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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MEMORANDUM


Posted: February 1, 2013 11:33 AM


From: Representative <span style="font-weight: bold">Matthew Baker </span>


To: All House members


Subject: Amending the definition of “Wild animal” under Title 34 Pa. C.S. (Game & Wildlife Code)


In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Game Code to clarify wild boars and all other variations or species of swine kept behind fences on game farms or hunting preserves are not defined as “wild animals” under the Game Code, and therefore not under the regulatory purview of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

Specifically, my legislation amends the definition of “Wild animal” under Title 34 Pa. C.S. (Game & Wildlife Code) adding language to specifically provide that the definition shall not be construed to include any species or variation of pig, swine or boar held in captivity. Currently, the definition simply provides that all mammals other than domestic animals as defined under Title 1 Pa. C.S. (General Provisions) subsection 1991 (relating to definitions). The definition of “domestic animals” under Title 1 includes any equine animal, bovine animal and sheep, as well as any pig.

However, even though all variations of pigs, swine and boars share the same DNA, and the definition under Title 1 should technically include all these types of pig, the PGC has been forced by court decision to regulate “wild boars”, even if they are kept behind fences on hunting preserves or game farms. Such responsibility is generally that of the Department of Agriculture, which regulates all other non-exotic animals held in captivity, including but not limited to deer, elk, stag and sheep.

<span style="font-weight: bold">As a result of the court decision (Seeton V. PGC), the PGC has taken recent action to approve a preliminary regulation that would ban the importation of feral swine or wild boar into the Commonwealth 30 days after final approval of the regulation, and barring such animals from being held in captivity one year after final approval. Final approval is expected to be considered during the next PGC quarterly meeting April 14-15.

This proposed regulation, if put into place, would have a devastating effect on hunting preserves in our Commonwealth. I believe my legislation would effectively take regulation of any swine, boar, etc. held in captivity away from the PGC as such animals would no longer be considered “wild animals”, thus allowing our hunting preserves to continue operating as they currently are.</span>

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legi...;cosponId=11472
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd support this as long as it is amended to require micro chipping each animal within 24 hours of birth or arrival at a PA address. Within 72 hours, a tattoo would need to be applied inside the lip.

Both the micro chip ID and the tattoo number would be reported to the GC - not the Department of Ag.

Any release or escape of any feral hog or swine... would need to be reported within 12 hours with id numbers of escapees reported.

Huge, crippling fines for escapes or releases of any non native animals. Also, double fencing required for all such operations with non native animals.


There is a cost of doing business. More so when the industry has a poor track record in THIS state. That poor record resulting in a wild population of a species that has a strong potential for great harm to our wildlife.


Last, we need to look at motivation on this. Baker has the Tioga Boar or Hog Farm in his district. Not sure of the exact name, but got the county right.
 

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I think we know the motivation. I knew this would happen once the PGC made the proposal to ban them. Not hard to figure out! The ban won't happen and the conditions you suggest won't happen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My bigger concern is that PA Ag is and has been in the bag for anyone under its control. One only needs to look at the lack luster and overly under ambitious attention they gave to the CWD outbreak.

They refused to fence the initial farm to prevent possible spread to our wild herd. We, sportsmen paid for that fence.


They also have but a very cursory and hard to find web page on CWD in the state and information on the outbreak was limited.

We can expect little more if they get the fenced hog farms back. At least the GC will ensure that permitting and fences are maintained.
 

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Aren't these operations already subject to NAIS?

tagging/chipping the young within 24 hours may be a bit much, but certainly well before weaning, so a stray youngin' can't make it.

I don't think the PGC ever had any jurisdiction over feral farm animals anyway. Over hybrids and wild boar, according to the court decision, yes.

The Dept of Agriculture has been too lax in many areas. Perhaps the legislature needs to give it a "kick"
 
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