HOUSE BILL 426
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2015
Roberto "Bobby" J. Gonzales
RELATING TO WILDLIFE; ENACTING THE NEW MEXICO WILDLIFE PROTECTION AND PUBLIC SAFETY ACT; PROVIDING FOR RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF TRAPS AND POISONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--Sections 1 through 4 of this act may be cited as the "New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act:
A. "body-gripping trap" means a trap that grips an animal's body or body part, including, but not limited to, steel-jawed leg-hold traps, padded-jaw leg-hold traps, conibear-type traps and all other kill-type traps and snares. Cage and box traps, catch poles when being physically used by a person, corral traps, colony traps, nets, suitcase-type live beaver traps, glue traps and common rat and mouse traps shall not be considered body-gripping traps for the purposes of the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act;
B. "conibear-type trap" means a spring-loaded, rotating jaw trap intended to deal a crushing and fatal blow to an animal when the animal passes through;
C. "department" means the department of game and fish;
D. "domestic animal" means any animal under human control, such as cats, dogs or livestock;
E. "ecosystem management" means actions that maintain or increase the long-term sustainability of whole ecosystems;
F. "feral animal" means any domestic animal that has escaped human control and is now living freely;
G. "person" means any local, state or federal governmental agency or municipality; an individual; a partnership; a corporation; an organization; a trade or professional association; a firm; a limited liability company; a joint venture; an association; a trust; an estate; or any other legal entity and any officer, member, shareholder, director, employee, agent or representative thereof;
H. "poison" means any substance applied in a manner intended to kill, but excludes commercially available rodent poisons applied to kill rodent pests;
I. "public land" does not include privately owned property or lands belonging to an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo;
J. "raw fur" means any fur, pelt or skin that has not been tanned or cured, except that salt- or sun-cured pelts are raw furs;
K. "scientific research" means an investigation by employees or contractors of the department; the United States fish and wildlife service; or other government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, educational institutions or individuals who are affiliated with educational institutions conducting investigations and who have applied for and received a permit from the department; provided that any such investigation leads to generalizable knowledge and is conducted in accordance with a university-based institutional animal care and use committee, or a similar process developed in accordance with policies of the United States public health service, and is not being conducted for commercial gain from the sale of animal parts;
L. "snare" means any device, with or without stops, often with a noose, that is used to capture, strangle or otherwise entangle wildlife;
M. "trap" means a device designed to confine or immobilize an animal, including a body-gripping trap; however, common rat and mouse traps shall not be considered traps for purposes of the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act; and
N. "wildlife" means any member of the animal kingdom, including all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and other vertebrate species that are native to or found in New Mexico and are not under the direct control of a human or in captivity; "wildlife" does not include feral or escaped animals or rodent pests.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] PROHIBITIONS--EXCEPTIONS.--
A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is a violation of the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act for a person to:
(1) set or use, or attempt to set or use, a trap to kill or capture wildlife on public land;
(2) set or use, or attempt to set or use, a body-gripping trap to kill or capture any feral or domestic animal on public land;
(3) apply or use, or attempt to apply or use, any poison to kill or injure wildlife or a feral animal on public land; or
(4) buy, sell, barter or otherwise exchange for profit or to offer to buy, sell, barter or otherwise exchange for profit the raw fur of any protected or unprotected fur-bearing animal taken by a trap or poison.
B. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not prohibit:
(1) the taking of wildlife or feral or domestic animals by federal, state, county or municipal government employees or their duly authorized agents when prohibited devices or methods are the only feasible method available to protect human health and safety;
(2) the taking of beaver or muskrats by use of a conibear-type trap partially or wholly submerged in water by federal, state, county or municipal government employees or their duly authorized agents when the trap is the only feasible method available to protect public waterways, levees or dams;
(3) the taking of wildlife by traps to conduct scientific research;
(4) the use of traps to protect threatened or endangered species, if used by the department or its agents or by the United States fish and wildlife service or its agents;
(5) the use of non-body-gripping traps for the lawful taking of wildlife to abate damages caused to property, crops or livestock. Traps used for this purpose must be checked every twenty-four hours by the person who set the traps, or the person's designee, and any captured wildlife removed. Captured wildlife found alive must be released immediately or killed, unless permission has been granted by the department for relocation and release. If captured wildlife is to be killed, it shall be killed:
(a) by gunshot, where local ordinances, landowners and safety permit;
(b) using compressed carbon dioxide gas obtained from cylinders and used in conjunction with a chamber that is capable of achieving the precise and optimal flow and concentration for the species; or
(c) by humane euthanasia by injection; provided that it is performed by a person trained and authorized to administer a controlled substance manufactured and sold for the purpose of euthanizing animals;
(6) employees or agents of a state or federal agency from acting in the course of the employee's or agent's duties regarding ecosystem management; or
(7) the use of the devices or methods described in Subsection A of this section for the otherwise lawful taking of:
(a) terrestrial rodent pests;
(b) wild birds; or
(c) fish or other nonmammalian aquatic wildlife by the department or the United States fish and wildlife service.
C. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply to the taking of wildlife with firearms, fishing equipment, archery equipment, falconry equipment or other implements in hand as authorized by law.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] PENALTIES--FORFEITURE.--
A. A person who violates the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act is, for a first offense, guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of that act, the offender is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.
B. A person who violates the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act shall be strictly liable in a civil action for damages.
C. In addition to other penalties, upon conviction, the court may consider appropriate restitution to any state agency or nonprofit organization whose purpose it is to protect and conserve wildlife or domestic animals.
