3.1-723 State Veterinarian and assistants.
The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall employ a qualified veterinarian who shall be known as the State Veterinarian, and may employ assistant veterinarians whose duties it shall be to carry out the laws of the Commonwealth and the rules and regulations of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The State Veterinarian shall reside at such point in the Commonwealth as the Commissioner may, from time to time, designate as most suited to the efficient dispatch of the business of his office. The State Veterinarian, and all other veterinarians, shall have the power to carry into effect all lawful orders given by the Board or the Commissioner.
The State Veterinarian may deputize duly licensed practicing veterinarians and veterinarians in the employment of the United States Department of Agriculture, and all such veterinarians shall have authority to perform the duties of assistant veterinarians employed by the Commissioner.
3.1-724 Protection of domestic animals and poultry.
The State Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the State Veterinarian, and all other veterinarians within the Commonwealth, shall have authority, and it shall be their duty, to use their best efforts to protect domestic animals and poultry from disease. It shall also be the duty of the Board and the State Veterinarian to cooperate with the livestock sanitary control officials of other states, and with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, and the United States Department of Agriculture in establishing such interstate quarantine lines, rules and regulations as to best protect the livestock and poultry of this Commonwealth against all contagious and infectious diseases.
3.1-725 Laboratory for diagnosis of diseases.
The Board shall maintain and operate at some suitable location in the County of Rockingham and in such other places within the Commonwealth as the Board may determine a laboratory for the diagnosis of diseases of livestock and poultry, and for such other uses and purposes as may be determined by the Board.
3.1-726 Contagious and infectious diseases; presence of biological residues; eradication and prevention.
A. The diseases known as tuberculosis, foot and mouth disease, anthrax, Bang's abortion disease, hemorrhagic septicemia, Texas fever, hog cholera, cattle scab, sheep scab, pullorum disease and all such other diseases of livestock and poultry, whether or not of similar character, as may be found to be of a contagious and infectious nature, shall be classed as contagious and infectious diseases of livestock and poultry, and such measures shall be taken by the Board or its authorized veterinarian as to them may seem necessary, to eradicate and prevent the spread of such diseases. The Board may adopt such regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article. The Board and the Commissioner are also authorized to make the regulations adopted under this article conform, insofar as practicable, to those regulations adopted under federal statutes governing animal health.
B. The Commissioner may adopt by reference any federal regulation adopted pursuant to any federal statute relating to animal health, including, but not limited to, 21 U.S.C. ss 111-113, 115, 117, 120, 123-126, 134a, 134b, and 134f; the Animal Industry Act; the Cattle Contagious Diseases Act; and the Animal Quarantine Act. Any regulation adopted by the Commissioner pursuant to this subsection shall be effective upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations, who shall publish the regulation as a final regulation in the Virginia Register of Regulations.
The regulation shall contain a preamble stating that the Board will receive, consider and respond to a petition by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision of such regulation. Neither the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (s 9-6.14:1 et seq.) nor public participation guidelines adopted pursuant thereto shall apply to the adoption of any regulation by the Commissioner pursuant to this subsection.
C. The Board, after giving notice in the Virginia Register of Regulations, may reconsider the regulation adopted by the Commissioner. If, upon reconsideration, the Board determines that the regulation should be revised other than as authorized by subsection B of this section, the Board may amend the regulation only as authorized by the Administrative Process Act.
D. The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services may use the powers granted by this article to abate the presence of biological residues in or on livestock or poultry. Biological residues shall mean those substances remaining in or on any animal prior to or at the time of slaughter as the result of treatment or exposure which are determined by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to be or to have the potential for being injurious to the health of humans or animals.
3.1-727 Duty of State Veterinarian when animals or poultry suspected of such disease.
It shall be the duty of the State Veterinarian at any time, upon receipt of reliable information of the existence among domestic animals or poultry of the Commonwealth of any infectious or contagious disease, to go at once, or order an assistant veterinarian to go, to the place where such disease is alleged to exist for the purpose of making a careful examination of the animals or poultry believed to be affected with such disease, and ascertain, if possible, what, if any, disease exists, and whether the same is contagious or infectious. If a disease is found to be contagious or infectious, the State Veterinarian, or an assistant, may adopt and enforce such quarantine lines and regulations and shall enforce such cleaning and disinfection of premises, cars or vehicles, as may be deemed necessary to prevent the spread of such disease, which quarantine lines, and regulations, when so adopted, shall supersede any similar provisions made by the board of supervisors of any county under the provisions of Chapter 12 (s 15.1-503.4:10 et seq.) of Title 15.1.
