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Vernon's Texas Statutes and Codes Annotated. Occupations Code. Title 13. Sports, Amusements, and Entertainment. Subtitle D. Other Amusements and Entertainment. Chapter 2152. Regulation of Circuses, Carnivals, and Zoos.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: TX OCC § 2152.001 - 202

Citation: V. T. C. A., Occupations Code § 2152.001 - 202


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 09/2010

Summary:   This set of Texas laws concerns the regulation of carnivals, circuses, and zoos. However, circuses are specifically exempted from regulation if they are licensed by the USDA and if the circus provides proof of (mandatory) inspection at least once a year. "Circus" is defined as a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for public entertainment. In Texas, the Texas Board of Health must adopt standards for the operation of circuses, carnivals, and zoos that promote humane conditions for animals and protect the public health and safety. A person may not operate a circus, carnival, or zoo unless the person holds a license issued under this chapter for the circus, carnival, or zoo. A person who knowingly operates a circus without a license under this chapter commits a Class C misdemeanor.


Statute in Full:

Subchapter A. General Provisions

§ 2152.001. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) “Board” means the Texas Board of Health.

(2) “Circus” or “carnival” means a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for public entertainment.

(3) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of health.

(4) “Department” means the Texas Department of Health.

(5) “Person” means an individual, association, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, joint-stock company, foundation, or political subdivision.

(6) “Zoo” means any mobile or stationary premises where living animals that normally live in a wild state are kept primarily for display to the public.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.002. Exemption From Regulation

This chapter does not apply to:

(1) a circus, carnival, or zoo licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.) and that furnishes proof to the commissioner that it is inspected by the federal agency administering that act at least once each calendar year;

(2) a zoo:

(A) operated by a political subdivision of this state or a child-care institution; or

(B) accredited by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums;

(3) a premises where nonindigenous ruminants are bred and raised; or

(4) an organization sponsoring, and all persons participating in, an exhibition of a domestic livestock show or rodeo.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

Subchapter B. Board Powers and Duties

§ 2152.051. Rulemaking Authority

The board shall adopt rules necessary to administer this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.052. Operating Standards

(a) The board shall adopt standards for the operation of circuses, carnivals, and zoos that promote humane conditions for animals and protect the public health and safety.

(b) The standards must include provisions relating to housing and sanitation, animal health and disease control, and control, care, and transportation of animals.

(c) In adopting and enforcing standards under this section, the board may consult experts and persons concerned with the welfare of animals in circuses, carnivals, and zoos.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.053. Board Inspections

(a) The board shall inspect circuses, carnivals, and zoos to determine if they comply with the standards adopted under Section 2152.052.

(b) The board or its agents may enter at reasonable times to conduct an inspection under this section.

(c) The board shall prescribe the qualifications for its agents employed to conduct an inspection under this section.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.054. Fees

(a) The board shall prescribe the amount of each type of fee required by this chapter.

(b) A fee received by the board under this chapter is not refundable.

(c) During the period beginning on August 31 and ending on September 10 of each year, the board shall file with the governor an annual financial report relating to the administration of this chapter.

(d) If the funds in the circus, carnival, and zoo licensing fund at the beginning of the state fiscal year plus the fees anticipated for that year exceed the probable costs of administering this chapter during that year, the board shall reduce the fees required by this chapter by the amount necessary to eliminate the projected surplus.

(e) All expenses for the administration of this chapter shall be paid from fees collected by the board under this chapter.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.055. Contracts

(a) The board may enter into contracts or agreements necessary to administer this chapter.

(b) Under a contract or agreement, the board may pay for materials, equipment, or services from any available funds.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

Subchapter C. License Requirements

§ 2152.101. License Required

A person may not operate a circus, carnival, or zoo unless the person holds a license issued under this chapter for the circus, carnival, or zoo.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.


§ 2152.102. Application

To be licensed under this chapter, a person must:

(1) submit to the board a written application on a form prescribed by the board;

(2) furnish information requested by the board; and

(3) pay an application fee.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.103. License Issuance

(a) The board shall issue a license under this chapter to an applicant who:

(1) complies with Section 2152.102;

(2) meets the standards adopted under Section 2152.052; and

(3) pays a license fee.

(b) A license issued under this chapter is valid for:

(1) two years from the date of issuance; or

(2) a lesser period determined appropriate by the board for circuses that are not resident in this state and that are not exempt under Section 2152.002(1).

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.104. License Renewal

(a) A license holder may renew the license by submitting to the board before the expiration date of the license a renewal fee and a renewal application on a form prescribed by the board.

(b) The board shall issue a renewed license to a license holder who complies with Subsection (a) and meets the standards adopted under Section 2152.052.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

Subchapter D. License Denial, Suspension, or Revocation

§ 2152.151. Denial of License

(a) If the commissioner determines after the inspection required under Section 2152.053 that an applicant for a license has failed to comply with the standards adopted under Section 2152.052, the commissioner shall refuse to issue the license and shall give the applicant written notice of the decision and the reasons for the decision.

(b) Not later than the 31st day after the date the notice is received, the applicant may submit to the commissioner a written request for a hearing on the license denial. The commissioner shall conduct the hearing not later than the 31st day after the date the request is received.

(c) If after the hearing the commissioner determines that the applicant has failed to comply with the standards, the commissioner shall refuse to issue the license.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.152. Revocation or Suspension of License

(a) If the commissioner determines after the inspection required under Section 2152.053 that a license holder has failed to comply with the standards adopted under Section 2152.052, the commissioner shall give written notice to the license holder of a revocation hearing to be held not later than the 31st day after the date the notice is given.

(b) If after the hearing the commissioner determines that the license holder has failed to comply with the standards, the commissioner shall revoke the license.

(c) In addition to the proceedings described in Subsections (a) and (b), if the commissioner determines after inspection that a license holder has committed gross violations of the standards, the commissioner may, after giving written notice to the license holder, suspend the license for not more than 31 days pending the revocation hearing.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.153. Judicial Review

A person whose application for a license is denied or whose license is revoked is entitled to judicial review in accordance with Chapter 2001, Government Code.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.154. Informal Disposition

Sections 2152.151, 2152.152, and 2152.201 do not preclude an informal disposition of the matter by an agreement between a license holder and the board.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.


 

Subchapter E. Enforcement

§ 2152.201. Seizure and Sale of Animals

(a) If a license is suspended or revoked, the commissioner may seek a writ from a justice of the peace serving the justice precinct in which the circus, carnival, or zoo is located ordering the sheriff or other peace officer to seize any of the animals being kept on the premises of the circus, carnival, or zoo operated by the person whose license was suspended or revoked.

(b) The justice of the peace shall issue the writ if the justice finds probable cause to believe that any of the animals are in danger of being harmed by a gross violation of the licensing standards.

(c) The board's employees may accompany the peace officer executing the writ. The department may rent, lease, or acquire facilities for keeping impounded animals.

(d) If the license is revoked and the commissioner's decision becomes final, the commissioner shall order a public sale by auction of the seized animals.

(e) Proceeds from the sale shall be applied first to the expenses incurred in conducting the sale. The commissioner shall return any excess proceeds to the person whose license is revoked.

(f) The person whose license was revoked or the person's agent may not participate in the auction.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 

§ 2152.202. Criminal Penalty

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly violates Section 2152.101.

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

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

 



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