(a) On or before September 1, 2013, the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation and with the agreement of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54,1 to authorize the establishment of in-state captive herds of cervids, including, but not limited to, reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to, (1) provisions concerning the issuing of permits for the importation, exportation and maintenance of captive herds, (2) standards and procedures to protect native wildlife, (3) provisions for seasonal interstate transport and possession of reindeer pursuant to subsection (c) of this section until such time as domestic herds are sufficiently established to meet demand, and (4) provisions for inspections and enforcement.
(b) Any importation permit issued pursuant to this section shall be issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture in consultation with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.
(c) Not later than November 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Agriculture shall implement a pilot program for the issuance of two permits that allow not more than two Connecticut businesses to maintain not more than five reindeer each. Each such reindeer shall be subject to an importation permit issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture in consultation with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Such permits shall be on forms provided by the Commissioner of Agriculture and shall be contingent on requirements determined by the Commissioner of Agriculture, including, but not limited to, the source of such animals, any required health certification, fencing and containment requirements, periodic inspections and testing. Such pilot program shall remain in effect until such time as regulations are adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
(d) Until such time as regulations are adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, any person may import one or more reindeer into the state during the period commencing on Thanksgiving Day of each year and ending on the immediately following New Year's Day, or for a period of time not to exceed seven days, provided (1) any reindeer so imported pursuant to this subsection is subsequently exported from the state no later than a week following the end of such period, and (2) such importation complies with the following requirements: Each reindeer so imported (A) is individually identified by a permanent metal ear tag, legible tattoo or microchip, (B) possesses a certified veterinary report of inspection documenting an inspection that occurred at least one day and not more than thirty days prior to entry into the state, (C) possesses documentation that verifies such reindeer (i) comes from a herd that is free of both tuberculosis and brucellosis, or (ii) tested negative for tuberculosis and brucellosis at least one day and not more than thirty days prior to entry into the state, and (D) possesses documentation that the originating herd participated in a state chronic wasting disease monitoring program (i) not less than the prior three years if from a state or province not known to have chronic wasting disease, or (ii) not less than the prior five years if from a state or province known to have chronic wasting disease outbreaks.
(2009, P.A. 09-198, § 3, eff. July 1, 2009; 2012, P.A. 12-127, § 1, eff. June 15, 2012; 2022, P.A. 22-54, § 4, eff. Oct. 1, 2022.)
1 C.G.S.A. § 4-166 et seq.