen of this state may sue for an injunction to enforce a provision or restrain a violation of this chapter other than Section 161.048, Subchapter F, or Subchapter G.

(b) A court may hear and dispose of a suit under this section in term or in vacation. A court shall direct that reasonable notice be given to a defendant in a suit for a mandatory injunction.


161.132. Civil Suit Against Nonresident Violator

(a) If a person who commits an offense under Section 161.135, 161.136, 161.137, 161.138, 161.141, or 161.143 of this code is not a resident of this state, is a foreign corporation not permitted to do business in this state, or is absent from this state at the time the offense is committed, the county attorney of the county in which the violation occurs shall sue that person for collection of the fine provided for the offense. In addition, the county attorney shall seek to attach that person's property in this state and, after final judgment, have the attached property sold under execution for the purpose of paying the fine and costs of suit.

(b) A suit under this section shall be brought in the name of the State of Texas and the court may not require a cost or attachment bond.


161.133. Violation by Corporation

If a corporation, including a railroad company or a common carrier, violates a provision of this chapter other than Section 161.048, Subchapter F, or Subchapter G, the county attorney of the county in which the offense occurs shall file and prosecute a civil suit against the corporation on behalf of the state.


161.134. Proof of Treatment or Vaccination

In the trial of any case involving the compliance of an owner or caretaker with a provision of this chapter requiring the treatment, vaccination, dipping, or disinfecting of livestock, a person may not attempt to prove that the action was taken by a person other than an authorized representative of the commission.


161.135. Improper Disposal of Diseased Carcass

(a) A person required to dispose of a diseased carcass in accordance with Section 161.004 of this code commits an offense if the person fails to dispose of the carcass in accordance with that section.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor for each animal carcass improperly disposed of.


161.136. Entry of Animals in Exhibition Without Certificate

(a) A person commits an offense if, without a certificate required by rule of the commission under Section 161.043 of this code, the person:

(1) enters livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl into an exhibition, show, or fair; or

(2) brings livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl on the grounds of an exhibition, show, or fair for the purpose of entering.

(b) A person commits an offense if, as owner or person in charge of the exhibition, show, or fair, the person permits entry under Subsection (a) of this section.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(d) Each entry of an animal without a certificate in an exhibition, show, or fair constitutes a separate offense.


161.137. Movement of Animals From Stockyard or Railway Shipping Pen Without Certificate

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) removes livestock from a stockyard or railway shipping pen without a certificate required by rule of the commission under Section 161.044 of this code; or

(2) as owner or person in charge of the stockyard or pen, permits the removal of livestock under Subdivision (1) of this section.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor for each head of livestock moved as prohibited by Subsection (a) of this section unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.


161.138. Refusal to Permit Entrance

(a) A person commits an offense if the person refuses to permit a representative of the commission to enter property or premises of which the person is the owner, tenant, or caretaker for the purpose of carrying out a provision of this chapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) A person commits a separate offense for each day of refusal under Subsection (a) of this section.


161.139. Refusal to Permit Inspection of Shipment

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) refuses to permit inspection of animals under Section 161.048 of this code; or

(2) fails to stop a truck, trailer, wagon, or automobile suspected of carrying animals or animal products if requested or signaled to do so by an agent of the commission.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.


161.140. Refusal to Permit Examination of Animal or Carcass

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) refuses to allow the commission or an agent of the commission to examine an animal or all or part of an animal carcass that is owned by or possessed by the person and that the commission or agent has reason to believe is affected by a communicable disease; or

(2) hinders or obstructs the commission or its agent in an examination under Subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.


161.1405. Refusal to Provide Access to Animal

(a) A person who is the owner or caretaker of livestock, exotic livestock, fowl, or exotic fowl commits an offense if the person knowingly refuses to gather the animals for testing, identification, inspection, or another procedure required by commission rule.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) A person commits a separate offense on each day of refusal under Subsection (a) of this section.


