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TITLE 4AGRICULTURE
PART 2TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION
CHAPTER 55SWINE
RULE §55.9Feral Swine Requirements, Facility Approval and Authorization

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

  (1) Approved holding facility--A pen or pens approved by the commission to temporarily hold feral swine pending movement to a recognized slaughter facility, an authorized hunting preserve, or another approved holding facility.

  (2) Authorization--The required written and signed commission documents to show compliance with the requirements of the chapter.

  (3) Authorized Hunting Preserve--Land where feral swine are authorized to be released for the purpose of hunting.

  (4) Domestic Swine--Swine (Sus scrofa) other than feral swine.

  (5) Feral swine--Swine that have lived all (wild) or any part (feral) of their lives free-roaming.

  (6) Free-Roaming--Not confined by man to pens, houses or other facilities designed to hold swine and prevent their escape.

  (7) Recognized slaughter facility--A slaughter facility operated under the state or federal meat inspection laws and regulations.

  (8) Swine-Proof Fence--A fence constructed to sufficient construction standards with materials of hog-proof net, woven or welded wire and wood, metal or other approved posts and maintained to prevent the ingress and egress of feral swine.

(b) Required Authorization for Movement of Feral Swine. These requirements apply to any person who traps feral swine and moves live feral swine from the premises where the feral swine were trapped or otherwise captured. Movement of live feral swine is prohibited unless authorized by paragraphs (1) - (7) of this subsection:

  (1) The feral swine are moved directly from the premises where the feral swine were trapped to a recognized slaughter facility;

  (2) The feral swine are moved directly from the premises where the feral swine were trapped to an approved holding facility;

  (3) The feral swine are moved directly from the premises where the feral swine were trapped to an authorized hunting preserve;

  (4) The feral swine are moved from an approved holding facility to a recognized slaughter facility;

  (5) The feral swine are moved from an approved holding facility to an authorized hunting preserve;

  (6) The feral swine are moved from an approved holding facility to another approved holding facility;

  (7) Feral swine that have been trapped and are held for transportation to an authorized location, as provided by this subsection, may be held in an escape-proof cage on the vehicle or trailer that transported them from the premises where they were trapped, or held within the transport trailer itself for up to seven days.

(c) Approved Holding Facility.

  (1) To hold live feral swine at a location other than the premises where the feral swine were trapped or otherwise captured, a person must apply and receive commission authorization to become an approved holding facility. Authorization is required for each holding facility.

  (2) Written approval for a feral swine holding facility may be given after an initial inspection by commission personnel determines that the facility meets the following criteria:

    (A) The facility has a swine-proof fence constructed to prevent any feral swine from escaping and continually maintained by the owner and/or operator to prevent the ingress and egress of feral swine;

    (B) The facility shall not be located within two hundred yards of any domestic swine pens;

    (C) Only feral swine may be placed in the facility;

    (D) Records shall be maintained by the registrant as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, and the facility must provide records when requested or inspected;

    (E) Feral swine shall not be commingled with domestic or exotic swine;

    (F) Feral swine shall not be fed any garbage or waste as it is defined in Chapter 165 of the Texas Agriculture Code;

    (G) Animal carcasses shall be removed from the approved holding facility promptly and disposed of in accordance with §59.12 of this title and applicable state and local ordinances, or at the direction of commission personnel; and

    (H) Feral swine shall only be moved from the facility directly to a recognized slaughter facility, an authorized hunting preserve, or another approved holding facility.

  (3) Application for Approved Holding Facility. Application and renewal for an approved holding facility shall be on a form prescribed by the commission and include at least the following information:

    (A) Name, address and telephone number of applicant;

    (B) Facility name, physical location, county, directions to facility, telephone number;

    (C) Diagram of the surrounding areas and the pens;

    (D) Facility photos, including pens;

    (E) Signature of the owner or operator;

    (F) The authorization is valid for two years from the date of issuance and shall expire on the two year anniversary date of the date of issuance unless reauthorized; and

    (G) Reauthorization of the approved holding facility shall be completed between 30 and 60 days prior to the expiration date.

  (4) Recordkeeping.

    (A) Owners and operators of approved holding facilities and authorized hunting preserves shall generate and maintain the following records:

      (i) The number of swine placed in and removed from the facility and/or preserve;

      (ii) The approximate weight, size, color, sex and any applied identification for each feral swine;

      (iii) Dates feral swine were placed into and/or removed from the holding facility or hunting preserve;

      (iv) The physical location where feral swine were trapped; and

      (v) The physical location that feral swine were moved to, including any unique identification number.

