As used in this chapter:
"Animal" means all members of the animal kingdom except humans, fish, and insects. However, "animal" does not mean noncaptive wildlife as defined in RCW 77.08.010(16), except as used in RCW 16.36.050(1) and 16.36.080 (1), (2), (3), and (5).
"Animal reproductive product" means sperm, ova, fertilized ova, and embryos from animals.
"Farm-raised fish" means fish raised by aquaculture as defined in RCW 15.85.020. Farm-raised fish are considered to be a part of animal agriculture; however, disease inspection, prevention, and control programs and related activities for farm-raised fish are administered by the department of fish and wildlife under *chapter 75.58 RCW.
"Communicable disease" means a disease due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic products transmitted from an infected person, animal, or inanimate reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector, or the environment.
"Contagious disease" means a communicable disease that is capable of being easily transmitted from one animal to another animal or a human.
"Director" means the director of agriculture of the state of Washington or his authorized representative.
"Department" means the department of agriculture of the state of Washington.
"Deputized state veterinarian" means a Washington state licensed and accredited veterinarian appointed and compensated by the director according to state law and department policies.
"Garbage" means the solid animal and vegetable waste and offal together with the natural moisture content resulting from the handling, preparation, or consumption of foods in houses, restaurants, hotels, kitchens, markets, meat shops, packing houses and similar establishments or any other food waste containing meat or meat products.
"Herd or flock plan" means a written management agreement between the owner of a herd or flock and the state veterinarian, with possible input from a private accredited veterinarian designated by the owner and the area veterinarian-in- charge of the United States department of agriculture, animal and plant health inspection service, veterinary services in which each participant agrees to undertake actions specified in the herd or flock plan to control the spread of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease within and from an infected herd or flock and to work toward eradicating the disease in the infected herd or flock.
"Hold order" means an order by the director to the owner or agent of the owner of animals or animal reproductive products which restricts the animals or products to a designated holding location pending an investigation by the director of the disease, disease exposure, well-being, movement, or import status of the animals or animal reproductive products.
"Infectious agent" means an organism including viruses, rickettsia, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminthes, or prions that is capable of producing infection or infectious disease.
"Infectious disease" means a clinical disease of man or animals resulting from an infection with an infectious agent that may or may not be communicable or contagious.
"Livestock" means horses, mules, donkeys, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine, rabbits, llamas, alpacas, ratites, poultry, waterfowl, game birds, and other species so designated by statute. "Livestock" does not mean free ranging wildlife as defined in Title 77 RCW.
"Person" means a person, persons, firm, or corporation.
"Quarantine" means the placing and restraining of any animal or its reproductive products by the owner or agent of the owner within a certain described and designated enclosure or area within this state, or the restraining of any animal or its reproductive products from entering this state, as may be directed in an order by the director.
"Reportable disease" means a disease designated by rule by the director as reportable to the department by veterinarians and others made responsible to report by statute.
"Veterinary biologic" means any virus, serum, toxin, and analogous product of natural or synthetic origin, or product prepared from any type of genetic engineering, such as diagnostics, antitoxins, vaccines, live microorganisms, killed microorganisms, and the antigenic or immunizing components intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of diseases in animals.
16.36.010. Quarantine--Hold order
(1) The director shall supervise the prevention of the spread and the suppression of infectious, contagious, communicable, and dangerous diseases affecting animals within, in transit through, and imported into the state.
(2) The director may issue a quarantine order and enforce the quarantine of any animal or its reproductive products that is affected with or has been exposed to disease, either within or outside the state. The quarantine shall remain in effect as long as the director deems necessary.
(3) The director may issue a hold order when:
(a) Overt disease or exposure to disease in an animal is not immediately obvious but there is reasonable cause to investigate whether an animal is diseased or has been exposed to disease;
(b) Import health papers, permits, or other transportation documents required by law or rule are not complete or are suspected to be fraudulent; or
(c) Further transport of an animal would jeopardize the well-being of the animal or other animals in Washington state. A hold order is in effect for seven days and expires at midnight on the seventh day from the date of the hold order. A hold order may be replaced with a quarantine order for the purpose of animal disease control.
