RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CH. 137]
[34 Pa.B. 5155]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its June 29, 2004, meeting, adopted an amendment to § 137.2 (relating to release of animals).
The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for the final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 34 Pa.B. 3015 (June 12, 2004).
The Commission amends § 137.2 to make unlawful the release of captive held or captive raised game or wildlife into the wild without first securing a permit.
2. Purpose and Authority
Formerly, there were limited, if any, legal restraints prohibiting the release of captive held or captive raised game or wildlife into the wild. Release of captive held or captive raised game or wildlife into the wild is a serious concern due to the possibility of disease spread, unnatural predation and habitat competition. The spread of disease by released animals is a concern because of the potential devastating effects that certain current diseases could have on the native wild animals of this Commonwealth. The recent problems with monkey-pox and chronic wasting disease in other areas are prime examples. Released captive held or captive raised game or wildlife can also negatively impact native species by direct predation and by competition for habitat. The amendment to § 137.2 makes unlawful the release of captive held or captive raised game or wildlife into the wild without first securing a permit.
Section 2102(c) of the code (relating to regulations) directs that ''The commission shall promulgate regulations concerning the transportation, introduction into the wild, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale or purchase of game or wildlife or the disturbing of game or wildlife in their natural habitat.'' Section 2102(a) of the code provides that ''The commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game or wildlife habitat, permitting or prohibiting hunting or furtaking, the ways, manner, methods and means of hunting or furtaking, and the health and safety of persons who hunt or take wildlife or may be in the vicinity of persons who hunt or take game or wildlife in this Commonwealth.'' The amendment to § 137.2 was adopted under this authority.
3. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking will make unlawful the release of captive held or captive raised game or wildlife into the wild without first securing a permit.
4. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to release captive held or captive raised game or wildlife into the wild in this Commonwealth will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.
5. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.
6. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
7. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
8. Contact Person
For further information regarding the final-form rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendment adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) The adoption of the amendment of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.
The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 137, are amended by amending § 137.2 to read as set forth at 34 Pa.B. 3015.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 34 Pa.B. 3015 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
VERNON R. ROSS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-187 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-1712. Filed for public inspection September 17, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]
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