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Live wildlife—Taking from the wild, importation, possession, transfer, and holding in captivity.
(1) It is unlawful to take live wildlife, wild birds, or game fish from the wild without a permit issued by the director except as otherwise provided by department rule. This subsection does not apply to starlings, house sparrows, Eurasian collared doves, and rock doves taken by falconers, or rock doves and Eurasian collared doves taken by bird dog trainers.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 232-12-027
, and subsections (3) and (4) of this section, and except as provided under subsection (7), (8), (9), or (10) of this section, it is unlawful to import into the state, hold, possess, propagate, offer for sale, sell, transfer, or release live specimens of or the gametes and/or embryos of the following species in the family Cervidae
(3) It is unlawful to import into the state or to hold live wildlife taken, held, possessed, or transported contrary to federal or state law, local ordinance, or department rule. It is unlawful to import live wild animals, wild birds, or game fish without first presenting to the department the health certificate required by the Washington department of agriculture under WAC 16-54-180
. However, raptors used for falconry or propagation may be imported if the importer has health certificates for the raptors. Importers must produce proof of lawful importation for inspection if asked to do so by a department employee.
(4) It is unlawful to possess or hold in captivity live wild animals, wild birds, or game fish unless lawfully acquired. Any person possessing or holding wild animals, wild birds, or game fish in captivity must provide proof of lawful acquisition and possession for inspection if asked to do so by a department employee. The proof must identify the wild animals', wild birds', or game fish's:
(b) Age and sex;
(d) Receiving party's name;
(e) Source's name and address;
(f) Invoice/statement date; and
(g) Documentation of prior transfers.
(5) Live wild animals, wild birds, or game fish held in captivity, or their progeny or parts thereof, may not be sold or otherwise used commercially except as provided by department rule.
(6) It is unlawful to release wildlife from captivity except as provided in WAC 232-12-271
. It is unlawful to release fish into any state waters, including private, natural, or man-made ponds, without first obtaining a fish planting permit. However, if a person catches game fish and keeps the fish alive on stringers, in live wells, or in other containers while fishing, he or she may release the fish back into the same waters that he or she caught the game fish in.
(7) Scientific research or display: The director may issue written authorization for a person to import into the state, hold, possess and propagate live specimens of wildlife listed in subsection (2) of this section, for scientific research or for display by zoos or aquariums who are accredited institutional members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), provided that the person:
(a) Confines the specimens to a secure facility;
(b) Does not transfer specimens to any other location within the state without the director's written authorization, and the specimens are transferred to other AZA-accredited facilities and transported by AZA-accredited institutional members or their authorized agents;
(c) Does not sell or otherwise dispose of specimens within the state, unless the director gives written approval to sell or dispose of the specimens;
(d) Keeps records on the specimens and make reports as the director requires; and
(e) Complies with the requirements in this section.
(8) Retention or disposal of existing specimens lawfully in captivity prior to June 20, 1992: A person who holds live Roosevelt and Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer and black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, and moose may retain the specimens of the wildlife the person lawfully possessed prior to June 20, 1992, and the lawful progeny of that wildlife, provided the person complies with the requirements of this section, and:
(a) Reports to the director, in writing, the species, number, and location of the specimens as required;
(b) Confines the specimens to a secure facility at the location reported, and the facility meets the requirements listed in WAC 232-12-063
(c) Does not propagate live specimens except at AZA-accredited facilities with the director's written permission or as otherwise authorized in writing by the director;
(d) Does not release live specimens, except with the director's written permission;
(e) Does not sell or transfer live specimens, except:
(i) Live specimens in lawful possession prior to June 20, 1992, and their lawful progeny may be permanently removed from Washington state or transported directly to slaughter in accordance with applicable law;
(ii) Federally listed endangered or threatened species may be transferred to AZA-accredited facilities in compliance with federal law;
(iii) Live specimens may be moved to the new primary residence of the possessor with the director's written approval, provided all other requirements of this section are satisfied and the total number of locations where animals are held is not increased; and
(iv) AZA-accredited facilities may sell and/or transfer live specimens within the state with the written permission of the director.
(f) Live specimens must be neutered, physically separated by sex, and/or rendered infertile by means of contraception, except at AZA-accredited facilities with the director's written permission.
(9) Retention or disposal of existing specimens lawfully in captivity prior to February 13, 1993: A person holding live specimens of wildlife newly listed in subsection (2) of this section by operation of this rule (Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou)), may retain the specimens of such wildlife the person lawfully possessed prior to February 13, 1993, provided:
(a) The person reports to the director in writing by March 31, 1993, and reports annually thereafter, or as otherwise required by the director, the species, number, and location of such specimens; and
(b) The person complies with subsection (8)(b) through (f) of this section and the other requirements of this section.
(10) The provisions of this section do not prohibit the importation, possession, propagation, sale, transfer, or release of live specimens of federally listed threatened or endangered species, their gametes or embryos, where in compliance with federal law.
(11) Escaped wildlife:
(a) Escaped wildlife is considered a public nuisance. The department or any peace officer may seize, capture, or destroy wildlife that have escaped the possessor's control. The former possessor is responsible for costs incurred by the department in recovering, maintaining, or disposing of such animals, as well as any damage to the state's wildlife or habitat.
