Mo. Code Regs. tit. 3 § 10-9.220

Current through Register Vol. 49, No. 13, July 1, 2024
Section 3 CSR 10-9.220 - Wildlife Confinement Standards

PURPOSE: These amendments require any person holding wildlife in confinement under permit to report all wildlife escapes immediately to a conservation agent, changes the term "captive" to "confined" for most references to wildlife, and modifies confinement standards for certain species of wildlife held in confinement. It also reflects the creation of a Class III Wildlife Breeder Permit for certain cervids currently held under Class I and II Wildlife Breeder Permits. Finally, the amendments remove circuses, bona fide research facilities, and fur farms from the current exemption for compliance with confinement standards.

This amendment provides for clarification of the rule with respect to wildlife. The Conservation Commission has constitutional authority over all bird, fish, game, forestry, and wildlife resources of the state.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a disease that infects deer and other members of the deer family. It is transmitted by prions, which are abnormal proteins that attack the nervous system, and is always fatal to the infected animal. CWD is spread both directly from deer to deer and indirectly to deer from infected soil and other surfaces. CWD prions accumulate in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected animals. Once well established in an area, CWD is impossible to eradicate. States with CWD must focus on limiting the spread of the disease and preventing its introduction to new areas. CWD could substantially reduce infected cervid populations by lowering adult survival rates and destabilizing long-term population dynamics.

Infectious diseases such as CWD threaten Missouri's deer herd, Missouri's nearly five hundred and twenty thousand (520,000) deer hunters, millions of wildlife watchers, thousands of landowners, twelve thousand (12,000) Missouri jobs, and hundreds of businesses and communities that depend on the approximately one (1) billion dollars boost in economic activity related to deer hunting and watching.

There is currently no approved live animal test for CWD, tests can only be performed on dead animals. Additionally, there is a lag-time between infection and detection based on current methods. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the disease status of individual animals. The current federal CWD-herd certification program is simply a means of reducing risk by monitoring a herd by testing for disease in animals from a herd that die. It does not indicate a disease-free status for any herd; it only establishes a level of risk associated with each particular herd. Consequently, it is crucial to reduce the risk of infection and spreading of the disease. This regulation is intended to reduce the spread of CWD and other diseases by limiting deer to deer contact through more effective barriers between captive and free-ranging deer.

The first two (2) cases of CWD in Missouri were found in 2010 and 2011 at two (2) private big-game hunting preserves in Linn and Macon counties. Following those discoveries, the first two (2) cases of CWD in free-ranging deer were confirmed in 2012 in northwest Macon County. To date, Missouri's confirmed cases of CWD total eleven ( 11 ) in captive deer from the private hunting preserves and ten (10) in free-ranging deer harvested in Macon County.

Movement of animals between captive facilities elevates the risk of further spreading the disease to new areas of the state. Initial reports of CWD outbreaks in numerous states, including Missouri, have occurred at captive breeding sites. In the past nine (9) years, the number of states with confirmed CWD in free-ranging deer and elk has nearly doubled from eight (8) to fifteen (15). In captive herds, CWD has expanded from twenty-seven (27) to thirty-nine (39) in captive elk herds and from two (2) to seventeen (17) in captive deer herds. Once CWD has been identified in a state, the documentation of CWD in both captive and free-ranging animals indicates that disease transmission has occurred between those groups of animals.

Current fencing standards are not sufficient to eliminate the risk of captive cervid escapes from captive facilities or the possibility of deer to deer contact through the fence. Approximately one hundred fifty (150) escaped cervids have been reported by breeding and big game hunting preserve facilities to the Missouri Department of Conservation over the last three (3) years. Published research from Michigan suggests that double fencing will reduce direct contact between free-ranging and captive cervids via escapes and nose to nose contact, and will likely reduce risk of transmission through indirect routes (VerCauteren, Kurt C., et al. 2007. Fence-Line Contact Between Wild and Farmed White-Tailed Deer in Michigan: Potential for Disease Transmission. The Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1603-1606).

