As used in this part:
(1) "Accredited veterinarian" means a veterinarian approved by the United States Department of Agriculture and the state veterinarian to perform functions specified by cooperative state-federal disease control programs.
(2) "Animal" or "domestic animal" means cattle, sheep, goats, equines, fallow deer, red deer, reindeer, American bison, swine, poultry, pheasant, Chukar partridge, Coturnix quail, psittacine birds, ferrets, camelids, ratites (ostriches, rheas, and emus). The term shall include cultured trout propagated by commercial trout farms. However, an animal, including any of those listed in this subdivision, which is imported, possessed or confined for the purpose of hunting it, shall be a wild animal and regulated by the fish and wildlife board and commissioner of fish and wildlife under the provisions of part 4 of Title 10.
(3) "Approved slaughterhouse" means an establishment maintained by a slaughterer under state or federal law.
(4) "Camelids" means any animal of the family camelidae including, but not limited to, guanacos, vicunas, camels, alpacas and llamas.
(5) "Coggins test" means the agar gel immunodiffusion blood test conducted in a laboratory approved by the United States Department of Agriculture and the commissioner.
(6) "Commissioner" means the Vermont commissioner of agriculture, food and markets, or his or her designee.
(7) "Contagious disease," "communicable disease," "infectious disease" or "disease" means any disease found in domestic animals which is capable of spreading from one domestic animal to another with or without actual contact. "Contagious disease" includes, but is not limited to, all reportable diseases.
(8) "Domestic fowl" or "poultry" means all domesticated birds of all ages which may be used as human food, or which produce eggs that may be used as human food excluding those birds protected by 10 V.S.A. part 4.
(9) "Equine animal" means any member of the family equidae, including, but not limited to, horses, ponies, mules, asses, and zebra.
(10) "Equine infectious anemia" means swamp fever, the disease of equine animals spread by blood sucking insects and unsterile surgical instruments or equipment that produces cuts or abrasions.
(11) "Red deer" means domesticated deer of the family cervidae, subfamily cervinae, genus Cervus, species elaphus.
(12) "Fallow deer" means domesticated deer of the genus Dama, species dama.
(13) "Ferret" means only the European ferret Mustela putorious furo.
(14) "Reportable disease" means any disease determined by the commissioner by rule to be a reportable disease or contained in the following list:
Salmonella -- pullorum
-- other salmonellas
African Swine Fever
Any Vesicular Disease
-- foot and mouth disease
-- swine vesicular disease
-- vesicular stomatitis
-- vesicular exanthema
Equine Infectious Anemia
-- sarcoptic (cattle)
-- psoroptic (cattle and sheep)
Malignant Catarrhal Fever
(15) "Cervidae" or "domesticated deer" means fallow deer, red deer and reindeer.
(a) The commissioner shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the livestock disease control program. The commissioner may appoint the state veterinarian to manage the program, and other personnel as are necessary for the sound administration of the program.
(b) The commissioner shall maintain a public record of all permits issued, and of all animals tested under this chapter, for a period of three years.
(c) The commissioner may conduct any inspections, investigations, tests, diagnoses or other reasonable steps necessary to discover and eliminate contagious diseases existing in domestic animals or cultured trout in this state.
(d) The commissioner may contract and cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies or other states for the control and eradication of contagious diseases of animals.
(e) If necessary, the commissioner shall set priorities for the use of the funds available to operate the program established by this chapter.
(a) The commissioner shall promulgate rules necessary for the discovery, control and eradication of contagious diseases and for the slaughter, disposal, quarantine, vaccination and transportation of animals found to be diseased or exposed to a contagious disease. The commissioner may also promulgate rules requiring the disinfection and sanitation of real estate, buildings, vehicles, containers and equipment which have been associated with diseased livestock.
(b) The commissioner shall adopt rules establishing fencing and transportation requirements for fallow deer, red deer and reindeer.
1154 Inspection and testing
(a) The commissioner may routinely inspect all domestic animals in the state for contagious diseases.
(b) The commissioner shall investigate any reports of diseased animals, provided there are adequate resources.
(c) In carrying out the provisions of this part, the commissioner, or his authorized agent, may enter any real estate, premises, buildings, enclosures or areas where animals may be found for the purpose of making reasonable inspections and tests.