(4) Any animal or animal reproductive product placed under a quarantine or hold order shall be kept separate and apart from other animals designated in the instructions of the quarantine or hold order, and shall not be allowed to have anything in common with other animals.
(5) The expenses of handling and caring for any animal or animal reproductive product placed under a quarantine or hold order are the responsibility of the owner.
(6) The director has authority over the quarantine or hold area until the quarantine or hold order is released or the hold order expires.
(7) Any animal or animal reproductive product placed under a quarantine or hold order may not be moved, transported, or sold without written approval from the director or until the quarantine or hold order is released, or the hold order expires.
(8) The director may administer oaths and examine witnesses and records in the performance of his or her duties to control diseases affecting animals.
16.36.020. Powers of director
(1) The director shall enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter pertaining to garbage feeding.
(2) The director has the authority to regulate the sale, distribution, and use of veterinary biologics in the state and may adopt rules to restrict the sale, distribution, or use of any veterinary biologic in any manner necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and the state's animal population.
(3) The director has the authority to license and regulate the activities of veterinary laboratories that do not have a veterinarian licensed under chapter 18.92 RCW present within the management or staff of the veterinary laboratory. The director may adopt rules to regulate these laboratories in any manner necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and the public's animals.
16.36.025. Recovery of costs
The director may collect moneys to recover the reasonable costs of printing and distributing certificates and other supplies to veterinarians.
16.36.040. Rules--Prevention--Inspections and tests--Reportable disease-- Federal regulations
(1) The director may adopt and enforce rules necessary to carry out the purpose and provisions of this chapter, and including:
(a) Preventing the introduction or spreading of infectious, contagious, communicable, or dangerous diseases affecting animals in this state;
(b) Governing the inspection and testing of all animals within or about to be imported into this state; and
(c) Designating any disease as a reportable disease.
(2) Rules to prevent the introduction or spread of infectious, contagious, communicable, or dangerous diseases affecting animals in this state may differ from federal regulations by being more restrictive.
16.36.050. Unlawful actions--Importation--Required certificates--Intentional or willful misconduct
It is unlawful for any person to:
(1) Bring into this state for any purpose any animals without first having secured an official health certificate or certificate of veterinary inspection, reviewed by the state veterinarian of the state of origin that the animals meet the health requirements of the state of Washington. This subsection does not apply to livestock imported into this state for immediate slaughter, or other animals exempted by rule;
(2) Divert en route to other than an approved, inspected feedlot for subsequent slaughter or to sell for other than immediate slaughter or to fail to slaughter within seven calendar days after arrival, any animal imported into this state for immediate slaughter;
(3) Intentionally falsely make, complete, alter, use, or sign an animal health certificate, certificate of veterinary inspection, or official written animal health document of the department;
(4) Willfully hinder, obstruct, or resist the director, or any peace officer or deputized state veterinarian acting under him or her, when engaged in the performance of their duties; or
(5) Willfully fail to comply with or to violate any rule or order adopted by the director under this chapter.
16.36.060. Tests or examinations--Entry onto premises--Unlawful conduct
The director has the authority to enter the animal premises of any animal owner at any reasonable time to make tests on or examinations of any animals for disease conditions when there is reasonable evidence that animals on the premises are infected with or have been exposed to a reportable disease. It is unlawful for any person to interfere with the tests or examinations, or to alter any segregation or identification systems made in connection with the tests or examinations.
16.36.070. Danger of infection--Emergencies
When any local governing body notifies the director of the presence or probable danger of infection from any animal diseases, the director, state veterinarian, or a deputized state veterinarian shall respond immediately and take appropriate action. In case of an emergency, the director may appoint deputies or assistants with equal power to act.
16.36.080. Veterinarians and others to report diseases--Director's duties-- Unlawful importation
(1) Any person licensed to practice veterinary medicine, surgery, and dentistry in this state, veterinary laboratories, and others designated by this chapter shall immediately report in writing or by telephone, facsimile, or electronic mail to the director the existence or suspected existence of any reportable disease among animals within the state.
(2) Persons using their own diagnostic services must report any reportable disease among animals within the state to the director.
(3) The director shall investigate and/or maintain records of all cases of reportable diseases among animals within this state.
