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Maine

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, Title 12. Conservation, Part 13. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Subpart 4. Fish and Wildlife Chapter 915. Hunting: Seasons, Requirements and Restrictions. Subchapter 15. Wildlife Importation and Possession, Permits and Requirements,

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: ME ST T. 12 12151 - 12161

Citation: 12 M.R.S.A. 12151 - 12161


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   These Maine statutes prohibit keeping wildlife in captivity, importing, breeding or releasing wildlife into the wild, with exceptions for a person holding a license. Taking reptiles, amphibians, and certain nonmarine invertebrates from the wild is also prohibited without a license. Provisions for the disposition of wolf hybrids are included. Penalties for violations incur fines that range from $100 to $500. Three or more such violations are considered to be a Class E criminal offense. 


Statute in Full:

 

§ 12151. Keeping wildlife in captivity

§ 12152. Permit to possess wildlife in captivity

§ 12153. Violation of rules regarding wild animals in captivity

§ 12154. Department breeding or rearing wild birds

§ 12155. Importation permit for wildlife

§ 12156. Release of wild birds and wild animals into wild

§ 12157. Permit to transport wildlife for breeding and advertising

§ 12158. Importation permit for pheasants

§ 12159. Taking reptiles and amphibians from the wild

§ 12160. Disposition of wolf hybrids

§ 12161. Taking of certain nonmarine invertebrates from the wild for commercial purposes

 

§ 12151. Keeping wildlife in captivity

1. Prohibition. A person may not keep wildlife in captivity except as provided under sections 10105, subsection 10, 12102, 12152, 12155, 12157, 12158 and 12704 and Title 7, section 1809 or except if the wild animal was purchased from a dealer or pet shop licensed under Title 7, section 3933.

2. Penalties. The following penalties apply to violations of this section.

A. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates subsection 1 after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-200, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.


§ 12152. Permit to possess wildlife in captivity

1. Repealed. Laws 2003, c. 655, § B-201, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.

2. Affected species. Except as otherwise provided in this Part, this section applies to the possession of any wildlife regulated by the State that is held in captivity and to the importation of wildlife from an area outside the State, including:

A. All species listed under state law as threatened or endangered;

B. All species other than those listed in paragraph A not included on a list of unregulated, nonnative species that is maintained by the commissioner to facilitate the issuance of importation permits; and

C. Species identified in rules adopted by the commissioner.

3. Issuance. The commissioner may issue a permit to a person permitting the possession and use of wildlife with the following exceptions.

A. A propagation, rearing and sale permit does not authorize the permittee to possess, propagate or sell deer, bear, moose, wild turkey, hybrid wild turkey or wild turkey-domestic turkey cross nor does it authorize the permittee to possess, propagate or sell any wild animal taken in accordance with section 11601 or 11602.

B. A commercial exhibition permit does not authorize the permittee to import any species of wild turkey, hybrid wild turkey or wild turkey-domestic turkey cross or the eggs of these species.

C. A general possession permit does not authorize the permittee to possess, propagate or sell deer, bear, moose, wild turkey, hybrid turkey or wild turkey-domestic turkey cross nor does it authorize the permittee to possess, propagate or sell any wild animal taken in accordance with section 11601 or 11602.

D. A rehabilitation permit does not authorize the permittee to possess, propagate or sell any wild animal taken in accordance with section 11601 or 11602.

4. Fees. Permit fees are as follows:

A. Propagation, $27 for 2 calendar years;

B. Commercial exhibition or attracting trade, $147 every 2 years from July 1st to June 30th;

C. Personal use, professional or vocational husbandry, therapy or aid to disabled persons, $27 every 2 calendar years; and

D. Rehabilitation, renewable every 2 years, no fee.

5. Rules. The commissioner may adopt rules necessary for the administration of this section, including provisions to ensure that all wildlife possessed under these permits receives humane treatment and proper husbandry and security, and to safeguard the interests of the wildlife and citizens of the State. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

6. Additional permit requirements. In addition to the provisions adopted under subsection 3, the commissioner may assign permit conditions or requirements designed to mitigate potential impacts or risks that may arise from the possession of specific wildlife species or to ensure the humane treatment or proper husbandry for specific species.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-201, eff. Aug. 31, 2004; 2005, c. 12, § III-22; 2005, c. 117, § 2.


§ 12153. Violation of rules regarding wild animals in captivity

The following penalties apply to the violation of rules regarding wild animals in captivity.

1. Civil. A person who violates a rule regarding wild animals in captivity commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

2. Criminal. A person who violates a rule regarding wild animals in captivity after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-202, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.


§ 12154. Department breeding or rearing wild birds

Notwithstanding section 12151 as it applies to section 12152, section 12151 does not apply to migratory game birds, partridge, grouse or pheasant owned by the department.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-203, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.


§ 12155. Importation permit for wildlife

1. Permit required. Except as otherwise authorized pursuant to this Part, a person may not:

A. Introduce or import wildlife into the State; or

B. Receive or possess wildlife introduced or imported into the State.
This subsection does not apply to a person who has a valid permit issued under this section.
Each day a person violates this subsection that person commits a Class E crime for which a minimum fine of $50 and an amount equal to twice the applicable license fee must be imposed.

2. Issuance. The commissioner may issue a written permit to any person, permitting that person to:

A. Introduce or import wildlife into the State; and

B. Receive or possess wildlife introduced or imported into the State.

3. Application. Each applicant for a permit to import wildlife into the State shall submit a written application in the form required by the commissioner. The application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $25.