161.141. Movement in Violation of Quarantine

(a) A person commits an offense if the person violates Section 161.065(a)(1) or (a)(2) of this code or, as owner or caretaker of the livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl, the person permits movement in violation of Section 161.065(a)(1) or (a)(2) of this code. Except as provided by Subsection (c) or (d) of this section, an offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor for each animal moved in violation of the quarantine unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person violates Section 161.065(a)(3) of this code or, as owner or caretaker of the commodities or animals, the person permits movement in violation of Section 161.065(a)(3) of this code. Except as provided by Subsection (c) or (d) of this section, an offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor for each animal or shipment of commodities moved in violation of the quarantine unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) An offense under Subsection (a) or (b) of this section for violating a quarantine established in relation to foot-and-mouth disease is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) A second or subsequent offense under Subsection (c) of this section is a felony punishable by:

(1) imprisonment in the Texas Department of Corrections for not less than two years nor more than five years; and

(2) a fine of not more than $10,000.

(e) A person commits a separate offense for each county into which livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, disease carriers, or potential disease carriers are moved within six months following the original movement in violation of Section 161.065 of this code.


161.142. Sale or Movement of Animal With Glanders

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) wilfully fails or refuses to place in secure confinement apart from all other livestock an animal of the horse or ass species that is diseased with glanders and is owned by that person or subject to that person's control;

(2) sells, trades, or offers to sell or trade an animal of the horse or ass species that the person knows or suspects to be diseased with glanders;

(3) drives, leads, or rides along or across a public highway an animal that the person knows is diseased with glanders; or

(4) permits an animal that the person knows is diseased with glanders to run at large on the open range.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c), (d) Deleted by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 836, 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.
 

161.143. Importation of Animals
(a) A person, including a railroad company or other common carrier, commits an offense if the person knowingly moves an animal into this state in violation of a rule of the commission adopted under Section 161.081 of this code.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) A person commits a separate offense for each animal moved in violation of a rule of the commission.


161.145. Veterinarian Failure to Report Diseased Animals

(a) A person commits an offense if, as a veterinarian, the person wilfully fails or refuses to comply with a provision of Subchapter F of this chapter or with a rule adopted under that subchapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.


161.146. Compliance With Livestock Market Regulation

(a) A person commits an offense if the person, as owner or operator of a livestock market, fails or refuses to furnish adequate facilities in accordance with Section 161.113(c) of this code or fails or refuses to permit an agent of the commission to enter the market, exercise an authority, or perform a duty under Subchapter G of this chapter. A person commits a separate offense for each day of failure or refusal.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person removes livestock from a livestock market without a certificate required by rule of the commission adopted under Subchapter G of this chapter.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person violates any provision of Subchapter G of this chapter or a rule adopted under that subchapter. A person commits a separate offense for each day on which the person violates a provision of the subchapter or a rule.

(d) A person commits an offense if the person violates a provision of Section 161.116 of this code. A person commits a separate offense for each animal sold, released, diverted, or delivered in violation of that section.

(e) An offense under Subsection (a), (c), or (d) of this section is a Class B misdemeanor. An offense under Subsection (b) of this section is a Class B misdemeanor for each animal removed from the livestock market.


161.147. Failure to Maintain Dealer Records

(a) A person commits an offense if the person fails to maintain or permit the inspection of a record required under Section 161.049 of this code.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.


161.148. Administrative Penalty

(a) The commission may impose an administrative penalty against a person who violates a rule or order adopted under this subtitle.

(b) The penalty for a violation may be in an amount not to exceed $1,000. Each day a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for purposes of imposing a penalty. The amount of the penalty shall not be based on a per head basis.

(c) The amount of the penalty shall be based on:

(1) the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of any prohibited acts, and the hazard or potential hazard created to the health, safety, or economic welfare of the public;

(2) the economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation;

(3) the history of previous violations;

(4) the amount necessary to deter future violations;

(5) efforts to correct the violation; and

(6) any other matter that justice may require.

(d) An executive director who determines that a violation has occurred may issue to the commission a report that states the facts on which the determination is based and the director's recommendation on the imposition of a penalty, including a recommendation on the amount of the penalty.

(e) Within 14 days after the date the report is issued, the executive director shall give written notice of the report to the person. The notice may be given by certified mail. The notice must include a brief summary of the alleged violation and a statement of the amount of the recommended penalty and must inform the person that the person has a right to a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty.