(4) The director may require appropriate treatment of any animal affected with, suspected of being affected with, or that has been exposed to any reportable disease. The owner may dispose of the animal rather than treating the animal as required by the director.
(5) It is unlawful for any person to import any animal infected with or exposed to a reportable disease without a permit from the director.
16.36.082. Infected or exposed animals--Unlawful to transfer or expose other animals
(1) It is unlawful for any person to sell, exchange, or give away any animal that he or she knows:
(a) Is infected with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease;
(b) Has been exposed to any contagious, communicable, or infectious disease within the previous thirty days; or
(c) Has been treated for any condition within the previous thirty days;
without notifying the purchaser or person taking possession of the animal of the infection, exposure, or treatment unless the legal withdrawal period for any treatment has been met or exceeded.
(2) It is unlawful for any owner or person in possession of any animal having any contagious, communicable, or infectious disease to knowingly:
(a) Turn out the animal onto enclosed lands adjoining the enclosed lands of another that are kept for pasture or otherwise used for raising animals without notifying the owner of the enclosed lands; or
(b) Stable the animal or allow the animal to be stabled in any barn with other animals without notifying the other owners.
16.36.086. Negligence of owner of infected livestock--Liability
When any livestock affected with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease mingle with any healthy livestock belonging to another person, through the fault or negligence of the owner of the diseased livestock or his or her agent, the owner is liable for all damages sustained by the owner of the healthy livestock.
16.36.090. Destruction of diseased or quarantined animals
When public welfare demands, the director may order the slaughter or destruction of any animal affected with or exposed to any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease that is affecting or may affect the health of the state's animal population. The director may order destruction of any animal held under quarantine when the owner of the animal fails or refuses to follow a herd or flock plan. The director shall give a written order directing an animal be destroyed by or under the direction of the state veterinarian.
16.36.096. Destruction of animals--Payment of indemnity
In ordering the slaughter or destruction of any animal, the director may pay an indemnity in an amount not to exceed seventy-five percent of the appraised or salvage value of the animal ordered slaughtered or destroyed. The actual indemnity amount shall be established by the director by rule. Payment of indemnity does not apply to an animal: (1) Belonging to the federal government or any of its agencies, this state or any of its agencies, or any municipal corporation; or (2) that has been brought into this state in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.
16.36.098. Quarantine, hold, or destruct order--Written request for hearing
Any person whose animal or animal reproductive products are placed under a quarantine, hold, or destruct order may request a hearing. The request for a hearing must be in writing and filed with the director. Any hearing will be held in conformance with RCW 34.05.422 and 34.05.479.
16.36.100. Cooperation with other governmental agencies
The director is authorized to cooperate with and enter into agreements with governmental agencies of this state, other states, and agencies of federal government in order to carry out the purpose and provisions of this chapter and to promote consistency of regulation.
16.36.110. Violations, gross misdemeanor--Injunction--Denial, revocation, or suspension of license
(1) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Each day upon which a violation occurs constitutes a separate violation.
(2) The director may bring an action to enjoin the violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter in the superior court of Thurston county or of the county in which such violation occurs notwithstanding the existence of other remedies at law.
(3) The director may deny, revoke, or suspend any license issued under this chapter for any failure or refusal to comply with this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter. Upon notice by the director to deny, revoke, or suspend a license, a person may request a hearing under chapter 34.05 RCW.
16.38.010. Declaration of purpose
The production of livestock is one of the largest industries in this state; and whereas livestock disease constitutes a constant threat to the public health and the production of livestock in this state; and whereas the prevention and control of such livestock diseases by the state may be best carried on by the establishment of a diagnostic service program for livestock diseases; therefore it is in the public interest and for the purpose of protecting health and general welfare that a livestock diagnostic service program be established.
16.38.020. Director authorized to carry on diagnostic program
The director of agriculture is hereby authorized to carry on a diagnostic service program for the purpose of diagnosing any livestock disease which affects or may affect any livestock which is or may be produced in this state or otherwise handled in any manner for public distribution or consumption.
