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Title 6: Agriculture

Chapter 102: CONTROL OF CONTAGIOUS LIVESTOCK DISEASES

  • Subchapter 001: General Provisions
  • § 1151. Definitions

    As used in this part:

    (1) "Accredited veterinarian" means a veterinarian approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State Veterinarian to perform functions specified by cooperative state-federal disease control programs.

    (2) "Animal" or "domestic animal" means cattle, sheep, goats, equines, deer, American bison, swine, poultry, pheasant, Chukar partridge, Coturnix quail, psittacine birds, ferrets, camelids, ratites (ostriches, rheas, and emus), and water buffalo. The term shall include cultured fish propagated by commercial fish farms.

    (3) "Approved slaughterhouse" means an establishment maintained by a slaughterer under State or federal law.

    (4) "Camelids" means any animal of the family camelidae, including guanacos, vicunas, camels, alpacas, and llamas.

    (5) "Coggins test" means the agar gel immunodiffusion blood test conducted in a laboratory approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Secretary.

    (6) "Contagious disease," "infectious disease," or "disease" means any disease found in domestic animals that is capable of directly or indirectly spreading from one domestic animal to another. "Contagious disease" includes all reportable diseases.

    (7) "Deer" means any member of the family cervidae except for white-tailed deer and moose.

    (8) "Domestic fowl" or "poultry" means all domesticated birds of all ages that may be used as human food, or which produce eggs that may be used as human food, excluding those birds protected by 10 V.S.A. part 4.

    (9) "Equine animal" means any member of the family equidae, including horses, ponies, mules, asses, and zebras.

    (10) "Fallow deer" means domesticated deer of the genus Dama, species dama.

    (11) "Red deer" means domesticated deer of the family cervidae, subfamily cervidae, genus Cervus, species elaphus.

    (12) "Reactor" means an animal that tests positive to any official test required under this chapter.

    (13) "Reportable disease" means any disease included in the National List of Reportable Animal Diseases and any disease required by the Secretary by rule to be reportable.

    (14) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets or designee. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1989, No. 16, § 1; 1991, No. 8, §§ 1, 2; 1993, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1995, No. 72 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Feb. 14, 1996; 1997, No. 88 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 30, § 7; 2003, No. 37, § 2; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2005, No. 12, § 1, eff. May 2, 2005; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1152. Administration; inspection; testing; records

    (a) The Secretary shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Livestock Disease Control Program. The Secretary may appoint the State Veterinarian to manage the Program, and other personnel as are necessary for the sound administration of the Program.

    (b) The Secretary shall maintain a public record of all permits issued and of all animals tested by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets under this chapter for a period of five years.

    (c) The Secretary may conduct any inspections, investigations, tests, diagnoses, or other reasonable steps necessary to discover and eliminate contagious diseases existing in domestic animals in this State. The Secretary shall investigate any reports of diseased animals, provided there are adequate resources. In carrying out the provisions of this part, the Secretary or his or her authorized agent may enter any real estate, premises, buildings, enclosures, or areas where animals may be found for the purpose of making reasonable inspections and tests. A livestock owner or the person in possession of the animal to be inspected, upon request of the Secretary, shall restrain the animal and make it available for inspection and testing.

    (d) The Secretary may contract and cooperate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other federal agencies or states, and accredited veterinarians for the control and eradication of contagious diseases of animals. The Secretary shall consult and cooperate, as appropriate, with the Commissioners of Fish and Wildlife and of Health regarding the control of contagious diseases.

    (e) If necessary, the Secretary shall set priorities for the use of the funds available to operate the Program established by this chapter.

    (f) Any commercial slaughterhouse operating in the State shall maintain and retain for three years records of the number of animals slaughtered at the facility, the physical address of origination of each animal, the date of slaughter of each animal, and all official identification numbers of slaughtered animals. A commercial slaughterhouse shall make the records required under this subsection available to the Agency upon request.

