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Bill Number: 2757 Ratification Number: 652 Act Number 567 Introducing Body: House Subject: Trapping of furbearing animals
(A567, R652, H2757)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 50-11-4310, 50-11-4330, 50-11-4360, 50-11-4380, 50-11-4390, 50-11-4420, 50-11-4440, 50-11-4460, AND 50-11-4470, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO TRAPPING OF FURBEARING ANIMALS, SO AS TO DEFINE "FUR BUYER", "COMMERCIAL PURPOSES", "TRAP", "FOOT-HOLD TRAP", "LIVE TRAP", AND "PROCESSOR", TO REDEFINE "TAKE" AND "TRAPPER", TO DELETE DEFINITIONS OF "FUR DEALER", "TAKING", AND "TAKING FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES", TO REQUIRE A COMMERCIAL FUR LICENSE FOR ALL PERSONS WHO SELL FURBEARING ANIMALS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, EXCEPT PROCESSORS, MANUFACTURERS, OR RETAILERS, TO CHANGE THE PROCEDURE FOR THE ANNUAL REPORT OF LICENSEES, TO EXEMPT RETAILERS OR MANUFACTURERS OF FINISHED FURS, TANNERS, AND PERSONS ACQUIRING FURBEARING ANIMAL CARCASSES WITHOUT HIDES FROM BUYER'S LICENSE REQUIREMENTS, TO REQUIRE COMMERCIAL FUR LICENSEES TO AFFIX TAGS AND PROVIDE A PROCEDURE FOR TAGGING, TO ADD WHOLE ANIMALS TO THE LIST OF PROPERTY WHICH MAY BE CONFISCATED, TO REQUIRE A PERMIT FOR OUT-OF-STATE SHIPMENT, AND TO SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFY CODE SECTIONS TO WHICH PENALTIES APPLY; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTIONS 50-11-4325, 50-11-4385, 50-11-4425, AND 50-11-4475 SO AS TO PROHIBIT TAKING TRAPPED WILDLIFE FROM TRAPS BY ANY PERSON OTHER THAN THE OWNER OF THE TRAP OR HIS DESIGNEE, TO PROVIDE FOR A PROCESSOR'S LICENSE AND REQUIRE REPORTS BY THE LICENSEE, TO EXEMPT FOX HUNTING-ENCLOSED PRESERVE OR PUP TRAINING FACILITIES FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT, TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS NOT SPECIFIED IN SECTION 50-11-4470; AND TO REPEAL ARTICLE 11, CHAPTER 11, TITLE 50 OF THE 1976 CODE RELATING TO BOUNTIES ON FOXES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 50-11-4310 is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4310. For the purpose of this article:
(a) 'furbearing animal' includes red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, mink, skunk, otter, bobcat, weasel, or beaver;
(b) 'fur buyer' means any person who purchases any whole furbearing animal, raw or green furs, pelts, or hides;
(c) 'take' means to shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or attempt to shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect;
(d) 'commercial purposes' means taking or possessing any fur, pelt, hide, or whole animal for exchange, sale, trade, or barter and taking or possessing more than five furs, pelts, hides, or whole animals is taking for commercial purposes;
(e) 'trapper' means any person who takes or attempts to take animals by trapping;
(f) 'trap' means any device, other than a weapon, designed or constructed for taking animals;
(g) 'foot-hold trap' means a steel-jawed, spring-loaded device designed to capture the animal by the foot;
(h) 'live trap' means any box or cage designed for capturing and holding any animal unharmed;
(i) 'processor' means any person engaged in tanning or dressing furs, pelts, or hides of furbearing animals for commercial purposes;
(j) 'transfer' includes selling, bartering, exchanging, and transporting."
Removal of trapped wildlife - penalties
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-11-4325. It is unlawful for any person, other than the owner of the trap to remove any lawfully trapped wildlife from any legally set trap. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for no more than thirty days."
SECTION 3. Section 50-11-4330 is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4330. In addition to a valid state hunting license, a commercial fur license is required of all persons who sell or take by any means, except trapping, furbearing animals for commercial purposes and all persons who trap or who attempt to trap any furbearing animals. The license is issued by the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department at a cost of ten dollars for residents and one hundred dollars for nonresidents. The license is valid for the fiscal year for which issued. Any person taking animals under authority of a commercial fur license shall carry the license on his person. Any person having in his possession more than five furbearing animals or pelts shall have a valid commercial fur license. The provisions of this section do not apply to a processor, manufacturer, or retailer."
Reports of licensees
SECTION 4. Section 50-11-4360 is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4360. Any person required to be licensed under Section 50-11-4330 shall report to the department by April fifteenth of each year the number and type of furbearing animals taken, sold, or shipped, together with the names and addresses of persons to whom sold or shipped using forms as the department may prescribe. Any person failing to report by April fifteenth of each year shall, on the second offense, be denied a license for the following fiscal year."