(d) A livestock owner or the person in possession of the animal to be inspected, upon request of the commissioner, shall restrain the animal and make it available for inspection and testing.
1156 Public nuisance
Contagious diseases as defined in section 1151(7) of this title are hereby declared to be a public nuisance requiring preventative and remedial action to protect the public health and welfare, as provided in this chapter.
(a) The commissioner may order any domestic animals to be placed in quarantine if the animals:
(1) are affected with a contagious disease;
(2) have been exposed to a contagious disease;
(3) may be infected with or have been exposed to a contagious disease;
(4) are suspected of having biological or chemical residues, including antibiotics, in their tissues which would cause the carcasses of the animals, if slaughtered, to be adulterated within the meaning of 6 V.S.A. chapter 204; or
(5) are owned or controlled by a person who has violated any provision of this part, and the commissioner finds that a quarantine is necessary to protect the public welfare.
(b) Once a quarantine has been ordered, no animal under quarantine shall be removed from the premises where it is located. The commissioner may limit or prevent other animals from being brought onto the same premises as the quarantined animal.
(c) A quarantine order shall be effective immediately. Notice of quarantine shall be delivered by certified mail, registered mail or in person to the owner of the animals or to the person in possession or if the owner or person in possession is unknown, by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. The notice shall include:
(1) a description of the subject of the quarantine;
(2) an explanation of why the quarantine is necessary;
(3) the duration of the quarantine, or what condition must be met to lift the quarantine;
(4) the terms of the quarantine;
(5) the name and address of the person to be contacted for further information; and
(6) a statement that the person may request a hearing on the quarantine order.
(d) The commissioner may use placards or any other method deemed necessary to give notice or warning to the general public of the quarantine.
(e) Within 15 days of receiving notice, a person subject to a quarantine order may request a hearing to be held by the commissioner. The hearing shall be held within 60 days from the date of the request unless the commissioner has determined that a longer period is necessary because of the extent of the outbreak of disease in which case the hearing shall be held as soon as practicable. A request for a hearing shall not stay the quarantine order.
(f) It shall be unlawful to violate the terms of a quarantine order issued pursuant to this section. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine order shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine order and causes the spread of a contagious disease beyond the quarantined premises shall be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000.00, imprisonment of not more than two years, or both.
1158 Quarantine district
(a) The commissioner may establish a quarantine district whenever it is determined that a contagious disease is widely spread throughout an area of the state and that a quarantine district is necessary to contain or prevent the further spread of the disease.
(b) In establishing a quarantine district, the commissioner may, by order:
(1) regulate, restrict or restrain movements of animals or vehicles and equipment associated with animals into, out of, or within the district;
(2) detain all animals within the district which might be infected with or have been exposed to the disease for examination at any place specified by the quarantine order; and
(3) take other necessary steps to prevent the spread of and eliminate the disease within the quarantine district.
(c) The commissioner shall notify the public of the existence, location and terms of a quarantine district, in a manner deemed appropriate under the circumstances. To the extent that such notice is possible, the commissioner shall also notify by certified mail or in person, the owner or person in possession of any animal or animals which must be detained or otherwise regulated within the district.
(d) It shall be unlawful to violate the terms of a quarantine district order issued pursuant to this section. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine district order shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine district order and causes the spread of a contagious disease beyond the quarantine district shall be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000.00, imprisonment of not more than two years, or both.
1159 Disposal of diseased animals
(a) The commissioner may condemn and order destroyed any animal that is infected with or has been exposed to a contagious disease. An order to destroy an animal shall be based on a determination that the destruction of the animal is necessary to prevent or control the spread of the disease. The commissioner shall order any condemned animal to be destroyed and disposed of in accordance with approved methods as specified by rule. The commissioner's order may extend to some or all of the animals on the affected premises.
(b) The commissioner may order that any real property, building, vehicle, piece of equipment, container or other article associated with a diseased animal be disinfected and sanitized. Any cost of disinfection incurred by the commissioner shall be deducted from any compensation paid to an animal owner under this section.
(c) The commissioner may compensate the owner of any cattle destroyed pursuant to this chapter because of exposure to or infection with brucellosis or tuberculosis. Payment shall not exceed two-thirds of the difference between the salvage value and the appraised value of the animal, and in no event exceed $250.00 for each purebred or $200.00 for each grade animal.
