Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format
A179, R188, S452
Sponsors: Senators Grooms, McConnell, Campsen and Knotts
Document Path: l:\council\bills\gjk\20139sd07.doc
Introduced in the Senate on February 15, 2007
Introduced in the House on April 10, 2007
Last Amended on January 31, 2008
Passed by the General Assembly on February 5, 2008
Governor's Action: February 19, 2008, Signed
Summary: Alligator control programs
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/15/2007 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-8 2/15/2007 Senate Referred to Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry SJ-8 3/28/2007 Senate Committee report: Favorable Fish, Game and Forestry SJ-27 3/29/2007 Scrivener's error corrected 3/29/2007 Senate Read second time SJ-13 4/3/2007 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-21 4/10/2007 House Introduced and read first time HJ-21 4/10/2007 House Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-21 1/30/2008 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs HJ-2 1/31/2008 House Amended HJ-31 1/31/2008 House Read second time HJ-35 1/31/2008 House Unanimous consent for third reading on next legislative day HJ-35 2/1/2008 Scrivener's error corrected 2/1/2008 House Read third time and returned to Senate with amendments HJ-1 2/5/2008 Senate Concurred in House amendment and enrolled SJ-39 2/13/2008 Ratified R 188 2/19/2008 Signed By Governor 2/21/2008 Copies available 2/21/2008 Effective date 02/19/08 2/25/2008 Act No. 179
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A179, R188, S452)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-50, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MANAGEMENT OF NONGAME AND ENDANGERED WILDLIFE, SO AS TO DELETE A PROVISION PERMITTING THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO ISSUE PERMITS BY ADDING CERTAIN PERSONS ALLOWING THE REMOVAL AND DISPOSITION OF ALLIGATORS; BY ADDING SECTION 50-15-65 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH AN ALLIGATOR MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR THE HUNTING AND FOR THE SELECTIVE REMOVAL OF ALLIGATORS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, AND FEES AND COSTS OF THIS PROGRAM, TO ALSO ESTABLISH THE PRIVATE LANDS ALLIGATOR PROGRAM UNDER WHICH LANDOWNERS OR LESSEES OF PRIVATE PROPERTY MAY APPLY FOR PERMITS THAT ALLOW ALLIGATORS TO BE TAKEN WITH FIREARMS UNDER SPECIFIED CONDITIONS, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR CERTAIN VIOLATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-80, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR CERTAIN VIOLATIONS OF THE NONGAME AND ENDANGERED SPECIES CONSERVATION ACT AND THE DISPOSITION OF CONFISCATED PROPERTY, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR WHAT ACTIONS GIVE RISE TO THE PENALTY PROVISIONS; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 50-15-60 RELATING TO COST OF SPECIFIED PROGRAMS AND ALLIGATOR PRODUCTS PERMITS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 50-15-50(F) of the 1976 Code is deleted.
Alligator hunting, control, and management
SECTION 2. Chapter 15, Title 50 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-15-65. (A) The General Assembly finds that the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was reclassified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from endangered or threatened to 'threatened due to similarity of appearance throughout the remainder of its range' pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act (16 USC 1531) and the regulations issued to implement that act. American alligators may now be taken under federal law in compliance with 50 CFR 17.42(a)(2)(ii). Therefore, in order to create more opportunity for hunting and for the controlled harvest of the alligator the General Assembly finds it in the best interest of the State to allow the taking of the alligator under strictly controlled conditions and circumstances and in compliance with federal law.
(B)(1) The department must establish an alligator management program that allows for hunting and for selective removal of alligators in order to provide for the sound management of the animals and to ensure the continued viability of the species. The department must set the conditions for taking, including the size, methods of take, areas, times and seasons, disposition of the parts, and other conditions to properly control the harvest of alligators and the disposition of parts. The department may allow alligators to be taken at any time of the year, on any area, including sanctuaries, as part of its alligator management program. All alligators taken under the alligator management program must be taken pursuant to permits and under conditions established by the department in accordance with state and federal law. All alligators taken must be tagged. Except for those persons operating under authority of depredation permits, a person who hunts, takes, or attempts to take an alligator must have a South Carolina hunting license.
(2) The department may establish an alligator hunting season. The department may issue alligator permits to allow hunting and taking of alligators in any game zone where alligators occur. A person desiring to hunt and take alligators must apply to the department. The application fee is ten dollars and is nonrefundable. Successful applicants must be randomly selected and must pay a one-hundred-dollar fee for the permit.
(3) A landowner or lessee of property on which alligators occur may apply to the department for a permit to participate in the Private Lands Alligator program. The application fee for participation in this program is ten dollars and is nonrefundable. On those private lands the season for hunting and taking alligators is from September first through October fifteenth. The cost for each alligator tag under this program is ten dollars. On those lands in the private lands program only, unsecured alligators may be taken by firearms provided, no alligator may be taken by use of rim fire weapons or shotguns. Unsecured alligators may be taken only by firearms from thirty minutes before sunrise until thirty minutes after sunset. A person who takes an alligator by use of firearms must make a reasonable effort to recover the carcass at the time of taking or for the next ensuing forty-eight hours. A person using a firearm to take an alligator must have a gaff or grappling hook or other similar device to immediately locate and recover the carcass.
(4) The department may designate alligator control agents who demonstrate by training and experience that they possess the skills to remove alligators. Those persons designated serve at the discretion of the department. The department may require periodic demonstrations of skill or require periodic training. Alligator control agents function under the general guidance and supervision of the department for the capture and removal of nuisance alligators including the disposition or the alligator or its parts.
(C) It is unlawful to feed, entice, or molest an alligator except as permitted under state and federal law. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned for up to thirty days, or both. The magistrates court retains jurisdiction of this offense.
(D) A person who hunts or takes an alligator or allows alligators to be hunted or taken or possesses or disposes of alligator parts, except as allowed by this section and the implementing regulations, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned for up to thirty days, or both. The magistrates court retains jurisdiction of this offense. In addition, the court may order restitution for any animal or part of an animal taken, possessed, or transferred in violation of this section.
(E) All revenue including fines, forfeitures, sales, and fees derived from this section must be deposited in the Wildlife Protection Fund and used by the department to support the alligator management program."
When penalty applies
SECTION 3. Section 50-15-80(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A) A person who violates Section 50-15-30 or a person who fails to procure or violates the terms of a permit issued under the regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days and ordered to pay restitution."
SECTION 4. Section 50-15-60 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 5. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 13th day of February, 2008.
Approved the 19th day of February, 2008.
This web page was last updated on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 1:28 P.M.