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A177, R184, H4831
Sponsors: Reps. Hixon, Ligon, B. Newton, Forrest, R. Williams and Jefferson
Document Path: l:\council\bills\cc\15697cz20.docx
Companion/Similar bill(s): 885
Introduced in the House on January 14, 2020
Introduced in the Senate on February 6, 2020
Last Amended on September 15, 2020
Passed by the General Assembly on September 22, 2020
Governor's Action: September 28, 2020, Signed
Summary: Native reptiles and amphibians
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1/14/2020 House Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 123) 1/14/2020 House Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs (House Journal-page 123) 1/22/2020 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: B.Newton, Forrest 1/29/2020 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: R.Williams, Jefferson 1/30/2020 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs (House Journal-page 17) 2/5/2020 House Amended (House Journal-page 13) 2/5/2020 House Read second time (House Journal-page 13) 2/5/2020 House Roll call Yeas-100 Nays-5 (House Journal-page 16) 2/6/2020 House Read third time and sent to Senate (House Journal-page 10) 2/6/2020 Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 6) 2/6/2020 Senate Referred to Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry (Senate Journal-page 6) 3/12/2020 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Fish, Game and Forestry (Senate Journal-page 9) 3/17/2020 Scrivener's error corrected 9/15/2020 Senate Committee Amendment Adopted (Senate Journal-page 28) 9/15/2020 Senate Read second time (Senate Journal-page 28) 9/15/2020 Senate Roll call Ayes-40 Nays-0 (Senate Journal-page 28) 9/16/2020 Scrivener's error corrected 9/16/2020 Senate Read third time and returned to House with amendments (Senate Journal-page 16) 9/22/2020 House Concurred in Senate amendment and enrolled (House Journal-page 79) 9/22/2020 House Roll call Yeas-99 Nays-0 (House Journal-page 79) 9/25/2020 Ratified R 184 9/28/2020 Signed By Governor 10/7/2020 Effective date 09/28/20 10/7/2020 Act No. 177
View the latest legislative information at the website
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A177, R184, H4831)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 50-15-15 SO AS TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THIS STATE'S NATIVE REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN SPECIES AND TO REQUIRE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF POSSESSION LIMITS; BY ADDING SECTION 50-15-55 SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE RELEASE OF NONNATIVE CAPTIVE WILDLIFE IN THIS STATE; TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-70, RELATING TO PROTECTIONS FOR CERTAIN TURTLES IN THIS STATE, SO AS TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN ACTIVITIES RELATED TO NATIVE TURTLES AND PROVIDE POSSESSION LIMITS; TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-10, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS, SO AS TO DEFINE NEW TERMS AND EXPAND THE TERM "NONGAME SPECIES"; TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-30, RELATING TO THE LISTING OF ENDANGERED SPECIES, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO CONDUCT THE REVIEW OF THE STATE LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES; TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-40, RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS; TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-80, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS, SO AS TO GRANT CONCURRENT JURISDICTION OVER THESE VIOLATIONS TO MAGISTRATES COURTS, TO INCREASE MONETARY PENALTIES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE REVOCATION OF PERMITS GRANTED TO A PERSON WHO VIOLATES CERTAIN PROVISIONS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 50-15-310, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS APPLICABLE TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA CAPTIVE ALLIGATOR PROPAGATION ACT, SO AS TO ALTER THE DEFINITIONS OF THE TERMS "ALLIGATOR PROPAGATION FACILITY" AND "COMMERCIAL PURPOSES".
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Native reptiles, unlawful acts
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 15, Title 50 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-15-15. (A) The department may promulgate regulations for the appropriate management of native reptile and amphibian species, including limitations on, and permitting for, the possession, transfer, sale, barter, trade, shipment, and removal from this State of native reptile and amphibian species.
(B) It is unlawful to possess, transfer, sell, barter, trade, ship, or remove from this State, or attempt to possess, transfer, sell, barter, trade, ship, or remove from this State native reptile and amphibian species, including parts, products, eggs, offspring, and derivatives thereof, in violation of a limit or a permit condition established by the department pursuant to this section."
Nonnative reptiles, unlawful acts
SECTION 2. Article 1, Chapter 15, Title 50 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 50-15-55. (A) It is unlawful for a person to release wildlife that is not native to this State from captivity in this State.
(B) The department may promulgate regulations to prohibit or otherwise restrict certain species of nonnative wildlife in this State, including species that:
(1) have the potential to become established in this State in sufficient numbers so as to become a nuisance; and
(2) pose a demonstrable deleterious and widespread threat to wildlife, agriculture, or human health and safety.
(C) Sanitary and safe disposal of dead wildlife is not a violation of this section.
(D) The provisions of this section do not apply to the release of foxes and coyotes pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 11, Title 50 and to the release of other nonnative species from captivity if authorized by law."
Native turtles, unlawful acts and possession limits
SECTION 3.A. Section 50-15-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-15-70. (A) Except as otherwise provided in this article, it is unlawful for a person to possess, sell, barter, trade, ship, or remove from this State, or attempt to possess, sell, barter, trade, ship, or remove from this State the following native species of turtles, including parts, products, eggs, offspring, and derivatives thereof:
(1) Florida cooter (Pseudemys floridana);
(2) river cooter (Pseudemys concinna);
(3) chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia);
(4) eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta);
(5) spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera);
(6) Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox);
(7) eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum);
(8) striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii);
(9) common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus);
(10) yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta);
(11) common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina);
(12) eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina); and
(13) diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin).
