South Carolina Legislature


 

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H 3998
Session 113 (1999-2000) 

H 3998 General Bill, By Sharpe, Altman, J. Hines, Inabinett, Martin, 
Moody-Lawrence and Whipper

Similar(S 1130) A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 47, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REGULATION BY COUNTIES OF DOGS AND OTHER DOMESTIC PETS, SO AS TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MAKE THE ARTICLE SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO CATS, PROVIDE FOR IMPOUNDING AND ADOPTION OF ANIMALS, INCREASE THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR VIOLATING SECTION 47-3-50, PROVIDE FOR THE PROMULGATION OF CERTAIN REGULATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, PROVIDE THAT WHENEVER AN ANIMAL SHELTER ACCEPTS OR COMES INTO POSSESSION OF A DOG OR CAT, THE SHELTER MUST IMMEDIATELY AND THOROUGHLY SCAN THE ANIMAL FOR ANY IMPLANTED MICROCHIP, OR SIMILAR DEVICE, WHICH PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP AND, UPON FINDING SUCH DEVICE, IMMEDIATELY MAKE A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO CONTACT THE IDENTIFIED OWNER, AND PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS; AND TO AMEND ARTICLE 7, CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 47, RELATING TO ANIMAL EUTHANASIA, SO AS TO AMONG OTHER THINGS, REVAMP THE PROVISIONS OF LAW REGARDING THE ALLOWABLE METHODS OF EUTHANASIA, INCREASE THE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, AND AUTHORIZE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO BRING AN ACTION TO ENJOIN A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE. 04/27/99 House Introduced and read first time HJ-80 04/27/99 House Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-80


A BILL

TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 47, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REGULATION BY COUNTIES OF DOGS AND OTHER DOMESTIC PETS, SO AS TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MAKE THE ARTICLE SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO CATS, PROVIDE FOR IMPOUNDING AND ADOPTION OF ANIMALS, INCREASE THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR VIOLATING SECTION 47-3-50, PROVIDE FOR THE PROMULGATION OF CERTAIN REGULATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, PROVIDE THAT WHENEVER AN ANIMAL SHELTER ACCEPTS OR COMES INTO POSSESSION OF A DOG OR CAT, THE SHELTER MUST IMMEDIATELY AND THOROUGHLY SCAN THE ANIMAL FOR ANY IMPLANTED MICROCHIP, OR SIMILAR DEVICE, WHICH PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP AND, UPON FINDING SUCH DEVICE, IMMEDIATELY MAKE A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO CONTACT THE IDENTIFIED OWNER, AND PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS; AND TO AMEND ARTICLE 7, CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 47, RELATING TO ANIMAL EUTHANASIA, SO AS TO AMONG OTHER THINGS, REVAMP THE PROVISIONS OF LAW REGARDING THE ALLOWABLE METHODS OF EUTHANASIA, INCREASE THE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, AND AUTHORIZE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO BRING AN ACTION TO ENJOIN A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 3 of Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Article 1

Regulation By Counties

Section 47-3-10. For the purpose of this article the following terms, word, or phrases shall have the meaning given herein:

'Animal shelter' shall include any premises designated by the county governing body for the purpose of impounding, care, adoption, or destruction of dogs and cats held under authority of this article;

'Dog' shall include all members of the canine family four months or more of age, including foxes and other canines;

A dog shall be deemed to be 'running at large' if off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under the physical control of the owner or keeper by means of a leash or other similar restraining device;

A dog shall be deemed to be 'under restraint' if on the premises of its owner or keeper or if accompanied by its owner or keeper and under the physical control of such owner or keeper by means of a leash or other similar restraining device.;

'Cat' shall include all members of the feline family;

A cat shall be deemed to be 'at large' if off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under the physical control of the owner or keeper;

'Vicious dog' shall be deemed to mean any dog evidencing an abnormal inclination to attack persons or animals without provocation.