The proposed amendment exempts facilities currently permitted by the department to hold cervids from the new fencing standards. A newly permitted facility or an existing facility permitted by the department to hold cervids which expands the current perimeter fence of that facility will be required to comply with the new fencing standards. The department listened to comments from breeders during public meetings in 2013 that the fencing standards (double fencing with the perimeter fence at ten (10) feet) would be too onerous for existing facilities. The proposed amendment represents a compromise that still provides risk management for the future, while considering the burden on current facilitates.

Class I and Class II Wildlife Breeder Permits are also used by auction houses and other businesses that serve as "brokers" for cervids that are bought and sold. Many animals may move through facilities owned by these businesses and may be held in confined areas that have recently held animals from herds of variable disease status. Existing Wildlife Breeder Permit regulations were not designed to address such operations and may not adequately describe the conditions under which these businesses should be operated.

(1) Cages, pens, or other enclosures for confining wildlife shall be well braced, securely fastened to the floor or ground, covered with a top as required, and constructed with material of sufficient strength to prevent escape. Animals may not be released to the wild and must be confined at all times in cages, pens, or enclosures except in lead or drag races, or birds held under a falconry permit or as otherwise permitted in this chapter. Except for unweaned young, Class II wildlife and bobcat, American badger, coyote, red fox, and gray fox may not roam freely anywhere within a residence or inhabited dwelling. The following requirements shall be met:
(A) Any person holding any wildlife in confinement under permit within the provision of this chapter shall report all escapes immediately to a conservation agent;
(B) Clean drinking water shall be available in adequate amounts at all times. Semiaquatic animals, such as beaver and muskrat, shall be provided a pool of sufficient water depth for the animal to completely submerge;
(C) A shelter shall be provided for security and protection from inclement weather. Shade or an overhead structure shall be provided in warm seasons;
(D) Confined wildlife shall be fed daily or as required with a diet appropriate to the species and the age, size, and condition of the animal. Feeding containers shall be kept clean and uneaten food removed within a reasonable time;
(E) Animal wastes shall be removed daily and disposed of properly. If bedding is provided, it shall be cleaned out and replaced every two (2) weeks;
(F) Facilities for holding captive-reared migratory waterfowl must be designed to prevent escape to surrounding properties and managed to prevent contact with non-captive migratory waterfowl. Captive-reared mallard ducks may be temporarily released for flight exercise beginning one (1) hour after sunrise. Facilities must be designed to re-capture such ducks, and a reasonable effort must be made to re-capture them by one (1) hour after sunset each day; and
(G) Captive-reared mallard ducks must be physically marked prior to six (6) weeks of age by removal of the hind toe from the right foot, or by tattooing of a readily discernible number or letter or combination thereof on the web of one (1) foot. Other captive-reared migratory waterfowl must be physically marked prior to six (6) weeks of age by at least one (1) of the following methods and as provided in federal regulations:
1. Removal of the hind toe from the right foot;
2. Pinioning of a wing; provided that this method shall be the removal of the metacarpal bones of one (1) wing or a portion of the metacarpal bones which renders the bird permanently incapable of flight;
3. Banding of one (1) metatarsus with a seamless metal band; and
4. Tattooing of a readily discernible number or letter or combination thereof on the web of one (1) foot.

NOTE: For federal regulations on migratory waterfowl, see Title 50, Parts 20 and 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(2) Cages, pens, or other enclosures for Class I and Class III wildlife shall meet the following standards:

Species

Minimum Enclosure Space (sq. ft.)

Space Per Each Additional Animal (sq. ft.)

Enclosure Height (ft.)

(A) American Badger

30

6

4

(B) Beaver

40

8

5

(C) Bobcat

32

8

6

(D) Coyote

80

25

6

(E) E. Cottontail Rabbit

15

3

3

(F) FoxSquirrel

9

3

4

(G) Gray Fox

40

8

5

(H) Gray Squirrel

9

3

4

(I) Groundhog

12

3

5

(J) Mink

9

3

2

(K) Muskrat

12

5

3

(L) Otter

36

6

4

(M) Raccoon

24

6

5

(N) Red Fox

40

8

5

(O) Virginia Opossum

12

3

3

(P) Wease

9

3

2

(Q) Cervids

500

125

See 3 CSR 10-9.220(3)