(B) The following personal possession limits, subject to an aggregate limit of ten, are established:
(1) Florida cooter (Pseudemys floridana): 5;
(2) river cooter (Pseudemys concinna): 5;
(3) chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia): 5;
(4) eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta): 5;
(5) spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera): 5;
(6) Florida softshell turtle (Apalone ferox): 5;
(7) eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum): 5;
(8) striped mud turtle (Kinosternon baurii): 5;
(9) common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus): 5;
(10) yellow-bellied slider (Trachemys scripta): 5;
(11) common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina): 5;
(12) eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina): 2; and
(13) diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin): 2.
(C) The department may permit the possession of native species of turtles in excess of the limits established in subsection (B) for scientific, zoological, conservation, or other special purposes."
B. A person who exceeds a personal possession limit under Section 50-15-70(B), as amended by this act, on the effective date of this act must register the number and species of turtles in the person's possession with the Department of Natural Resources within ninety days of the effective date of this act in order to receive a temporary exemption to the personal possession limits. The person is prohibited from acquiring another turtle listed in Section 50-15-70, as amended by this act, until such time as the number of turtles in the person's possession is below the established limits. A person who registers with the Department of Natural Resources pursuant to SECTION 3.B. and subsequently acquires a turtle in excess of the established limits is subject to the same penalties provided for violations of Section 50-15-70.
Nongame and endangered wildlife definitions
SECTION 4. A. Section 50-15-10 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding appropriately numbered items to read:
"( ) 'Captivity' means the condition in which an animal is contained in an enclosed cage, carrier, aquarium, or similar device, yard, or enclosure that prohibits the natural movement of the animal.
( ) 'Native' means any species or subspecies considered to be indigenous and naturally occurring in this State."
B. Section 50-15-10(4) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(4) 'Nongame species' or 'nongame wildlife' means any wild mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, fish, mollusk, crustacean, or other wild animal not otherwise legally classified by statute or regulation of this State as a game species."
Reference updated to Department of Natural Resources
SECTION 5. Section 50-15-30(B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(B) The department shall conduct a review of the state list of endangered species within not more than two years from its effective date and every two years thereafter and may amend the list by such additions or deletions as are deemed appropriate. The department shall submit to the Governor a summary report of the data used in support of all amendments to the state list during the preceding biennium."
Reference updated to Department of Natural Resources
SECTION 6. Section 50-15-40(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A) The department shall establish such programs, including acquisition of land or aquatic habitat, as are deemed necessary for management of nongame and endangered wildlife. The department shall utilize all authority vested in the department to carry out the purposes of this section."
Penalties, magistrates court jurisdiction
SECTION 7. Section 50-15-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-15-80. (A) A person who violates Section 50-15-15, 50-15-20, or 50-15-70, or who fails to procure or violates the terms of a permit issued under a regulation promulgated pursuant to these sections, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
(B) A person who violates Section 50-15-30(C), Section 50-15-55, or a regulation promulgated pursuant to these sections, or who fails to procure or violates the terms of a permit issued pursuant to Section 50-15-40(D) or (E), is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(C)(1) The magistrates court has concurrent jurisdiction over violations of Sections 50-15-15, 50-15-20, 50-15-30, 50-15-40(D) and (E), 50-15-55, 50-15-70, and regulations promulgated pursuant to these sections.
(2) Each individual animal not covered by a legal exemption or authorization by the department is considered a separate violation. The court may order restitution for a violation of Section 50-15-15, 50-15-20, 50-15-30, 50-15-40(D) and (E), 50-15-55, or 50-15-70.
(3) Upon the conviction of a violator, the department must revoke any permits issued pursuant to this chapter, and the violator is prohibited from applying to obtain another permit from the department directly or indirectly for a period of two years following the conviction.
(D) An enforcement officer employed and authorized by the department or a police officer of the State or a municipality or county within the State may conduct searches as provided by law and execute a warrant to search for and seize equipment, business records, merchandise, or wildlife taken, used, or possessed in connection with a violation of this article. The officer or agency, without a warrant, may arrest a person who the officer or agent has probable cause to believe is violating, in his presence or view, the article or a regulation or permit provided for by it. An officer or agent who has made an arrest of a person in connection with a violation may search the person or business records at the time of arrest and seize wildlife, records, or property taken or used in connection with the violation.
(E) Equipment, merchandise, wildlife, or records seized under subsection (D) must be held by an officer or agent of the department pending disposition of court proceedings and forfeited to the State for destruction or disposition as the department considers appropriate. Before forfeiture, the department may direct the transfer of wildlife seized to a qualified zoological, educational, or scientific institution for safekeeping. The costs of holding the confiscated wildlife and items are assessable to the defendant upon conviction. The department may promulgate regulations to implement this subsection."
Alligator propagation act definitions
SECTION 8. Section 50-15-310(2) and (5) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(2) 'Alligator propagation facility' means an enclosed area not located on public lands or waters, constructed so as to prevent the ingress and egress of alligators from surrounding public or private lands or waters where alligators are bred or raised as captive animals generally for the purpose of the sale, barter, or trade of alligators, alligator parts, alligator meat, or alligator hides.
(5) 'Commercial purposes' means to derive income or other consideration of value or operating with the intent to derive income or other consideration of value."
SECTION 9. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 25th day of September, 2020.
Approved the 28th day of September, 2020.
This web page was last updated on October 9, 2020 at 1:50 PM