    (B) The records shall be provided to an authorized agent of the commission upon request. Records shall be kept and maintained for not less than five years from the date the record was generated.

  (5) The commission may suspend or revoke the authorization for an approved holding facility if the owner or operator fails to generate, maintain or provide records on feral swine as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, fails to maintain swine-proof fences to prevent the ingress and egress of feral swine, or violates any provision of this chapter or Chapter 161 of the Agriculture Code. The suspension will remain in effect until the deficiencies causing the suspension or revocation are corrected and any penalties assessed as a result of the suspension are satisfied. The commission will notify the preserve in writing when the suspension has been lifted. The authorization of a holding facility may be revoked for blatant or repetitive violation(s) of this chapter or Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code.

(d) Authorized Hunting Preserve.

  (1) To trap, move, and release live feral swine, a person must apply and receive commission authorization for a hunting preserve. Authorization is required for each hunting preserve.

  (2) If feral swine are to be trapped and moved for release to a hunting preserve, the hunting preserve shall meet the following requirements:

    (A) Only male feral swine (i.e. boars and/or barrows) may be trapped, moved and released on a hunting preserve;

    (B) Any feral swine released must be individually identified with an official USDA tag, RFID tag, or other commission-approved form of identification prior to release;

    (C) Records shall be generated and maintained as provided in subsection (c)(4) of this section;

    (D) Have a Hunting Lease License with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the license must be current and in good standing with that agency, as provided for in Chapter 43 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code;

    (E) Be enclosed by a swine-proof fence maintained continually to prevent the ingress and egress of feral swine;

    (F) Feral swine shall not be fed any garbage or waste as defined in Chapter 165 of the Texas Agriculture Code; and

    (G) The commission may suspend or revoke the authorization of a hunting preserve if owner or the operator fails to generate, maintain or provide records on feral swine as provided in subsection (c)(4) of this section, sufficient fences are not maintained, or violates any provision of this chapter or Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code. The suspension will remain in effect until the deficiencies causing the suspension or revocation are corrected and any penalties assessed as result of the suspension are satisfied. The commission will notify the preserve in writing when the suspension has been lifted. The authorization for a hunting preserve may be revoked for blatant or repetitive violation(s) of this chapter or Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code.

  (3) Application for Authorized Hunting Preserve.

    (A) Applications shall be completed on a form prescribed by the commission, which includes the following information:

      (i) Name, mailing address and telephone number of the applicant;

      (ii) Physical location, county, directions to the facility, and facility telephone number;

      (iii) A current copy of the Hunting Lease License issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; and

      (iv) Signature of the owner or operator stating that the facility fences meet the requirements of a swine-proof fence as contained in subsection (a) of this section.

    (B) The authorization is valid for two years from the date of issuance. The authorization shall expire on the two year anniversary date of the date of issuance unless reauthorized. Reauthorization of the hunting preserve shall be completed between 30 and 60 days prior to the expiration date.

    (C) The commission may revoke or deny reauthorization of a permit.

    (D) Commission personnel may perform inspections of the facility, and the facility must continually meet the requirements of this chapter.

(e) Change in Classification of Feral Swine. Free-roaming swine may qualify for reclassification as domestic swine upon completion of the following test protocol:

  (1) Three consecutive official tests for swine brucellosis and pseudorabies shall be conducted on all swine in the herd unit in order to qualify for reclassification. Negative results are required. The first test must be at least 30 days after any reactor swine have been removed and slaughtered and the second test must be 60 to 90 days after the first test. A third test is required 60 to 90 days following the second negative results; and

  (2) In addition to the requirements in paragraph (1) of this subsection, any sexually intact female swine must also test negative for swine brucellosis and pseudorabies not less than 30 days after their initial farrowing.

(f) Testing. Feral swine that test positive for swine brucellosis and/or pseudorabies shall be handled in accordance with the requirements for swine brucellosis, as contained in Chapter 35, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Eradication of Brucellosis in Swine) and for pseudorabies as contained in Chapter 55 of this title (relating to Swine).

(g) Inspection Authority.

  (1) A commission representative may enter public or private property for the exercise of an authority or performance of a duty under this chapter or Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code.

  (2) A commission representative shall perform periodic inspections of authorized facilities and locations, and records related thereto, to ensure compliance with the requirements under this chapter or Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code.

(h) In addition to any other violations that may arise under this chapter, it is a violation for any person to falsify an application.


Source Note: The provisions of this §55.9 adopted to be effective October 1, 2008, 33 TexReg 6796; amended to be effective June 30, 2015, 40 TexReg 4212; amended to be effective October 21, 2021, 46 TexReg 7044

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