(3) Cages, pens, or other enclosures of individuals permitted to hold cervids shall meet the standards and requirements provided in this section:
(A) Cages, pens, or other enclosures.
1. All fencing shall extend at least a minimum of eight feet (8') high for its entire length, and consist of not smaller than twelve and one-half (12 1/2) gauge woven or high-tensile woven wire, not smaller than six (6) gauge welded wire, not smaller than nine (9) gauge chain link, or wood planks.
2. Spacing between vertical wires and wooden planks shall not exceed six and one-half inches (6 1/2").
3. If two (2) or more fences are combined, one (1) above the other, the fences shall be overlapped at least six inches (6") and firmly attached to each other at intervals no greater than three feet (3') or combined and firmly attached to each other at intervals no greater than twelve inches (12") apart.
4. The fence shall be installed and maintained to provide not more than three inches (3") of ground clearance for its entire length.
(B) Right-of-way.
1. The fence right-of-way shall be cleared of woody vegetation less than six inch (6") diameter at breast height for a minimum distance of six feet (6') on the outside of the fence on land(s) under his/her control and six feet (6') on the inside of the fencing For enclosures and additions constructed after June 30, 2019, the fence right-of-way shall be cleared of all woody vegetation for a minimum distance of six feet (6') on the outside and the inside of the fencing.
2. All dead trees with a height greater than the distance to the fence on land(s) under his/her control shall be felled.
(C) Fence posts shall extend at least a minimum of eight feet (8') high, shall be of sufficient strength, and placed to maintain fence integrity.
(D) Gates shall be locked, latched, and constructed to meet or exceed the standards of the fence.
(E) Water gaps and stream crossings shall be constructed and maintained in a condition to prevent ingress and egress of cervids at all times.
(F) If topographic, natural, or other conditions exist that enable cervids to pass through, under, or over the fence, the permit holder shall be required to supplement the fence with additional, stronger or higher fence posts, special grading, additional fencing, or other measures to prevent ingress and egress of cervids at all times.
(G) Fencing shall be maintained in a condition to prevent ingress and egress of cervids at all times.
(4) Care of confined turtles shall meet requirements set out in section (1). At least ten (10) gallons of water shall be provided for each adult aquatic turtle over four inches (4") in shell length, and three (3) gallons of water shall be provided for each hatchling or turtle under four inches (4") in shell length. At least four (4) square feet of ground space shall be provided for each box turtle over three inches (3") in shell length and one (1) square foot of ground space shall be provided for each hatchling or turtle under three inches (3") in shell length.
(5) Cages, pens, or other enclosures for confining Class II wildlife shall be constructed to prevent direct physical contact with the public. At a minimum, this may be accomplished by a secondary barrier of wire mesh no smaller than eleven and one-half (11 1/2) gauge with openings of no more than nine (9) square inches, with a minimum distance of three feet (3') between animal cage and public and a minimum height of six feet (6'). Doors shall remain locked at all times with appropriate locks and chains. Enclosures shall be constructed with a den, nest box, or connected housing unit that can be closed off and locked with the animal inside, or be a divided cage with a door between the compartments, to allow servicing and cleaning. The enclosure mesh size or spacing of bars shall be sufficient to prevent escape. A barrier system of wet or dry moats or structures, as approved by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, will meet these requirements.
(A) Class II wildlife shall be confined in cages, pens, enclosures, or in buildings of sufficient strength with restraints affixed to all windows, doors, or other means of entry or exit.
(B) Cages, pens, or other enclosures for Class II wildlife shall meet the standards outlined in Appendix A of this rule, which is included herein.
(6) Mobile temporary enclosures and wildlife auction/sale facilities may be used to confine wildlife, except Class III wildlife, for no more than fourteen (14) days and shall meet the following criteria:
(A) Facilities or enclosures shall be of sufficient size to ensure that each animal or compatible groups of animals can stand erect, turn about freely, and lie naturally. Facilities or enclosures shall be designed to provide fresh air, be free from injurious drafts and engine exhaust fumes, and provide adequate protection from the elements. The structural strength of the facilities shall be sufficient to contain the wildlife and to withstand the normal rigors of transportation;
(B) Class I wildlife facilities or enclosures shall contain doors that are locked when unattended, but easily accessible at all times for emergency removal of the wildlife;
(C) Facilities or enclosures for Class II wildlife and bobcat, American badger, coyote, red fox, and gray fox shall be designed to prevent direct physical contact by the public and constructed of steel or case-hardened aluminum. Facilities or enclosures must have at least two (2) openings which are easily accessible at all times for emergency removal of the wildlife. Doors shall be locked at all times; and
(7) Other wildlife native to Missouri not listed in sections (2) and (5) and in rule 3 CSR 10-9.110, and birds native to the continental United States, shall be cared for and confined in facilities that provide comparable requirements for similar size animals as listed in this rule.
(8) Requirements of this rule shall not apply to wildlife under the care of a veterinarian or rehabilitation center, or to animals legally held in publicly owned zoos and American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) accredited not-for-profit facilities.
(9) Other variations from requirements of this rule shall be only as specifically authorized by the director.