SECTION 5. Section 17-5-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1939, Chapter 178, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"17-5-3. SEASONS--SPECIAL PERMITS TO TAKE ANIMALS DOING DAMAGE.--Fur-bearing animals, as defined in Section 17-5-2 NMSA 1978, shall be taken only during the seasons declared by regulation of the state game commission promulgated as provided in Section 17-5-4 NMSA 1978. The director of the department of game and fish may, however, issue permits at any time for the taking of fur-bearing animals doing damage to game, private property, poultry or livestock pursuant to the provisions of the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act."
SECTION 6. Section 17-5-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1939, Chapter 178, Section 5, as amended) is amended to read:
"17-5-5. [TRAPPER'S] FUR-BEARER LICENSES.--
A. No resident who has reached [his twelfth birthday] the age of twelve shall capture, trap, kill or possess any fur-bearing animal or attempt to do so without first procuring a resident [trapper's] fur-bearer license; or, in the case of a resident who has reached [his twelfth birthday] the age of twelve but not [his eighteenth birthday] the age of eighteen, a resident junior [trapper's] fur-bearer license.
B. No nonresident shall capture, trap, kill or possess any fur-bearing animal or skunk or coyote or attempt to do so without first procuring a nonresident [trapper's] fur-bearer license.
C. No nonresident who resides in a state that does not permit New Mexico residents to procure nonresident [trapper's] fur-bearer licenses may purchase a New Mexico nonresident [trapper's] fur-bearer license.
D. Trappers shall release all fur-bearing animals trapped during closed seasons, and resident trappers who release all fur-bearing animals during open seasons need not procure a [trapper's] fur-bearer license.
E. Trappers on official business, paid from state and federal funds and under supervision of the department of game and fish, the New Mexico department of agriculture or the United States fish and wildlife service need not purchase a [trapper's] fur-bearer license.
F. Trapping of animals, both fur-bearing and nongame, by a resident in order to protect [his] the resident's livestock or domesticated animals or fowl shall [not be subject to rules and regulations on trapping made pursuant to Section 17-5-4 NMSA 1978 or to licensing requirements provided in this section] not require a fur-bearer license.
G. The state game commission may by regulation require holders of [trapper's] fur-bearer licenses to use bobcat pelt tags and may specify the conditions for use of the tags.
H. Trapping under this section shall be undertaken pursuant to the provisions of the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act."
SECTION 7. Section 17-5-6 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1939, Chapter 178, Section 6, as amended) is amended to read:
"17-5-6. FUR [DEALER] DEALER'S LICENSES.--
A. Except for [trappers] hunters selling their own [catches] pelts, any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of buying or selling unprocessed skins or pelts of any fur-bearing animal obtained as a result of hunting is a "fur dealer". It is a misdemeanor to engage in business as a fur dealer or solicit such business without first procuring a fur [dealer] dealer's license, except that resident fur dealers who buy and sell less than fifty skins or pelts of fur-bearing animals each year need not purchase a fur [dealer] dealer's license.
B. Every fur dealer shall file with the department of game and fish, not later than the tenth of each month, a sworn statement showing the number and kind of skins and pelts of fur-bearing animals purchased and sold during the preceding month.
C. The provisions of this section apply to fur dealers who buy and sell the skins or pelts of predatory animals as well as to those who buy and sell the skins or pelts of protected nonpredatory fur-bearing animals."
SECTION 8. Section 17-5-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1939, Chapter 178, Section 7) is amended to read:
"17-5-7. DISPOSITION OF LICENSE FEES.--All fees for [trappers'] fur-bearer licenses and fur [dealers'] dealer's licenses shall be collected by the [State Game Warden] director of the department of game and fish and turned over to the state treasurer to be credited to the game protection fund; provided that license vendors shall retain ten cents [(10¢)] ($.10) for each license sold as compensation for [his] their services, but no regular employee of the [State Game] department of game and fish shall be entitled to [such] that fee."
SECTION 9. Section 77-15-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1919, Chapter 119, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"77-15-3. APPORTIONMENT OF APPROPRIATION--SALE OF FURS AND SPECIMENS--BOUNTY.--
A. The funds [hereby] appropriated in Sections 77-15-1 through 77-15-5 NMSA 1978 shall be apportioned for predatory animal destruction and rodent pest repression in such amounts as may be stated in [such] the agreement or, in the absence of [such] an agreement, as may be determined by the president of New Mexico state university, who shall forward a certificate of such apportionment to the department of finance and administration and a duplicate [thereof] of the certificate to the state treasurer, who shall [thereupon] credit the funds available for the [said] appropriations to the predatory animal fund and the rodent pest repression fund, respectively, as stated in [said] the certificate. [Said] The funds shall be expended in amounts as authorized by [said] the president of New Mexico state university and disbursed by warrants issued by the secretary of finance and administration upon itemized vouchers or payrolls certified by the predatory animal inspector of the bureau of biological survey of the United States fish and wildlife service or by the state rodent inspector or the assistant of the biological survey in charge of rodent pest repression, respectively.
B. All furs, skins and specimens taken by hunters [or trappers] paid from the state funds shall be sold upon sealed bids, after advertisement, as may be prescribed by the president of [said] New Mexico state university, and the proceeds of [such] the sales shall be paid to the state treasurer to be credited and added to [said] the predatory animal fund; provided that any specimens [so] taken may be presented free of charge to the museum of New Mexico [museum] or any state institution.
C. No bounty shall be collected from any county for animals taken by hunters or trappers operating under such agreements, and scalps of animals [so] taken shall be destroyed or [cancelled] canceled or marked in such manner that they cannot be used by any other person for collecting of bounty."
SECTION 10. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2015.
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