(d) The commissioner may compensate the owner of any swine destroyed pursuant to this chapter because of exposure to or infection with brucellosis or tuberculosis. Payment shall not exceed two-thirds of the difference between the salvage value and the appraised value of the animal, and in no event exceed $40.00 for each purebred or $20.00 for each grade swine.
(e) The commissioner may compensate the owner of fallow or red deer destroyed pursuant to this chapter because of exposure to or infection with brucellosis or tuberculosis. Payment shall not exceed two-thirds of the difference between the salvage value and the appraised value of the animal, and in no event shall exceed $250.00 per animal.
(f) Compensation under this section shall only be paid where:
(1) the owner of an animal destroyed for brucellosis is in compliance with the recommended uniform methods and rules of the state and federal cooperative brucellosis program;
(2) the department has determined the origin of all animals on the premises containing the condemned animal;
(3) all other state livestock laws have been complied with by the owner or person in possession of the animal;
(4) there are sufficient state funds appropriated for this purpose; and
(5) in the case of a person who has made a claim for compensation under this section within the previous two years, the commissioner determines that adequate measures were taken to prevent the reintroduction of contagious diseases into that person's herd.
(g) Payments made pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any compensation paid to the owner by the federal government. The commissioner may make additional payments for destroyed animals where federal regulations do not provide for compensation. Additional payments shall not exceed $100.00 for each purebred animal and $50.00 for each grade animal.
(h) It shall be unlawful to violate the terms of an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section. Any person who knowingly violates an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Any person who knowingly violates an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section and causes the spread of a contagious disease shall be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000.00, imprisonment of not more than two years, or both.
(i) A destruction order shall take effect immediately on notice to the owner or the person in possession of the animal or animals, if the owner or person in possession is known. The notice shall be given by certified mail or in person. Within 15 days of receiving the notice, the owner or person in possession may request a hearing to be held by the commissioner. The hearing shall be held within 60 days from the date of the request unless the commissioner has determined that a longer period is necessary because of the extent of the outbreak of disease in which case the hearing shall be held as soon as practicable. A request for a hearing shall not stay the destruction order.
1160 Appropriations; emergency outbreak of contagious disease
(a) In addition to funds appropriated to carry out the purposes of this chapter, all fees and charges collected under this chapter and any amount received by the state from the sale of condemned animals shall be used to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(b) In case of the outbreak within this state of some contagious disease of domestic animals, or whenever there is reason to believe that there is danger of the introduction into the state of any contagious disease prevailing among domestic animals outside the state, the commissioner may take such action and issue such emergency rules as are necessary to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease.
1161 Fees for testing
(a) The commissioner may assess fees necessary to cover the cost of testing poultry for contagious diseases.
(b) The commissioner may negotiate appropriate compensation with those licensed veterinarians acting at his or her request. At minimum, these fees shall be $5.00 for each farm at which the veterinarian performs a tuberculosis test on an animal, $.75 for each animal tested in a stanchion barn and $1.50 for each animal tested in a loose-housing barn.
(c) The commissioner may negotiate appropriate compensation with those licensed veterinarians acting at his or her request to test red deer, fallow deer or reindeer for tuberculosis. At minimum, these fees shall be $25.00 for each farm at which the veterinarian performs a tuberculosis test on such deer and $5.00 for each deer tested.
1162 Report of disease
All accredited veterinarians and persons operating animal disease diagnostic laboratories shall immediately report the discovery of any domestic animal within this state which is infected with or has been exposed to a reportable disease as specified by this chapter. The report shall be made to the state veterinarian and shall specify the location and description of the animal, the disease involved and the name and address of the owner or person in possession of the animal.
1163 Additional violations
(a) A person who knowingly commits any of the following acts shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both:
(1) to transport an animal affected with, or exposed to, a contagious disease without first obtaining the permission of the commissioner;
(2) to interfere with any animal disease test conducted pursuant to this chapter;
(3) to advertise, sell or offer for sale as accredited tuberculosis-free or certified brucellosis-free, any cattle which do not come from herds officially accredited or certified by the commissioner or the United States Department of Agriculture;
(4) to advertise, sell or offer for sale as tested under state or federal supervision any cattle which do not come from herds that are under state or federal supervision;
(5) to fail to report the discovery of a reportable disease as required by section 1162 of this title;
(6) to interfere with or hinder the work of the commissioner or his or her agents pursuant to this chapter.