Section 47-3-20. The governing body of each county in this State may enact ordinances and promulgate regulations for the control of dogs, cats, and other domestic pets animals and to prescribe penalties for violations thereof.

Section 47-3-30. The governing body of the county is authorized to establish an animal shelter for the county for the purpose of impounding and quarantining dogs and cats and shall employ such personnel, including enforcement personnel, as may be necessary to administer the provisions of this article. Funds to establish and operate the shelter and employ necessary personnel shall be provided in the annual county appropriations.

Section 47-3-40. The county animal shelter personnel shall pick up and impound or quarantine any dog running at large or cat at large. To obtain release of his dog or cat, an owner or keeper must satisfy the animal shelter personnel that the dog or cat is currently inoculated against rabies and also pay a an impound or quarantine fee of twenty-five dollars determined by the governing body of the county. Payment of this fee shall bar prosecution under Section 47-3-50. All fees so collected shall be delivered to the county treasurer for deposit in the general fund of the county.

Section 47-3-50. It shall be unlawful in any county adopting penalty provisions pursuant to the provisions of this article for any dog or cat owner or other keeper of a dog or cat to:

(a) Allow his dog or cat to run at large off of property owned, rented, or controlled by him;

(b) Keep a vicious or unruly dog unless under restraint by a fence, chain, or other means so that such dog cannot reach persons not on land owned, leased, or controlled by him;

(c) Release or take out of impoundment or quarantine without proper authority any dog or cat or resist county shelter personnel engaging in the capture and impoundment or quarantine of a dog. or cat.

Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than fifty two hundred fifty dollars.

Section 47-3-55. (A) Whenever an animal shelter accepts or comes into possession of a dog or cat, the shelter must immediately and thoroughly scan the dog or cat for any implanted microchip, or similar device, which provides evidence of ownership and, upon finding such, must immediately make a good faith effort to contact the identified owner as required by Section 47-3-540.

(B) If an animal shelter or its officers, directors, or staff have made a good faith effort to comply with the provisions of subsection (A), they must be held harmless against any action at law or otherwise, civil or criminal, for failure to detect a microchip or similar device and undertake the action specified in subsection (A).

(C) Whenever a dog or cat is adopted from an animal shelter, a licensed veterinarian or an animal shelter employee under the direction of a licensed veterinarian may implant a microchip in the dog or cat adopted. The animal shelter shall record the date the microchip was implanted, the name, address, and telephone number of the person adopting the dog or cat, an identification number unique to the dog or cat adopted, the name address, and telephone number of the animal shelter that sheltered the dog or cat before adoption, and the date the dog or cat was adopted. The animal shelter must keep a record of all microchips implanted pursuant to this subsection.

(D) If the necessary scanner is not provided without a fee to the animal shelter, than the animal shelter is not required to adhere to subsection (A).

Section 47-3-60. After any dog or cat has been quarantined pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Department of Health and Environmental Control for twenty-one five days and is unclaimed by its owner, the pound animal shelter employees may dispose of such dog or cat by a humane form of destruction, or such dogs or cats may be turned over to any organization established for the purpose of caring for animals such as the Humane Society. Complete records shall be kept by shelter officials as to the disposition of all animals impounded.

Section 47-3-70. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the power of any municipality within the county to prohibit dogs or cats from running at large, whether or not they have been inoculated as herein provided; nor shall anything in this article be construed as to limit the power of any municipality to regulate and control further in such municipality and to enforce other and additional measures for the restriction and control of rabies.

Section 47-3-75. (A) An animal delivered to a veterinarian, a dog kennel, a cat kennel, an animal hospital, another animal care facility, or to a person who boards domestic animals on the person's premises for a fee may be transferred to an appropriate animal shelter ten days after the date the owner failed to pick up the animal as agreed to pursuant to a written contract or agreement. The animal may be transferred only if the written contract or agreement provides for the transfer and if an attempt is made to notify the owner by regular mail and by certified mail at the owner's last known address on the date the owner failed to pick up the animal as agreed.