APPENDIX A

CAGE, PEN OR OTHER ENCLOSURE STANDARDS FOR CLASS II WILDLIFE3 CSR 10-9.220(5)

Species

Enclosure Space (sq. ft.)

Space per Each Additional Animal

Enclosure Height (feet)

Cage Material

Black Bear or hybrids

150

50% larger

8(w/top) or 10(w/o top - 12 after 3/03)

Not smaller than 9 gauge steel chain link; top required for 8-foot enclosure; 3-foot lean-in on top of fence acceptable for 10-foot enclosure. (For enclosures constructed after 3-1-03, height (without top) must be 12 feet with 3-foot lean-in on top; two strands of hot wire (8000-10000 volt) on fence, one strand on lean-in, one strand along bottom or middle of fence; 4-inch concrete floor or non-rust 9 gauge chain link buried 2 feet and angled underground toward enclosure interior, or for pens anchored flush with ground, 3-foot interior dig-out panel required at ground surface.)

Mountain Lion or hybrids

200

50% larger

8

Not smaller than 11 gauge steel chain link; top required

Wolf

200

50% larger

6

Not smaller than 9 gauge steel chain link; 4-inch concrete floor or non-rust 9 gauge chain link buried 2 feet and angled underground toward enclosure interior, or for pens anchored flush with ground, 3-foot interior dig-out panel required at ground surface; top required, except 8-foot fence with 3-foot lean-in acceptable for wolves.

Venomous Snakes

(Perimeter must be 1 1/2 times length of longest snake)

25% larger

When on public display outside approved confinement facility, any side of exhibit cage exposed to the public shall have a double glass or escape-proof double mesh barrier designed to prevent contact between venomous reptile and the public.

3 CSR 10-9.220

AUTHORITY: sections 40 and 45 of Art. I V, Mo. Const. This rule was previously filed as 3 CSR 10-3.020. Original rule filed Nov. 2, 1984, effective Feb. 11 , 1985. Amended: Filed Aug. 6, 1985, effective Jan. 1, 1986. Amended: Filed May 10, 1991, effective Jan. 1, 1992. Amended: Filed June 2, 1992, effective Feb. 26, 1993. Amended: Filed June 9, 1993, effective Jan. 31, 1994. Amended: Filed June 13, 1994, effective Jan. 1, 1995. Amended: Filed Oct. 12, 1994, effective March 30, 1995. Amended: Filed May 30, 1995, effective Jan. 1, 1996. Amended: Filed June 5, 1996, effective Dec. 30, 1996. Amended: Filed May 6, 1998, effective March 1, 1999. Amended: Filed May 9, 2002, effective March 1, 2003. Amended: Filed Nov. 25, 2003, effective April 30, 2004. Amended: Filed Sept. 29, 2004, effective Feb. 28, 2005. Amended: Filed Sept. 14, 2005, effective Feb. 28, 2006. Amended: Filed Oct. 2, 2006, effective Feb. 28, 2007. Amended: Filed March 19, 2007, effective April 1, 2007.
Amended by Missouri Register December 1, 2014/Volume 39, Number 23, effective 1/29/2015
Amended by Missouri Register June 15, 2015/Volume 40, Number 12, effective 7/31/2015
Amended by Missouri Register May 15, 2019/Volume 44, Number 10, effective 7/1/2019
Amended by Missouri Register July 1, 2021/Volume 46, Number 13, effective 8/31/2021