(f) Within 20 days after the date the person receives the notice, the person in writing may accept the determination and recommended penalty of the executive director or may make a written request for a hearing on the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty.

(g) If the person accepts the determination and recommended penalty of the executive director, the commission by order shall approve the determination and impose the recommended penalty.

(h) If the person requests a hearing or fails to respond timely to the notice, the executive director shall set a hearing and give notice of the hearing to the person. The hearing shall be held by an administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and promptly issue to the commission a proposal for a decision about the occurrence of the violation and the amount of a proposed penalty. Based on the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and proposal for a decision, the commission by order may find that a violation has occurred and impose a penalty or may find that no violation occurred.

(i) The notice of the commission's order given to the person under Chapter 2001, Government Code, must include a statement of the right of the person to judicial review of the order.

(j) Within 30 days after the date the commission's order becomes final as provided by Section 2001.144, Government Code, the person shall:

(1) pay the amount of the penalty;

(2) pay the amount of the penalty and file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty; or

(3) without paying the amount of the penalty, file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty.

(k) Within the 30-day period, a person who acts under Subsection (j)(3) of this section may:

(1) stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A) paying the amount of the penalty to the court for placement in an escrow account; or

(B) giving to the court a supersedeas bond that is approved by the court for the amount of the penalty and that is effective until all judicial review of the board's order is final; or

(2) request the court to stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A) filing with the court a sworn affidavit of the person stating that the person is financially unable to pay the amount of the penalty and is financially unable to give the supersedeas bond; and

(B) giving a copy of the affidavit to the executive director by certified mail.

(l) An executive director who receives a copy of an affidavit under Subsection (k)(2) of this section may file with the court, within five days after the date the copy is received, a contest to the affidavit. The court shall hold a hearing on the facts alleged in the affidavit as soon as practicable and shall stay the enforcement of the penalty on finding that the alleged facts are true. The person who files an affidavit has the burden of proving that the person is financially unable to pay the amount of the penalty and to give a supersedeas bond.

(m) If the person does not pay the amount of the penalty and the enforcement of the penalty is not stayed, the executive director may refer the matter to the attorney general for collection of the amount of the penalty.

(n) Judicial review of the order of the commission:

(1) is instituted by filing a petition as provided by Subchapter G, Chapter 2001, Government Code; and

(2) is under the substantial evidence rule.

(o) If the court sustains the occurrence of the violation, the court may uphold or reduce the amount of the penalty and order the person to pay the full or reduced amount of the penalty. If the court does not sustain the occurrence of the violation, the court shall order that no penalty is owed.

(p) When the judgment of the court becomes final, the court shall proceed under this subsection. If the person paid the amount of the penalty and if that amount is reduced or is not upheld by the court, the court shall order that the appropriate amount plus accrued interest be remitted to the person. The rate of the interest is the rate charged on loans to depository institutions by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and the interest shall be paid for the period beginning on the date the penalty was paid and ending on the date the penalty is remitted. If the person gave a supersedeas bond and if the amount of the penalty is not upheld by the court, the court shall order the release of the bond. If the person gave a supersedeas bond and if the amount of the penalty is reduced, the court shall order the release of the bond after the person pays the amount.

(q) A penalty collected under this section shall be remitted to the comptroller for deposit in the general revenue fund.

(r) All proceedings under this section are subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code.



161.149. Test for Equine Infectious Anemia
(a) In this section, "equine animal" includes horses, mules, asses, ponies, and other members of the horse family, but does not include zebras.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person transfers ownership of an equine animal eight months of age or older that has not tested negative for equine infectious anemia during the 12 months preceding the date of the transfer unless the equine animal:
(1) is a nursing foal that is transferred with its dam and the dam has tested negative for equine infectious anemia during the 12 months preceding the date of the transfer; or
(2) is sold to slaughter to be tested for equine infectious anemia at a slaughter establishment.

(c) An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.


Amended in 1999, 2001, 2003.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in January 2002.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in May 2003.


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