(B) A person who boards animals of others pursuant to subsection (A) shall post written notice of the provisions of this section at the person's place of business.

(C) A person who fails to pick up an animal as provided for in subsection (A), who fails to pay his boarding fees in a timely manner, or who abandons an animal at an animal hospital, a dog kennel, a cat kennel, another animal care facility, or boarding facility is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be imprisoned not more than thirty days or fined not more than two hundred dollars."

SECTION 2. Article 7, Chapter 3 of Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Article 7

Animal Euthanasia

Section 47-3-410. The term 'animal shelter' shall mean any place or premises kept for the care, keeping, impounding, or boarding of stray, neglected, or abandoned animals, whether such premises are owned or operated by a municipality, county, private association, institution, or humane organization.

Section 47-3-420. Only the following methods of euthanasia shall be used to kill dogs and cats impounded in animal shelters and the procedure applicable to the method selected shall be strictly followed:

1. Barbituric Acid Derivatives:

(a) Intravenous or intracardial injection of a lethal solution,

(b) Intraperitoneal injection of a lethal solution when location of an injection into the vein is difficult or impossible,

(c) Oral ingestion of powdered barbituric acid derivatives in capsules mixed with food or by manual administration.

2. Euthanasia Solution T-61 or other therapeutically equivalent solution approved for animal euthanasia by the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the Food and Drug Administration: Intravenous or intracardial injection of these solutions specifically according to the directions of the manufacturers for intravenous and intracardial injections. The solutions shall not be administered via intraperitoneal, intrathoracic, or intrapulmonary routes, nor in any other manner except as provided above. Administration of injections shall be done only by a licensed veterinarian or by a person trained for this purpose by a licensed veterinarian. All injections shall be administered using an undamaged hypodermic needle of a size suitable for the size and species of animal.

3. Carbon Monoxide Gas: Dogs and cats, except animals under eight weeks of age, may be killed by carbon monoxide gas administered in a tightly enclosed chamber. The chamber shall be equipped with:

(a) Internal lighting and a window providing direct visual surveillance of the collapse and death of any animal within the chamber.

(b) The gas concentration process must be adequate to achieve a carbon monoxide gas concentration throughout the chamber of at least five percent within five minutes after any animal is placed in the chamber. If chemical generation through the use of sodium formate and sulfuric acid is used, the generated carbon monoxide gas must have all irritating acid vapors filtered out by passing it through a ten percent solution of sodium hydroxide prior to its entry into the carbon monoxide chamber.

(c) If carbon monoxide gas generation is by combustion of gasoline in an engine, all of the following shall be satisfied:

(1) The engine shall be maintained in good operating condition.

(2) The engine shall be operated only at idling speed with the richest fuel-air mixture the choke permits.

(3) Prior to entry into the chamber, the exhaust gas shall be cooled so that it does not exceed 115 Fahrenheit.

(4) The chamber shall be equipped with accurate temperature gauges monitored closely by attendants or shall be equipped with an alarm system to assure that the internal temperature of the chamber does not exceed 90* Fahrenheit.

(5) Prior to entry into the chamber, the exhaust gas shall be first passed through an adequate water-gravel filtration process and subsequently through a cloth filtration process to remove irritants and carbon particles.

(6) The noise level from the engine shall not exceed 70 dBA when measured within the chamber.

(7) A flexible tubing or pipe at least twenty-four inches in length shall be placed between the chamber and the engine to minimize vibrations.

(8) The unit shall include a means for exhausting or bypassing internal combustion engine gas during the period of engine warm-up.

(9) The unit shall include an exhaust fan connected by a gas-tight duct to the outdoors capable of completely evacuating the gas from the chamber before it is opened after each use, except that this provision shall not apply to chambers located out-of-doors.

(d) Animals shall be left in the chamber for a period of no less than fifteen minutes from the time the gas concentration throughout the chamber reaches five percent.