(b) A person who knowingly commits any of the following acts shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $15,000.00, or both:
(1) to import into this state any animal infected with or exposed to a contagious disease;
(2) to sell, or offer for sale for food purposes any animal, or animal carcass, condemned under the provisions of this chapter, unless the animal is inspected and approved for use as human food by an agent of the commissioner or the United States Department of Agriculture.
1164 Civil penalties
(a) A person who violates any provision of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter, or who commits any of the acts described in section 1163 of this title shall in addition to any other penalty be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. In no event shall the cumulative penalty exceed $25,000.00 per occurrence.
(b) The commissioner may, in the name of the department, obtain a temporary or permanent injunction to restrain a violation of this chapter.
(c) After notice and opportunity for hearing, the commissioner may suspend
or revoke any license issued pursuant to chapters 63 and 65 of this title for any
violation of this chapter.
1461 Import documentation required
(a) Import permit. No person shall import, or cause to be imported into this state, any domestic animal except dogs and cats, without first obtaining an import permit from the commissioner, except as the commissioner may provide by rule. Permits shall be issued on forms provided by the commissioner. Within ten days of importing an animal into Vermont, the importer shall return the import permit, detailing all information which the commissioner may reasonably require, to the Vermont department of agriculture, food and markets. Persons importing horses shall not be required to obtain an import permit under this subsection unless there is a substantial danger of the introduction of a contagious disease into this state. In such case the commissioner may require import permits for horses by emergency rule.
(b) Certificates of veterinary inspection. No person shall import, or cause to be
imported, any domestic animal into this state without first obtaining a certificate of
veterinary inspection, except as the commissioner may provide by rule. The certificate
shall be issued by an accredited and licensed veterinarian in the state, or country, of
origin. The certificate shall contain a statement by the chief livestock official for that
state certifying that the veterinarian, who executed the certificate, is licensed to
practice veterinary medicine in that state or country and is accredited by the United
States Department of Agriculture to sign certificates of veterinary inspection. The
certificate shall be issued on a form prescribed by the state of origin, and declare that
all of the animals listed have been inspected, tested or both inspected and tested, as
required by the laws of Vermont. The certificate shall also set forth the name and address
of the owner of any animal transferred pursuant to the certificate. One copy of the
certificate shall accompany the animals during transportation, and one copy shall be filed
with the commissioner.
(c) Exemption. The commissioner may, by rule, exempt from the provisions of this section transactions concerning domestic animals transported into this state for immediate slaughter. A person who so imports an animal without permit and then does not immediately slaughter the animal shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
The commissioner may require by rule in general, or order in specific cases, that any domestic animals imported into this state be placed in quarantine.
1463 Examination; release from quarantine
Within a reasonable time, the commissioner shall examine any imported domestic animal placed in quarantine, and may apply such tests or retests as the commissioner deems necessary to determine the health of such animals. After test or retests ordered by the commissioner have been applied, any domestic animal found free from contagious or infectious disease shall be released from quarantine, unless the commissioner determines that the animal may have been exposed to a contagious disease and that it is necessary to continue the quarantine in order to prevent the potential spread of a contagious disease. Any such order shall be made in the manner provided by 6 V.S.A. § 1157.
1464 Slaughter; expenses
The commissioner may take all steps that he or she deems necessary to prevent the potential spread of a contagious or an infectious disease, including but not limited to, continuing a quarantine order concerning imported animals found to be infected with or exposed to a contagious disease. Where necessary to protect the health of other domestic animals, or to prevent or control the spread of contagious disease, the commissioner may order any domestic animal imported into the state which is infected with or has been exposed to an infectious or contagious disease condemned, destroyed and the carcass disposed with, in accordance with the provisions of 6 V.S.A. § 1159. The owner shall bear the expense of detention, examination, test and slaughter but not the personal expenses of the commissioner.
Nothing in sections 1461-1465 of this title shall be construed to apply to the transportation of domestic animals through the state, nor shall it apply to horses that are driven into and out of the state on business or pleasure. This exemption shall not apply, however, if such animals remain in the state for more than 48 hours.