4. Restrictions. A permit issued pursuant to this section does not authorize the permittee to import any species of live wild turkey, hybrid wild turkey or wild turkey-domestic turkey cross or the eggs of these species.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-204, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.


§ 12156. Release of wild birds and wild animals into wild

1. Permit required. Except as otherwise authorized pursuant to this Part, a person may not release into the wild captive, raised or imported wild birds or wild animals unless that person has a valid permit issued under this section. Each day a person violates this subsection that person commits a Class E crime for which a minimum fine of $50 and an amount equal to twice the applicable license fee must be imposed.

2. Issuance. The commissioner may issue a written permit to any person permitting that person to release into the wild captive raised or imported wild birds and wild animals.

3. Wild turkey restrictions. Only the commissioner or agents of the commissioner may sell, give away or release into the wild any live wild turkey, hybrid wild turkey, wild turkey-domestic turkey cross or fertile egg of these species.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2. 


§ 12157. Permit to transport wildlife for breeding and advertising

1. Permit required. The commissioner may issue a permit to anyone permitting that person to take and transport within the limits of the State wildlife taken in the State for breeding or advertising purposes.

2. Prohibition. A person may not take or transport within the limits of the State wildlife taken in the State for breeding or advertising purposes unless that person holds a valid permit issued under this section.

3. Penalty. Each day a person violates subsection 2 that person commits a Class E crime for which a minimum fine of $50 and an amount equal to twice the applicable license fee must be imposed.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-205, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.


§ 12158. Importation permit for pheasants

1. Permit required. Except as otherwise authorized pursuant to this Part, a person may not import pheasants, alive, dead or dressed, unless that person has a valid permit issued under this section. Each day a person violates this subsection that person commits a Class E crime for which a minimum of $50 and an amount equal to twice the applicable license fee must be imposed.

2. Issuance. The commissioner may issue a written permit to any person permitting that person to import pheasants, alive, dead or dressed.

3. Application. Importers shall, when requesting a permit, provide the commissioner with the following:

A. Information as to the number of pheasants to be imported;

B. The name and address of the seller;

C. Information whether or not the birds are live or dressed; and

D. A statement from an approved veterinarian, from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources or from the conservation department of the state from which the pheasants are imported certifying that they are from flocks that have been tested for pullorum and typhoid, show no evidence of tuberculosis or other infectious or contagious disease and have not been exposed to such disease during the 6 months prior to importation.

4. Requirements; leg band required. The following are leg band requirements for ringneck pheasants.

A. Upon receipt of shipment, importers of ringneck pheasants shall attach securely to each bird a permanent leg band.

B. A person may not remove a leg band attached to a bird under this subsection until the bird is finally prepared for consumption. Each day a person violates this subsection that person commits a Class E crime.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, § B-206, eff. Aug. 31, 2004.


§ 12159. Taking reptiles and amphibians from the wild

1. Prohibition; penalties. Except as provided in this section, a person may not take and possess reptiles or amphibians from the wild for export, sale or commercial purposes.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

2. Commercial amphibian permit. Persons harvesting amphibians for purposes of sale are required to obtain a permit from the commissioner.

3. Rules. The commissioner shall adopt rules pertaining to harvest methods, confinement and disposal of amphibians. The commissioner may by rule:

A. Require reporting of harvest activities;

B. Establish a season, including daily and season possession limits;

C. Establish requirements for humane harvest, confinement and disposal methods; and

D. Establish a fee schedule to implement a permit system under this section.
Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Credits
2003, c. 414, § A-2; 2003, c. 655, §§ B-207, B-208, eff. Aug. 31, 2004; 2011, c. 253, § 23, eff. June 8, 2011.


§ 12160. Disposition of wolf hybrids

1. Determination of species. The department shall respond to requests under Title 7, section 3911-B, subsection 3 for assistance in capturing and disposing of an animal suspected of being a wolf hybrid. The department may presume that the animal is a wolf hybrid if:

A. Licensure as a dog under Title 7, section 3922 cannot be confirmed;

B. The animal bears no identification indicating ownership; and

C. The animal has distinct wolflike characteristics.

The department may pursue genetic testing to determine if the animal is a wolf or wolf hybrid.

2. Rulemaking. The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures for disposing of animals determined to be wolf hybrids under subsection 1. For the purposes of this section, “disposing” includes, but is not limited to, transferring the animal to a person holding a permit under section 12152 or euthanasia in accordance with Title 17, chapter 42, subchapter 4. Rules adopted under this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Credits
2011, c. 100, § 16, eff. May 19, 2011.


§ 12161. Taking of certain nonmarine invertebrates from the wild for commercial purposes

1. Prohibition; penalties. Except as provided in this section, a person may not take and possess certain nonmarine invertebrates, specifically freshwater mussels, butterflies, moths, dragonflies or beetles, from the wild for export, sale or commercial purposes.

A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.

2. Commercial nonmarine invertebrate permit. Persons harvesting freshwater mussels, butterflies, moths, dragonflies or beetles for export, sale or commercial purposes are required to obtain a permit from the commissioner.

3. Rules. The commissioner may by rule:

A. Require reporting of commercial harvest activities, including at a minimum dates, locations andnumbers collected by species;

B. Establish daily and season possession limits;

C. Establish a fee schedule to implement a permit system under this section; and

D. Require humane harvest, confinement and disposal methods.
Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Credits
2011, c. 253, § 24, eff. June 8, 2011.




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