4. Nitrogen Gas: Dogs and cats, except animals under four months of age may be killed by nitrogen gas provided:

(a) The nitrogen gas cabinet is equipped with a viewport providing direct visual surveillance of the collapse and death of any animal within the cabinet, and internal lighting unless the cabinet is equipped with a clear door.

(b) Every animal is placed in an individual container or compartment of the cabinet.

(c) The oxygen concentration within the cabinet is reduced to 1.5 percent or less by displacing air within the cabinet with nitrogen.

(d) The 1.5 percent reduction in oxygen concentration is reached within 45-50 seconds after the beginning of the cycle of operation and the animals are left within the cabinet at that concentration not less than ten minutes.

(e) Pregnant animals are left in the cabinet not less than twenty minutes.

In all instances where the carbon monoxide and nitrogen chambers are used:

(a) Neither incompatible or hostile animals, nor animals of different species shall be placed in any chamber simultaneously.

(b) Every chamber must be thoroughly cleaned after the completion of each full cycle. No live animals shall be placed in the chamber with dead animals.

(c) All animals must be examined by a veterinarian or other qualified person to ensure they are dead upon removal from chamber.

(d) All chambers shall be inspected quarterly by an independent qualified technician who is thoroughly knowledgeable with the operation and maintenance of the particular euthanasia chamber being used.

(e) An operational guide and maintenance instructions shall be displayed in the room with the euthanasia chamber.

5. Shooting: Shooting shall be used as a means of euthanasia only in an emergency situation to prevent extreme suffering or in which the safety of people or other animal life is threatened or where it is deemed necessary by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to eliminate or control the population of feral animals.

6. Inhalant Anesthetics: The animal to be killed shall be less than eight weeks old.

(a) The animal to be killed shall be placed in a cage. The cage shall be placed in an airtight chamber or in a transparent plastic bag which can be tightly sealed following introduction of the inhalant anesthetic.

(b) When using ether, halothane, fluothane, halocarbon, metofane or penthrane a veterinarian shall be consulted as to the amount of inhalant anesthetic to be used in relation to the size of the container. When using chloroform a two percent concentration within the chamber is required. To obtain a two percent concentration use a formula of 1.9 cubic centimeters (.068 ounce) per cubic foot of air space within the container or chamber.

(c) The inhalant anesthetic shall be placed on a piece of gauze or ball of cotton and inserted into the chamber or bag in such a position that the animal shall not be able to come in direct contact with it.

(d) The lid of the chamber or the top of the plastic bag shall be left open until the animal is anesthetized. When no movement is seen, the container shall be tightly sealed.

(e) The animal shall remain in the chamber or bag for a period of not less than twenty minutes.

(f) The room in which the inhalant anesthetic is administered shall have forced ventilation to remove all fumes after each use.

(g) The animal shall remain in the chamber or bag until rigor mortis has occurred.

Only the following methods of euthanasia shall be used to kill dogs and cats impounded in animal shelters, and the procedure applicable to the method selected shall be strictly followed:

(1) Barbituric acid derivatives:

(a) intravenous or intracardial injection of a lethal solution;

(b) intraperitoneal injection of lethal solution when location of an injection into the vein is difficult or impossible;

(c) oral ingestion of powdered barbituric acid derivatives in capsules mixed with food or by manual administration of a solution;

(d) intravenous injection of these solutions specifically according to the directions of the manufacturers for intravenous injections;

(e) intracardial injection of these solutions must only be administered if the animal has been tranquilized with an approved, humane substance and the animal, at the time of the intracardial injection, is anesthetized or comatose;

(f) the solutions shall not be administered via intraperitoneal, intrathoracic, intrapulmonary, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intrarenal, intrasplenic, or intrathecal routes, nor in any other nonvascular injection route except as provided above;

