§ 27-5-6. Specifications for humane handling, care, confinement, and transportation of wild animals.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 27. GAME AND FISH

Chapter 5. WILD ANIMALS

Current through 2019-2020 Chapter 609

§ 27-5-6. Specifications for humane handling, care, confinement, and transportation of wild animals

It shall be unlawful to import, transport, sell, transfer, or possess any wild animal regulated by this chapter without meeting the specifications expressed in this Code section for the humane handling, care, confinement, and transportation of such animals:

(1) Facilities in general.
(A) The facility must be constructed of such material and of such strength as appropriate for the animals involved. The housing facilities shall be structurally sound and shall be maintained in good repair to protect and contain the animals. The facilities shall be designed in such manner, including the inclusion of barriers of sufficient dimensions and conformation, to safeguard both the animals and the public against injury by direct contact.
(B) Reliable and adequate electric power, if required to comply with other provisions of this Code section, and adequate potable water shall be available on the premises.
(C) Supplies of food and bedding shall be stored in facilities which adequately protect the supplies against deterioration, molding, or contamination by vermin. Refrigeration shall be provided for supplies of perishable food.
(D) Provision shall be made for the removal and disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, dead animals, trash, and debris. Disposal facilities shall be so provided and operated so as to minimize vermin infestation, odors, and disease hazards. The disposal facilities and any disposal of animal and food wastes, bedding, dead animals, trash, and debris shall comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations relating to pollution control or the protection of the environment.
(E) Facilities such as washrooms, basins, showers, or sinks shall be provided to maintain cleanliness among animal caretakers.
(2) Indoor facilities.
(A) Temperature in indoor housing facilities shall be sufficiently regulated by heating or cooling to protect the animals from extremes of temperature, to provide for their health, and to prevent their discomfort. The ambient temperature shall not be allowed to fall below nor rise above temperatures compatible with the health and comfort of the animal.
(B) Indoor housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated by natural or mechanical means to provide for the health and to prevent discomfort of the animals at all times. Such facilities shall be provided with fresh air either by means of windows, doors, vents, fans, or air conditioning and shall be ventilated so as to minimize drafts, odors, and moisture condensation.
(C) Indoor housing facilities shall have ample lighting, by natural or artificial means, or both, of good quality, distribution, and duration as appropriate for the species involved. Such lighting shall be uniformly distributed and of sufficient intensity to permit routine inspection and cleaning. Lighting of primary enclosures shall be designed to protect the animals from excessive illumination.
(D) A suitable sanitary method shall be provided for rapid elimination of excess water from indoor housing facilities. If drains are used, they shall be properly constructed and kept in good repair to avoid foul odors and installed so as to prevent any backup of sewage. The method of drainage shall comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations relating to pollution control or the protection of the environment.
(3) Outdoor facilities.
(A) When sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort of the animals, sufficient shade by natural or artificial means shall be provided to allow all animals kept outdoors to protect themselves from direct sunlight.
(B) Natural or artificial shelter appropriate to the local climatic conditions for the species concerned shall be provided for all animals kept outdoors to afford them protection and to prevent discomfort to such animals. Individual animals shall be acclimated before they are exposed to the extremes of the local climate.
(C) A suitable method shall be provided for rapid elimination of excess water. The method of drainage shall comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations relating to pollution control or the protection of the environment.
(4) Space requirements. Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural and social adjustments with adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be indicated by evidence of malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress, or abnormal behavioral patterns.
(5) Feeding.
(A) The food shall be wholesome, palatable, and free from contamination and of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain all animals in good health. The diet shall be prepared with consideration for the age, species, condition, size, and type of animal. Animals shall be fed at least once a day except as dictated by hibernation, veterinary treatment, normal fasts, or other professionally accepted practices.
(B) Food and food receptacles, if used, shall be sufficient in quantity and located so as to be accessible to all animals in the enclosure and shall be placed so as to minimize contamination. Food receptacles shall be kept clean and sanitary at all times. If self-feeders are used, adequate measures shall be taken to prevent molding, contamination, and deterioration or caking of food.
(6) Watering. If potable water is not accessible to the animals at all times, it must be provided as often as necessary for the health and comfort of the animal. Frequency of watering shall take into consideration the age, species, condition, size, and type of the animal. All water receptacles shall be kept clean and sanitary.
(7) Sanitation.
(A) Excreta shall be removed from primary enclosures as often as necessary to prevent contamination of the animals contained therein and to minimize disease hazards and to reduce odors. When enclosures are cleaned by hosing or flushing, adequate measures shall be taken to protect the animals confined in such enclosures from being directly sprayed with the stream of water or wetted involuntarily.
(B) Subsequent to the presence of an animal with an infectious or transmissible disease, cages, rooms, and hard-surfaced pens or runs shall be sanitized either by washing them with hot water (180 degrees Fahrenheit at source) and soap or detergent, as in a mechanical washer, or by washing all soiled surfaces with a detergent solution followed by a safe and effective disinfectant or by cleaning all soiled surfaces with saturated live steam under pressure. Pens or runs using gravel, sand, or dirt shall be sanitized when necessary.
(C) Premises (buildings and grounds) shall be kept clean and in good repair in order to protect the animals from injury and to facilitate the prescribed husbandry practices set forth in this Code section. Accumulations of trash shall be placed in designated areas and cleared as necessary to protect the health of the animals.