1467 Test and inspection in state of origin
(a) Any domestic animal brought into the state shall be tested and inspected in the state of origin when testing or inspection is required by rule. Imported domestic animals may be retested at the discretion of the commissioner.
(b) In order to prevent the spread of infections or contagious diseases, any domestic animal brought into the state without having been first tested and inspected, as required by the commissioner's rules, may be returned to the state of origin within 48 hours of a determination by the commissioner that the animals have been illegally imported. While in the state, the illegally imported domestic animals shall be strictly quarantined. In the event that the domestic animals cannot be returned to the state of origin, the animals shall be slaughtered or euthanized within 72 hours of a determination by the commissioner that the animals have been illegally imported. The owner of the domestic animals shall bear the full expense of their removal from the state, or destruction, and shall not be entitled to any compensation from the state.
1468 Permits to persons near state line; entry during fair season
Persons living near the state line who own or occupy land in an adjoining state may procure from the commissioner permits to drive, herd or transport cattle, horses or other livestock back and forth to pasture and for other purposes, subject to such restrictions as the commissioner may prescribe by rule or order. The commissioner may make such rules in each case as are deemed necessary. The commissioner may grant permission for cattle, horses or other domestic animals to enter the state for exhibition purposes during the fair season and may make such rules in connection therewith as are deemed necessary.
1469 Penalties-- Illegal importation
(a) A person engaged in a commercial enterprise who violates a provision of this chapter, the rules adopted thereunder, a permit issued pursuant to this chapter, or an order issued pursuant to this chapter shall be fined not more than $15,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.
(b) The commissioner may seek a temporary or permanent injunction to enforce the provisions of this chapter, the rules adopted under this chapter, a permit issued pursuant to this chapter, or an order issued pursuant to this chapter.
(c) The commissioner may suspend or revoke a license issued under chapters 63 and 65 of this title for a violation of this chapter, the rules adopted under this chapter, a permit issued pursuant to this chapter, or an order issued pursuant to this chapter in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 25 of Title 3.
A person wishing to export domestic animals to another state or country shall comply with all the requirements of that state or country for the importation of domestic animals.
1472 -- Test; certificate
(a) A person wishing to export a domestic animal may obtain a certificate of veterinary inspection in the following manner. The applicant shall have the animal to be exported tested for such contagious disease, or other condition as may be required by the state or country to which the animal is to be shipped. Such test shall be made at the expense of the applicant by a veterinarian licensed in this state and accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture to sign certificates of veterinary inspection. The testing may also be conducted by a veterinarian resident of any other state in which a test is conducted who is certified by the authority charged with the control of animal health matters in the state wherein such veterinarian resides to be licensed as a veterinarian in that state and accredited by United States Department of Agriculture to sign certificates of veterinary inspection. Such test shall be made in accordance with such reasonable rules and regulations as the commissioner shall prescribe, and the result of the test shall be reported to the commissioner within five days from the time it is completed.
(b) If the testing discloses that the animal tested is free of the disease or condition tested for and the commissioner shall be satisfied that the testing was performed in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations, the commissioner shall issue to the owner a certificate evidencing the date and the result of such test as shown by the report of the veterinarian who conducted the test and the fact that the test has been performed in accordance with the laws of this state. The commissioner shall also include a certification as to the status of the licensing and accreditation of the veterinarian making the test.
(c) In cases covered by this section and section 1471 of this title, a veterinarian whose licensing and accreditation are certified to by the authority charged with the control of animal health matters in the state wherein such veterinarian resides, may be certified by the commissioner as licensed and accredited, unless it shall affirmatively appear that such veterinarian is not licensed, or accredited. Veterinarians conducting tests or examinations in Vermont must be licensed in Vermont, or otherwise authorized to do so.
(d) Veterinary accreditation by United States Department of Agriculture and certification of accreditation shall only be necessary for animals exported out of Vermont when required by the state or country of destination.
1474 Imports from quarantined herds, groups or flocks
No person shall import domestic animals into the state from any herd, flock or group which is under quarantine in the state or place of origin due to the presence or suspected presence of an infectious or contagious disease within the herd, flock or group, except that such quarantined herds, flock or groups may be moved directly to slaughter on permits issued by the commissioner.
The commissioner may adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Amended in 1999.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in January 2002.
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