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RULE §65.361Alligator Farm Facility Requirements

(a) An applicant for an Alligator Farming Permit must complete and submit an application on a form supplied or approved by the department. The application must contain the GPS coordinates of the perimeter of the facility and be accompanied by a map showing the location and dimensions of the facility.

(b) Except for an alligator farming permit issued under subsection (e) of this section, a first-time applicant for an alligator farming permit must, prior to permit issuance, show evidence of the following during a facility inspection by the department:

  (1) adequate barriers to prevent escape or entry by alligators;

  (2) a reliable source of clean, fresh water;

  (3) provision for protection from the cold, either available denning space or an enclosed, controlled-temperature environment;

  (4) pooled water sufficient to allow complete submersion of alligators.

(c) Except as provided under §65.353 of this title (relating to General Provisions) or for live alligators being lawfully transported, a live alligator held under an Alligator Farming Permit must be kept within the facility identified in the application required by subsection (a) of this section at all times.

(d) No farmer may incubate alligator eggs at a farm or incubation-only facility unless the department has approved the incubation apparatus at the farm or incubation-only facility. An incubation apparatus must be capable of maintaining water and air temperatures of 85 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit on a continuous basis when eggs and hatchlings are present.

(e) A person who operates a facility solely for the purpose of incubating and hatching alligator eggs must obtain an alligator farming permit. Alligators hatched in a facility permitted under this subsection must be transferred to an alligator farm meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this section or an out-of-state facility lawfully able to receive the hatchlings by October 1 of each year.

(f) A person possessing alligator eggs under an alligator farming permit shall hold such eggs in identifiable original clutch groups in an incubation apparatus approved by the department.

(g) Complete written records of all alligator stock shall be kept, including nest stamps for all alligator eggs, shipping tickets, invoices, and bills of lading.

(h) Farmers may collect eggs from nests of captive alligators inside alligator farms at any time, provided each clutch is accompanied by a captive nest stamp provided by the department. Nesting activity of captive alligators shall be recorded on a daily basis. An Alligator Farm Egg Collection Report on a form supplied or approved by the department shall be submitted to the department by September 15 of each year.

(i) An alligator farmer who collects or receives alligator eggs taken from wild nests shall complete and submit an Annual Egg Report on a form supplied or approved by the department to the department by October 1 of each year.

(j) The department may deny permit issuance to:

  (1) any incubation facility with less than a 70% hatching success over any period of two consecutive years; or

  (2) any farm facility with less than a 70% hatchling survival (hatch-to-harvest) over any period of two consecutive years.

(k) All facilities, alligator stock, and records are subject to examination by department personnel prior to permitting and thereafter during farm operation.

(l) Applications for hide tags shall be submitted to the department 15 days prior to harvest of alligators, except for non-harvest mortalities, in which case the permittee shall notify a game warden before skinning operations begin.

(m) A hide tag issued to a farming facility may not be used on an alligator killed under a hunting license.

(n) It is an offense for a farmer to sell, offer for sale, or accept or offer to accept anything of value from another person for the killing of an alligator within an alligator farming facility.

Source Note: The provisions of this §65.361 adopted to be effective September 19, 1996, 21 TexReg 8732; amended to be effective October 21, 2003, 28 TexReg 9081; amended to be effective July 17, 2017, 42 TexReg 3548; amended to be effective August 24, 2020, 45 TexReg 5923

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