WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION
January 24, 2006
This Bill is a Nightmare and Must be Stopped Immediately
The Bill is going to the Full Agriculture Committee Wednesday Morning
PLEASE CALL AND EMAIL ALL AG COMMIITTE MEMBERS IMMEDIATELY THAT YOU OPPOSE THIS BILL
Virginia bill HB982 (from Secretary of Agriculture Robert Bloxom and sponsored by Del. Lewis) will let the Virginia Department of Agriculture (VDACS) adopt regulations – WITHOUT going through the Administrative Process Act and WITHOUT any public input – that will:
- let Dept. of Ag. agents carry out unwarranted search and seizure on premises that keep poultry
- be immediately enforceable
- have no sunset clause
- require a license to keep ANY poultry
- make violation a Class One Misdemeanor ($25,000 fine and a year in jail)
The Code of Virginia (Sec. 2.2 – 4011) ALREADY PROVIDES for creation of emergency regulations in case of “an imminent threat to public health” but the emergency regulations would have a sunset clause (12 months with renewal possible) and they need the approval of the governor.
HB982 creates a Perennial State of Emergency and effectively eliminates the 4th Amendment for anyone who owns poultry – even one bird. The bill does not define “live-bird market” or “production unit.” Just as they defined a “dairy farm” as any premises where one dairy animal is kept, they can define “production unit” as one bird and “live poultry market” as premises where one bird is kept.
Copied below is the significant part of the bill. (The first part of the bill is about agencies that are exempted and it has no real bearing on our discussion).
HB982, Article 1.2
Control of Avian Influenza
§ 3.1-741.6. Prevention and Control Measures; penalty.
A. The Commissioner may adopt regulations to prevent and control avian influenza in commercial and noncommercial poultry, including regulations that affect the live-bird marketing system, and is authorized to participate in the federal Live Bird Marketing Program of the United States Department of Agriculture, as may be amended from time to time. In adopting such regulations, the Commissioner shall be exempt from the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and from public participation guidelines adopted pursuant thereto. The State Veterinarian and his representatives are authorized and empowered to enter any live-bird market or other premises subject to regulation hereunder to carry out the provisions of any regulations adopted pursuant to this section.
B. The Commissioner shall establish by regulation a registration or licensing system to regulate the live-bird marketing system in Virginia. As a part of such registration or licensing system, the Commissioner shall register or license all persons who operate a live-bird market, production unit, or distribution unit. Such registration or licensing system may include, but not be limited to, the granting, denial, suspension, or revocation of any registration or license, including governing: (i) the grounds for granting such registration or license; and (ii) the grounds for the denial, suspension, or revocation of such registration or license.
C. Any person violating any regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The denial, suspension, or revocation of a registration or license governed by this section shall not preclude criminal prosecution pursuant to this section.
2. That any regulations adopted pursuant to § 3.1-741.6 of the Code of Virginia shall, unless a later effective date is specified, take effect upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations, who shall publish the regulations as final regulations in The Virginia Register of Regulations, except that no requirement authorized by subsection B of § 3.1-741.6 that a person be registered or licensed may take effect any sooner than 90 days after the promulgation date of the regulations containing such requirement, the promulgation date being the date of publication in The Virginia Register of Regulations of the final regulations containing such requirement.
House Agriculture Committee Members, 2006, Phone and Email
(delegate Amundsen has been replaced by Del. Bulova)
Bulova, David L.
DelDBulova (at) house.state.va.us
Byron, Kathy J.
DelKByron (at) house.state.va.us
Cline, Benjamin L.
DelBCline (at) house.state.va.us
Cox, M. Kirkland
DelKCox (at) house.state.va.us
Eisenberg, Albert C.
DelAEisenberg (at) house.state.va.us
Hogan, Clarke N.
DelCHogan (at) house.state.va.us
Lewis, Lynwood W., Jr.
DelLLewis (at) house.state.va.us
Lohr, Matthew J.
DelMLohr (at) house.state.va.us
Marshall, Daniel W., III
DelDMarshall (at) house.state.va.us
McEachin, A. Donald
DelDMcEachin (at) house.state.va.us
Morgan, Harvey B.
DelHMorgan (at) house.state.va.us
Orrock, Robert D., Sr.
DelBOrrock (at) house.state.va.us
Plum, Kenneth R.
DelKPlum (at) house.state.va.us
Poisson, David E.
DelDPoisson (at) house.state.va.us
Saxman, Christopher B.
DelCSaxman (at) house.state.va.us
Scott, Edward T.
DelEScott (at) house.state.va.us
Shannon, Stephen C.
DelSShannon (at) house.state.va.us
Sherwood, Beverly J.
DelBSherwood (at) house.state.va.us
Shuler, James M.
DelJShuler (at) house.state.va.us
Ware, R. Lee, Jr.
DelLWare (at) house.state.va.us
Wittman, Robert J.
DelRWittman (at) house.state.va.us
Wright, Thomas C., Jr.
DelTWright (at) house.state.va.us
Contact VICFA Voice for more information: vicfavoice (at) earthlink.net