(D) A safe and effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, and avian and mammalian pests shall be established and maintained.
(8) Employees. A sufficient number of adequately trained employees shall be utilized to maintain the professionally acceptable level of husbandry practices set forth in this Code section. Such employees shall be under a supervisor who has a background in animal care.
(9) Separation. Animals housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible. Animals shall not be housed near animals that interfere with their health or cause them discomfort.
(10) Veterinary care.
(A) Programs of disease prevention, parasite control, euthanasia, and adequate veterinary care shall be established and maintained. The pest control programs shall be reviewed for the safe use of materials and methods.
(B) Animals shall be observed every day by the person in charge of the care of the animals or by someone working under his direct supervision. Sick, diseased, stressed, injured, or lame animals shall be provided with veterinary care or humanely destroyed, unless such action is inconsistent with the research purposes for which the animal was obtained and is being held.
(C)
(i) In the case of a research facility, the program of adequate veterinary care shall include the appropriate use of anesthetic, analgesic, or tranquilizing drugs, when such use would be proper in the opinion of the attending veterinarian at the research facility. Such drugs shall be used in accordance with the currently accepted veterinary medical practice as cited in appropriate professional journals or reference guides and shall produce in the individual subject animal a high level of tranquilization, anesthesia, or analgesia consistent with the protocol or design of the experiment.
(ii) It shall be incumbent upon each research facility to provide guidelines and consultation to research personnel with respect to the type and amount of tranquilizers, anesthetics, or analgesics recommended as being appropriate for each species of animal used by that institution.
(iii) The use of these three classes of drugs shall effectively minimize the pain and discomfort of the animals while under experimentation.
(11) Handling.
(A) Handling of animals shall be done expeditiously and carefully so as not to cause unnecessary discomfort, behavioral stress, or physical harm to the animal. Care should be exercised also to avoid harm to the handler.
(B) Animals to which the public is afforded direct contact shall only be displayed for periods of time and under conditions consistent with the animals' health and not leading to their discomfort.
(C) During public display, the animals must be handled so there is minimal risk of harm to the public with sufficient distance allowed between the animals and the viewing public to assure safety to both the public and the animals. Performing animals shall be allowed a rest period between performances equal to the time for one performance.
(12) Vehicles.
(A) Vehicles used in transporting animals shall be mechanically sound and equipped to provide the animals adequate fresh air, both when moving and stationary, without injurious drafts or discomfort.
(B) The animal cargo space shall be so constructed and maintained so as to prevent the ingress of the vehicle's exhaust gases.
(C) The interior of the animal cargo space shall be kept physically clean.
(D) The ambient temperature shall be sufficiently regulated by heating or cooling to protect the animals from the extremes of temperature and to provide for their health and to prevent their discomfort. The ambient temperature shall not be allowed to fall below or rise above temperatures compatible with the health and comfort of the animals.
(13) Primary enclosures used to transport animals.
(A) Primary enclosures, such as compartments used to transport animals, shall be well constructed, well ventilated, and designed to protect the health and assure the safety of the animals. Such enclosures shall be constructed or positioned in the vehicle in such a manner that each animal in the vehicle has access to sufficient air for normal breathing, the openings of such enclosures are easily accessible at all times for emergency removal of the animals, and the animals are afforded adequate protection from the elements.
(B) Animals transported in the same primary enclosure shall be compatible. Socially dependent animals (e.g., siblings, dam, and young cagemates) must be allowed visual and olfactory contact.
(C) Primary enclosures used to transport animals shall be large enough to ensure that each animal contained therein has sufficient space to turn about freely and to make normal postural adjustments; provided, however, that certain species may be restricted in their movements according to professionally acceptable standards when such freedom of movement would constitute a danger to the animals or their handlers.
(D) Animals shall not be placed in primary enclosures over other animals in transit unless each enclosure is fitted with a floor of a material which prevents animal excreta or other wastes from entering lower enclosures.
(E) Primary enclosures used to transport animals shall be cleansed and sanitized before and after each shipment. All bedding in the vehicle shall be clean at the beginning of each trip.
(14) Food and water requirements.
(A) Potable water shall be provided to each animal at least once in each 12 hour period except as directed by hibernation, veterinary treatment, or other professionally accepted practices. Those animals which, by common accepted practice, require watering more frequently shall be so watered.
(B) Each animal shall be fed at least once in each 24 hour period except as directed by hibernation, veterinary treatment, normal fasts, or other professionally accepted practices. Those animals which, by common accepted practice, require feeding more frequently shall be so fed.
(C) A sufficient quantity of food and water shall accompany the animal to provide food and water for the animal for a period of at least 24 hours, except as directed by hibernation, veterinary treatment, normal fasts, or other professionally accepted practices.
(15) Care in transit.
(A) It shall be the responsibility of the attendant or driver to inspect the animals frequently enough to assure the health and comfort of the animals.
(B) In the event of a breakdown or delay of the vehicle, it is the responsibility of the animal caretaker or vehicle operator to assure that animals get adequate ventilation and protection from fumes, vehicle exhaust, and extremes in temperature and to assure that the animals are not subjected to undue discomfort.
(C) In an emergency concerning the health and welfare of the animals, adequate veterinary care shall be provided without delay.
(16) Nothing in this Code section shall prevent wild animal license or permit holders from processing for meat or meat products animals that are surplus to the primary purpose of their wild animal business. Such processing must be done in compliance with the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 2 of Title 26, the "Georgia Meat Inspection Act."

Cite as OCGA § 27-5-6