(g) administration of injections shall be done only by a licensed veterinarian or by a euthanasia technician trained and certified for this purpose by a licensed veterinarian through an approved Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners euthanasia training class. The certified euthanasia technician must continue to maintain his proficiency by successfully completing a board-approved training course every two years;

(h) all injections shall be administered using an undamaged hypodermic needle of a size suitable for the size and species of animal;

(i) an animal shelter may obtain a barbituric acid derivative by direct licensing. The animal shelter must apply for a Controlled Substance Registration Certificate from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and a State Controlled Substances Registration from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The animal shelter which was issued a State Controlled Substances Registration by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and an identification number by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is responsible for ensuring that certified euthanasia technicians in its employ maintain proper records regarding the inventory, storage, and administration of controlled substances. The proper completion and retention of these records is the joint responsibility of the animal shelter and the certified euthanasia technician. The animal shelter and the certified euthanasia technician are subject to inspection and audit by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and any other appropriate state or federal agency with authority regarding the recordkeeping, inventory, storage, and administration of controlled substances used under authority of this article.

(2) Carbon monoxide gas:

(a) dogs and cats, except animals under sixteen weeks of age, may be killed by bottled carbon monoxide gas administered in a tightly-enclosed chamber. The chamber shall be equipped with:

(i) internal lighting and a window providing direct visual surveillance of the collapse and death of any animal within the chamber;

(ii) the gas concentration process must be adequate to achieve a carbon monoxide gas concentration throughout the chamber of at least six percent within five minutes after any animal is placed in the chamber. The chamber must have a functioning gas concentration gauge attached to the chamber and a strong airtight seal must be maintained around the door.

(iii) the unit shall include an exhaust fan connected by a gas-tight duct to the outdoors capable of completely evacuating the gas from the chamber before it is opened after each use, except that this provision shall not apply to chambers located out-of-doors;

(iv) animals shall be left in the chamber for a period of no less than fifteen minutes from the time the gas concentration throughout the chamber reaches six percent.

(b) no person shall euthanize an animal by gas emitted from any engine exhaust system.

(c) in all instances where a carbon monoxide chamber is used:

(i) neither incompatible or hostile animals, nor animals of different species, shall be placed in any chamber simultaneously;

(ii) every chamber must be thoroughly cleaned after the completion of each full cycle. No live animals shall be placed in the chamber with dead animals;

(iii) all animals must be examined by a veterinarian or other qualified person to ensure they are dead upon removal from chamber;

(iv) all chambers shall be inspected quarterly by an independent, qualified technician who is thoroughly knowledgeable with the operation and maintenance of the particular euthanasia chamber being used;

(v) an operational guide and maintenance instructions shall be displayed in the room with the euthanasia chamber.

(3) Shooting: shooting shall be used as a means of euthanasia only in an emergency situation to prevent extreme suffering or in which the safety of people or other animal life is threatened or where it is deemed necessary by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to eliminate or control the population of feral animals.

In any of the previously listed methods, an animal may not be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures have commenced and the time death occurs; nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a certified euthanasia technician.

Section 47-3-430. The local Departments of Health and Environmental Control county health department, or their designees, shall inspect any animal shelter in which dogs and cats are impounded and destroyed upon receipt of complaint by any citizen transmitted through any active state chartered nonprofit humane organization or bona fide chapter of a national humane organization. The inspection may include, but shall not be limited to, the methods of euthanasia employed by such facility.

Section 47-3-440. No person shall kill any dog or cat impounded or quarantined in an animal shelter by any means except as provided by this article. Any person who violates the provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred five thousand dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days two years for each animal killed. The Attorney General of South Carolina may bring an action to enjoin a violation of this article.

Section 47-3-450. The provisions of this article shall not apply to persons engaged in scientific endeavors by institutions of higher education."

SECTION 3. Any training required of personnel employed on the effective date of this act, which training is necessary to bring the employee into compliance with the provisions of this act, must be completed within eighteen months of the effective date of this act.

SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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