16.38.030. Employment of personnel
In carrying out such diagnostic service program the director of agriculture may employ, subject to the state civil service act, chapter 41.06 RCW, the necessary personnel to properly effectuate such diagnostic service program.
16.38.050. Acceptance of gifts, funds, equipment, etc
In carrying out such diagnostic service program, the director of agriculture may accept public or private funds, gifts or equipment or any other necessary properties.
16.38.060. Schedule of fees may be established--Use
The director may, following a public hearing, establish a schedule of fees for services performed in carrying out such diagnostic service program. All fees collected under this provision shall be retained by the director of agriculture to be spent only for carrying out the purposes of this chapter.
For the purposes of this chapter, unless clearly indicated otherwise by the context:
(1) "Director" means the director of agriculture;
(2) "Meat food animal" means cattle, horses, mules, asses, swine, sheep and goats;
(3) "Dead animal" means the body of a meat food animal, or any part or portion thereof: Provided, That the following dead animals are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
(a) Edible products from a licensed slaughtering establishment;
(b) Edible products where the meat food animal was slaughtered under farm slaughter permit;
(c) Edible products where the meat food animal was slaughtered by a bona fide farmer on his own ranch for his own consumption;
(d) Hides from meat food animals that are properly identified as to ownership and brands;
(4) "Carcass" means all parts, including viscera, of a dead meat food animal;
(5) "Person" means any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, or association;
(6) "Rendering plant" means any place of business or location where dead animals or any part or portion thereof, or packing house refuse, are processed for the purpose of obtaining the hide, skin, grease residue, or any other byproduct whatsoever;
(7) "Substation" means a properly equipped and authorized concentration site for the temporary storage of dead animals or packing house refuse pending final delivery to a licensed rendering plant;
(8) "Place of transfer" means an authorized reloading site for the direct transfer of dead animals or packing house refuse from the vehicle making original pickup to the line vehicle that will transport the dead animals or packing house refuse to a specified licensed rendering plant;
(9) "Independent collector" means any person who does not own a licensed rendering plant within the state of Washington but is properly equipped and licensed to transport dead animals or packing house refuse to a specified rendering plant.
16.68.020. Duty to bury carcass of diseased animal--Dead animal presumed diseased
Every person owning or having in charge any animal that has died or been killed on account of disease shall immediately bury the carcass thereof to such a depth that no part of the carcass shall be nearer than three feet from the surface of the ground. Any animal found dead shall be presumed to have died from and on account of disease.
16.68.030. Sale, gift, or conveyance prohibited--Exceptions
It is unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale or give away a dead animal or convey the same along any public road or land not his own: Provided, That dead animals may be sold or given away to and legally transported on highways by a person having an unrevoked, annual license to operate a rendering plant or by a person having an unrevoked, annual license to operate as an independent collector.
16.68.040. License required of rendering plants and independent collectors
It is unlawful for any person to operate a rendering plant or act as an independent collector without first obtaining a license from the director.
16.68.130. Right of access to premises and records
The director or his authorized agent, shall have free and uninterrupted access to all parts of premises that come under the provisions of this chapter, for the purpose of making inspections and the examination of records.
16.68.140. Unlawful possession of horse meat--Exceptions
It shall be unlawful for any person to transport, to sell, offer to sell, or have on his premises horse meat for other than human consumption unless said horse meat is decharacterized in a manner prescribed by the director: Provided, That this provision shall not apply to carcasses slaughtered by a farmer for consumption on his own ranch or to carcasses in the possession of a person licensed under this chapter, or to canned horse meat meeting United States bureau of animal industry regulations.
16.68.170. Rules and regulations
The director is authorized and shall make and enforce such regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this chapter. Such regulations shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
16.68.180. Penalty for violations
The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor.
43.23.070. Powers and duties of state veterinarian
The state veterinarian shall exercise all the powers and perform all duties prescribed by law relating to diseases among animals and the quarantine and destruction of diseased animals.
The state veterinarian shall enforce and supervise the administration of all laws relating to meat inspection, the prevention, detection, control and eradication of diseases of animals, and all other matters relative to the diseases of livestock and their effect upon the public health.
Amended in 1998.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in January 2002.
Return to Top of This Page
Return to Quarantine and Health Certificate Page