[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 137 ]
Wildlife; Feral Swine and Wild Boar Eradication
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) proposed at its January 29, 2013, meeting to add § 137.35 (relating to feral swine and wild boar eradication) to remove protection for feral swine and wild boar Statewide, wherever found, and also to prohibit the importation, possession and release into the wild of feral swine and wild boar.
The proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for the proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
The proposed rulemaking was made public at the January 29, 2013, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until April 12, 2013, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.
(Editor's Note: The Commission requested the comment due date in the previous paragraph.)
1. Purpose and Authority
The Commission has determined that the complete eradication of feral swine and wild boar from the wild in this Commonwealth is necessary to prevent further harm to its natural resources, agricultural industry, forest products industry and threats to human health and safety. The Commission previously promulgated an Executive Order to remove protection for feral swine. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that the Commission has jurisdiction over matters relating to wild boars (a member of the family Suidae, and also a feral swine) in Seeton v. PGC, 937 A.2d 1028 (Pa. 2007). The Commission is proposing to remove protection for feral swine and wild boar Statewide, wherever found, to protect the natural resources of this Commonwealth, its traditional agricultural and forest products industries and mitigate threats to human health and safety. The Commission is also proposing to prohibit the importation, possession and release into the wild of feral swine and wild boar to further these ends.
Section 322(c)(2) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''Remove protection, declare an open season or increase, reduce or close a season.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) 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.'' Section 137.35 is proposed to be added under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The proposed rulemaking will add § 137.35 to remove protection for feral swine and wild boar Statewide, wherever found, and also to prohibit the importation, possession and release into the wild of feral swine and wild boar.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to take, trap or possess wild of feral swine or wild boar within this Commonwealth will be affected by the proposed rulemaking.
4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
5. Effective Date
The proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
6. Contact Person
For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Richard R. Palmer, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
CARL G. ROE,
Fiscal Note: 48-351. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 137. WILDLIFE
§ 137.35. Feral swine and wild boar eradication.
(a) Protection removed. Protection on feral swine and wild boar is removed Statewide, except in those areas designated as containing broad scale official eradication trapping operations as designated by Executive Order of the Director.
(b) Eligibility to take. Persons who possess a valid hunting or furtaking license or persons who qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706 of the act (relating to resident license and fee exemptions) are eligible to participate in the unlimited taking of feral swine and wild boar by firearm, bow or crossbow in areas where protection on feral swine and wild boar has been removed. Takings of feral swine and wild boar shall be conducted in conformance with the limitations of section 2308 of the act (relating to unlawful devices and methods) and §§ 141.4 and 141.20 (relating to hunting hours; and protective material required).
(c) Eligibility to trap. Persons who possess a valid hunting or furtaking license or persons who qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706 of the act are eligible to apply for a permit authorizing them to engage in feral swine and wild boar eradication trapping operations. Trapping of feral swine and wild boar shall be conducted in conformance with best management practices identified by the Commission and listed on the permit.
(d) Reporting. Takings of feral swine and wild boar resulting from authorized shooting or trapping operations shall be reported to the appropriate local Commission regional office within 24 hours of the kill. The report must include:
(1) The name, address and pertinent license or permit information.
(2) The date, time and an accurate description of the location of kill.
(3) A report number and sex of wild boar and feral swine.
(e) Surrender of carcass. The carcasses of feral swine and wild boar killed under the authorizations of this section shall be surrendered to the Commission for disease sampling and testing upon request.
(f) Importation prohibited. Effective July 1, 2013, it is unlawful to import feral swine or wild boar of any description or other name into this Commonwealth.
(g) Possession prohibited. Effective July 1, 2014, it is unlawful to possess feral swine or wild boar of any description or other name within this Commonwealth.
(h) Release into the wild prohibited. It is unlawful to release feral swine or wild boar into the wild.
(1) This section may not be construed to limit the applicability of sections 2121 and 2141 of the act (relating to killing game or wildlife to protect property; and killing game or wildlife to protect person) and § 141.3 (relating to protection removed under certain circumstances).
(2) This section may not be construed to extend to any member of the family Suidae defined as a domestic animal by the Department of Agriculture and held as part of a commercial production agricultural operation regulated by the Department of Agriculture.
(j) Penalties. A person violating this section is subject to the penalties in the act.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-659. Filed for public inspection April 12, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]
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