(b) Possessors must report escaped wildlife to the department immediately.
(c) Possessors must report the recapture or death of escaped wildlife to the department immediately.
(12) Testing specimens:
(a) If the director issues a permit to allow any member of the Genus Cervus, identified in subsection (2) of this section, then prior to the animal's entry into Washington state, the person must submit records of genetic tests conducted by a professionally recognized laboratory to identify red deer genetic influence. Red deer genetic influence is genetic material from any member of any subspecies, race, or species of the elk-red deer-wapiti complex Cervus elaphus not indigenous to the state of Washington. Upon examination by department biologists, animals deemed to exhibit behavioral (vocalization), morphological (size, rump patch, color), or biochemical indications of such influence (hemoglobin, superoxide dismutase, transferrin and post-transferrin, or others to be developed) may not be imported.
(b) A person currently holding any member of the genus Cervus elaphus identified in subsection (2) of this section must immediately submit to the director records of genetic tests conducted by a professionally recognized laboratory to identify red deer genetic influence, as defined in (a) of this subsection, for each individual cervid. Genetic testing will be at the possessor's expense. Any animals identified as red deer or having nonindigenous genetic influence must be destroyed, removed from the state, or neutered immediately.
(c) The director may require wildlife listed in subsection (2) of this section that are lawfully held in captivity to be tested for brucellosis (Brucella abortus
), tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis
and Mycobacterium tuberculosis
), meningeal worm (Paralophostrongylus tenuis
), and muscle worm (Elaphostrongylus cervis
) in accordance with the procedures specified in department of agriculture WAC 16-54-180
. The director may also require testing for other diseases or parasites determined to pose a risk to wildlife. Results of those tests must be filed with the director as required.
(a) A person holding wildlife listed in subsection (2) of this section in captivity must submit a completed report no later than March 30, 1993, and then no later than January 31 of each year, or as otherwise required by the director, on a form provided by the department.
(b) Persons possessing wildlife listed in subsection (2) of this section must notify the director within 10 days of any change of such persons' address and/or location of the holding facility.
(14) Inspection: All holding facilities for captive wildlife located in the state are subject to inspection, conducted at a reasonable time, for compliance with the provisions of this section.
(15) Notification and disposition of diseased animals:
(a) Any person who has reason to believe that wildlife being held pursuant to this rule have contracted or been exposed to a dangerous or communicable disease or parasite must notify the department immediately.
(b) Upon reason to believe that wildlife held pursuant to this rule have contracted or been exposed to a dangerous or contagious disease or parasite, the director may order inspection of such animals by a licensed, accredited veterinarian, certified fish pathologist, or inspection agent. Inspection will be at the possessor's expense.
(c) The director will determine when destruction of wildlife or quarantine, disinfection, or sterilization of facilities is required at any facility holding wildlife pursuant to this rule. If the director determines that destruction of wildlife or quarantine, disinfection, or sterilization of facilities is required, he or she will issue a written order to the possessor describing the procedure to be followed and the time period for carrying out such actions. The destruction of wildlife or quarantine, disinfection, or sterilization of facilities will be at the possessor's expense.
(16) Quarantine area:
(a) Facilities holding wildlife listed in subsection (2) of this section must have an approved quarantine facility within its exterior boundary or submit an action plan to the director that guarantees access to an approved quarantine facility within the state of Washington.
(i) An approved quarantine facility is one that meets criteria set by the Washington department of agriculture in chapter 16-54
(ii) The quarantine area must meet the tests of isolation, separate feed and water, escape security, and allowances for the humane holding and care of its occupants for extended periods of time.
(b) If quarantine becomes necessary, the possessor of any wildlife requiring quarantine must provide an on-site quarantine facility or make arrangements at the possessor's expense to transport his or her wildlife to an approved quarantine facility.
(a) The department may seize any unlawfully possessed wildlife.
(b) The cost of any seizure or holding of wildlife may be charged to the possessor of the wildlife.
(18) Violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable under RCW 77.15.750
, Unlawful use of a department permit—
[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, and 77.12.240
. WSR 15-10-033 (Order 15-95), § 232-12-064, filed 4/28/15, effective 5/29/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, and 77.12.047
. WSR 13-02-043 (Order 12-290), § 232-12-064, filed 12/21/12, effective 1/21/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047
. WSR 10-07-105 (Order 10-64), § 232-12-064, filed 3/19/10, effective 5/1/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020
, and 77.12.455
. WSR 10-03-088 (Order 10-08), § 232-12-064, filed 1/19/10, effective 2/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047
. WSR 04-11-036 (Order 04-98), § 232-12-064, filed 5/12/04, effective 6/12/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040
. WSR 96-18-059 (Order 96-135), § 232-12-064, filed 8/30/96, effective 9/30/96. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.030
. WSR 93-04-038 (Order 581), § 232-12-064, filed 1/27/93, effective 2/13/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.16.040
. WSR 85-09-008 (Order 243), § 232-12-064, filed 4/5/85; WSR 84-09-052 (Order 224), § 232-12-064, filed 4/16/84. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040
. WSR 82-04-034 (Order 177), § 232-12-064, filed 1/28/82; WSR 81-12-029 (Order 165), § 232-12-064, filed 6/1/81. Formerly WAC 232-12-173.]