3.1-728 Animals or poultry not permitted to enter or leave quarantine.
No domestic animals or poultry infected with any infectious or contagious disease or which have been exposed to such disease, or are otherwise capable of communicating the disease, shall be permitted to enter or leave the district, premises or grounds so quarantined, except by authority of the State Veterinarian.
3.1-729 Quarantine of persons.
Persons exposed to animal and poultry diseases which, in the opinion of the State Veterinarian, may be transmitted by such persons to animals or poultry, may be quarantined when, in the opinion of the State Veterinarian, such quarantine will prevent the spread of such diseases among livestock or poultry.
3.1-730 Rules as to separation and caring for diseased animals or poultry.
The Board or the State Veterinarian shall also, from time to time, give and enforce such directions and prescribe such rules and regulations as to separating, feeding and caring for diseased or exposed animals or poultry as shall be necessary to prevent the animals or poultry so affected with such disease, or capable of communicating disease, from coming in contact with other animals or poultry not so affected.
3.1-731 Right of entry.
The State Veterinarian and his assistants are authorized and empowered to enter upon any grounds or premises to carry out the provisions of ss 3.1-726 to 3.1-733.
3.1-732 Notice of quarantine.
The State Veterinarian, or an assistant veterinarian, may give such notice as may be necessary to make the quarantine effective.
Any person who shall fail to do any of the things required of him in ss 3.1- 726 to 3.1-732, or fail or refuse to allow the State Veterinarian or his agent to do or to perform any duty required of him by ss 3.1-726 to 3.1-732, or who shall violate any of the rules and regulations authorized by these sections, or who shall violate quarantines established by virtue of these sections, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
3.1-734 Quarantine against diseased animals or poultry in other states.
When the Board or State Veterinarian shall have good reason to believe of the existence of contagious and infectious diseases of animals or poultry in localities in other states, territories or countries, or that conditions exist therein which, in the judgment of the Board or of the State Veterinarian, render the importation of domestic animals or poultry from such localities a menace to the health of the livestock or poultry of this Commonwealth, the Board or the State Veterinarian shall, by proclamation, prohibit the importation of any or all kinds of livestock, or poultry from any locality of other states, territories or countries, into this Commonwealth, unless accompanied by a certificate of health given by a properly authorized veterinarian designated by him, and the cost thereof may be charged to the owner or person in possession. If, in the opinion of the examining veterinarian, there is danger from contagion or infection, any or all such animals or poultry may be placed in close quarantine at the expense of the owner until all danger of infection or contagion is passed; thereupon, the animals or poultry shall be released by the order of the State Veterinarian or other veterinarian in charge.
3.1-735. Certificate of veterinary inspection required for importation of certain pet animals or poultry; examination, etc., where imported without certificate; exceptions
No person shall import into this Commonwealth any pet animal, including but not limited to, dogs, cats, monkeys, or other animals, ferae naturae, wild or tame under domestication or in custody, or any poultry not intended for commercial use which by its nature is fit for use only as a pet until such animal or poultry is accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection made by a properly qualified veterinarian. Such certificate shall be under oath on an official interstate health certificate issued by the state of origin, shall be dated no more than ten days before shipment, and shall contain such evidence of proof of the health of the animal or poultry as the Board, by regulation, may require. Any such animal or poultry, which may be imported into this Commonwealth without such certificate, may be examined immediately by the State Veterinarian or by a licensed veterinarian, designated by him, and the examination cost may be charged to the owner or the person in possession of such animal or poultry. If, in the opinion of the veterinarian, there is danger from contagion or
infection, such animal or poultry may be placed in close quarantine at the expense of the owner until all danger of infection or contagion has passed, whereupon the animal or poultry shall be released upon the order of such veterinarian. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any ornamental aquarium fish or invertebrate animal. The provisions of this section shall also not apply to any animal or poultry as herein defined passing directly through the Commonwealth to another state in interstate commerce, or when such animal or poultry is kept properly under control by the owner or custodian of such animal or poultry when passing through this Commonwealth to another state; to any such animal or poultry brought into this Commonwealth by a resident of this Commonwealth or by a resident of another state who intends to make his residence in this Commonwealth except if brought into the Commonwealth with the intent of offering it for public sale, trade, or promotional incentive; or to any animal brought into this Commonwealth temporarily for the purpose of
hunting or legal exhibition within this state.