Fur buyer's license
SECTION 5. Section 50-11-4380 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4380. Any person other than a retailer of finished fur or manufacturer of finished furs, pelts, hides, similar articles, or parts of them who buys furs, pelts, hides, whole furbearing animals, similar articles, or parts of them in this State is required to have a fur buyer's license. The license is issued by the department at a cost of one hundred dollars for residents and two hundred dollars for nonresidents. The license is valid for the fiscal year in which issued. Any person transacting business under authority of such a license shall carry that license on his person."
Fur processor's license
SECTION 6. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-11-4385. Any fur processor engaged in processing the hides of furbearing animals is required to obtain a processor's license. The license is issued by the department at a cost of five hundred dollars. The license is valid for the fiscal year in which it is issued. A taxidermist who possesses any fur, pelt, hide, or whole furbearing animal legally owned by another person, which he is temporarily holding for the purpose of processing, is not required to obtain this license. All processors shall keep a daily register showing the name and address of each person from whom the fur, pelt, hide, or whole furbearing animal is received, the number of each species, and the date and place of origin. All processors shall report the information to the department not later than June thirtieth of each year."
Exemptions from license requirements
SECTION 7. Section 50-11-4390 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4390. The following persons are not required to obtain the license provided for in Section 50-11-4380:
(a) a person who acquires not more than five furs, pelts, hides, or whole animals for his own personal use during one season and not for barter, exchange, or sale;
(b) a person licensed under Section 50-11-4385 as a processor;
(c) a taxidermist who possesses any fur, pelt, hide, or whole furbearing animal legally owned by another person which he is temporarily holding solely for the purposes of processing;
(d) a person acquiring furbearing animal carcasses without hides."
Tagging of fur, pelts, hides, or whole animal
SECTION 8. Section 50-11-4420 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4420. Any person required to be licensed pursuant to Section 50-11-4330 who takes any furbearing animal must tag the fur, pelt, hide, or whole furbearing animal at the time the fur is removed from the carcass or in the case of a whole animal at the time the whole animal is stored or before it is sold, whichever occurs first. The tags must be sold by the department according to the following fee schedule:
gray fox 1.00
red fox 1.00
The tags must be of a type and size the department prescribes. The tags must be securely attached and may not be removed until the time of processing. Any fur, pelt, hide, or whole animal which does not have a tag attached as required by this section or that is unlawfully tagged is declared contraband and must be confiscated. Unused tags must be returned to the department by April fifteenth of each year. Full refund must be given for unused tags returned by April fifteenth. Tags may only be used for the specific species for which they are issued and they must be numbered consecutively. These tags are nontransferable and may not be altered in any manner. The department may limit the number of tags for each species and the area in which they may be used. Furbearing animals taken live to be sold as live animals are not required to be tagged."
Unlawful to traffick in furs or animals required to be tagged
SECTION 9. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-11-4425. Except as otherwise permitted in this article, it is unlawful to possess, acquire, or transfer any untagged fur, pelt, hide, or whole animal. Any person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be punished as provided in Section 50-11-4470. Each fur, pelt, hide, or whole animal found untagged or unlawfully tagged constitutes a separate offense.
SECTION 10. Section 50-11-4440 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4440. The department may confiscate all traps and devices, furs, pelts, hides, and whole animals which are illegally possessed, tagged, or used. Where the department has no storage facilities for perishable items such as furs, it may sell them at a reasonable price and hold the proceeds pending the final outcome of the case. Upon conviction of the owner, any traps, devices, furs, pelts, hides, or whole animals being held may be disposed of as determined advisable by the department and any proceeds resulting from the sale must be used for the propagation and protection of game."
Export of furs or whole furbearing animals
SECTION 11. Section 50-11-4460 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4460. Any person shipping or transporting or attempting to ship or transport untanned furs, pelts, hides, or whole furbearing animals out of this State shall first obtain a permit from the department. The department may designate a conservation officer or other representative in each county to inspect the shipment and issue the permit."
SECTION 12. Section 50-11-4470 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-4470. Any person violating the provisions of Section 50-11-4320, 50-11-4330, 50-11-4380, 50-11-4385, 50-11-4400, or 50-11-4425 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than three hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than sixty days for each violation. In addition, upon conviction, the department shall suspend the fur buyer's license for one year from the date of the conviction."
SECTION 13. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-11-4475. Any person violating the provisions of this article unless otherwise specified in Section 50-11-4470 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days for each violation."
SECTION 14. Article 11, Chapter 11, Title 50 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
Exemptions from provisions of act
SECTION 15. No provisions of this act shall apply to any person who owns a foxhunting-enclosed preserve or pup training
facility where the foxes are not retained or marketed for fur utilization if such foxes are from a licensed commercial trapper in a live state. The department shall issue permits for the foxes at no cost to the owner of the preserve and shall require reports suitable to maintain adequate records of sales or transfers of the foxes.
SECTION 16. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.