(Wild or Feral Deer; Interisland Transportation) AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING
The purpose of the bill is to deter the interisland transportation of wild or feral deer and establish penalties for violations. The bill creates a new section in HRS chapter 183D (“Wildlife” under Title 12, Conservation and Resources). The bill:
• Prohibits the intentional, knowing, or reckless transfer, transport, AND release after transport through interisland movement of any wild or feral deer (unless authorized by permit for scientific or educational purposes).
• Defines “feral” as “having escaped or been released from domestication and living in a wild and unconfined state.”
• “A deer that has been captured shall no longer be considered feral.” [This language is highly problematic; it is overly broad and defeats the purpose of the bill. On its face, any wild deer can be captured and immediately transported interisland without violating the law. This definition was probably meant to address once-feral animals that have been domesticated or have been fenced in under a rancher or farmer’s care.]
• Penalizes violations as a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or mandatory minimum fines ($10,000 for first offense, $15,000 and $25,000 for subsequent offenses within a 5-year period) and payment of eradication costs.
Groups previously in support of the bill (DLNR, Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS), Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy) were all in opposition, because the bill was amended to address deer only. They feel the bill should address all feral mammals, because pigs and goats are a big problem as well.
They also raised concerns about the definition of feral. Current language indicating that a captured deer will not be considered feral will only defeat the purpose of the bill.
DLNR, Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS), Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Oahu Invasive Species committee, HI Farm Bureau.
Humane Society of the US supports the bill, but also wants to prohibit the possessing, breeding, and raising of live feral animals (this is not addressed in HD2).
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