3.1-736 Bringing into Commonwealth animals or poultry infected with disease, or in violation of rule or regulation; disinfecting cars, etc.
Any person, firm or corporation who, for himself shall transport from outside the Commonwealth into this Commonwealth any animal or poultry, knowing the same to be infected with a contagious or infectious disease, or any animal or poultry known by the importer to have been exposed to a contagious or infectious disease, or known to bear upon its body fever ticks or other germs or known to be a carrier of disease, or who imports any animal or poultry in violation of any legally adopted quarantine or other rule or regulation of the Board, or of the State Veterinarian, or who violates a rule or regulation of the Board or the State Veterinarian requiring railroad, navigation, trucking and airline companies or corporations, firms or persons to cleanse and disinfect cars or vehicles used by them for transporting livestock into or through the Commonwealth, as may be reasonably necessary to prevent the spread of contagious and infectious diseases of animals within the Commonwealth, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
3.1-737 Duty of operators of stockyards, poultry slaughteryards, etc.
Any person, firm or corporation who operates a stockyard, livestock auction sale, slaughterhouse pens, or poultry slaughteryards, or other places or premises where livestock or poultry are repeatedly assembled, and which may harbor diseases of livestock or poultry, shall maintain such premises, yards, pens, saleyards or poultry slaughteryards or other premises in a sanitary condition as directed by the State Veterinarian, shall obey all orders or regulations of the Board or the State Veterinarian as to handling livestock or poultry that may be affected with disease, or that have been exposed to disease, and shall clean and disinfect such pens, yards, premises, or other establishments or vehicles used in connection therewith, or any part thereof, when ordered to do so by the State Veterinarian. Any person, firm or corporation who shall fail or refuse to obey or comply with any such order or regulation shall be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
3.1-738 Duty of officers to execute orders of Board or State Veterinarian.
The Board, or State Veterinarian, shall have power to call upon any law- enforcement officer as defined in s 9-169 to execute their orders, and such officers shall obey the orders of the Board or the State Veterinarian.
3.1-738.1 Circuit court judges may enforce orders of State Veterinarian.
Upon proper application by the State Veterinarian, the judges of all circuit courts in this Commonwealth may issue such decrees as are necessary to enforce the orders of the State Veterinarian.
3.1-740 Liability for damages for violating this and next article, etc.
Any person, firm or corporation knowingly disregarding, violating or evading any provision of any section of this article, with the exception of ss 3.1-725 and 3.1-739, or of Article 2 (s 3.1-742.1 et seq.) of this chapter or any rules, regulation or order of the Board, State Veterinarian, or any other person lawfully deputized to enforce the law, or any such rule, regulation or order, shall, in addition to the punishment otherwise provided for, or any other remedy, be liable to the owner thereof, for any damages to his livestock or poultry, occasioned by such disregarding, violating or evading of any of such provisions, rules, regulations or orders.
3.1-741 Cost of administering this and next article.
The cost and expenses of administering this article, with the exception of § 3.1-725, and the next succeeding article (§ 3.1-742.1 et seq.) shall be paid out of money appropriated for the protection of livestock from disease.
15.2-1200 General powers of counties.
Any county may adopt such measures as it may deem expedient to secure and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of such county, not inconsistent with the general laws of this Commonwealth. Such power shall include, but shall not be limited to, the adoption of quarantine regulations affecting both persons and animals, the adoption of necessary regulations to prevent the spread of contagious diseases among persons or animals and the adoption of regulations for the prevention of the pollution of water in the county whereby it is rendered dangerous to the health or lives of persons residing in the county.
Amended in 2001, 2002.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in January 2002.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in May 2003.
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