    (g) Records produced or acquired by the Secretary under this chapter shall be available to the public, except that:

    (1) the Secretary may withhold from inspection and copying records that are confidential under federal law; and

    (2) the Secretary may withhold or redact a record to the extent needed to avoid disclosing directly or indirectly the identity of individual persons, households, or businesses. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1993, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2005, No. 12, § 2, eff. May 2, 2005; 2017, No. 30, § 3; 2019, No. 64, § 16.)

  • § 1153. Rules

    (a) The Secretary shall adopt rules necessary for the discovery, control, and eradication of contagious diseases and for the slaughter, disposal, quarantine, vaccination, and transportation of animals found to be diseased or exposed to a contagious disease. The Secretary may also adopt rules requiring the disinfection and sanitation of real estate, buildings, vehicles, containers, and equipment that have been associated with diseased livestock.

    (b) The Secretary shall adopt rules establishing fencing and transportation requirements for deer.

    (c) The Secretary shall adopt rules necessary for the inventory, registration, tracking, and testing of deer. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 8, § 3; 1995, No. 72 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Feb. 14, 1996; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2005, No. 12, § 3, eff. May 2, 2005; 2015, No. 23, § 73; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1154. Repealed. 2017, No. 30, § 3.

  • § 1154a. Testing of cultured fish and fee fishing businesses

    Health testing of cultured fish may be provided to commercial fish farms and fee fishing businesses through an aquaculture inspection program conducted jointly by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, in accordance with any memorandum of understanding between the Agency and Department prepared for this purpose as required by 1991 Acts and Resolves No. 50, Sec. 88. Such testing shall be at no charge to the commercial fish farm or fee fishing business. The testing shall be funded jointly from the operating budgets of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. (Added 1993, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2005, No. 42, § 4; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1155. Repealed. 2017, No. 30, § 3.

  • § 1156. Public nuisance

    Contagious diseases as defined in subdivision 1151(7) of this title are hereby declared to be a public nuisance requiring preventative and remedial action to protect the public health and welfare, as provided in this chapter. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 1157. Quarantine

    (a) The Secretary may order any domestic animals, the premises upon which they are or have been located, any animal products derived from those domestic animals, and any equipment, materials, or products to which they have been exposed to be placed in quarantine if the animals:

    (1) are affected with a contagious disease;

    (2) have been exposed to a contagious disease;

    (3) may be infected with or have been exposed to a contagious disease;

    (4) are suspected of having biological or chemical residues, including antibiotics, in their tissues that would cause the carcasses of the animals, if slaughtered, to be adulterated within the meaning of chapter 204 of this title; or

    (5) are owned or controlled by a person who has violated any provision of this part, and the Secretary finds that a quarantine is necessary to protect the public welfare.

    (b) Once a quarantine has been ordered, no animal under quarantine shall be removed from the premises where it is located. The Secretary may limit or prevent other animals from being brought onto the same premises as the quarantined animal.

    (c) A verbal quarantine order shall be effective immediately. Written notice of quarantine shall be delivered by certified mail, registered mail, or in person to the owner of the animals or to the person in possession of the animals, or if the owner or person in possession is unknown, by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. The notice shall include:

    (1) a description of the subject of the quarantine;

    (2) an explanation of why the quarantine is necessary;

    (3) the duration of the quarantine or what condition must be met to lift the quarantine, including conditions for the repopulation of the premises and disinfection of equipment, materials, and products;

    (4) the terms of the quarantine;

    (5) the name and address of the person to be contacted for further information; and

    (6) a statement that the person may request a hearing on the quarantine order.

    (d) The Secretary may use placards or any other method deemed necessary to give notice or warning to the general public of the quarantine.

    (e) Within 15 days of receiving notice, a person subject to a quarantine order may request a hearing to be held by the Secretary. The hearing shall be held within 60 days from the date of the request unless the Secretary has determined that a longer period is necessary because of the extent of the outbreak of disease, in which case the hearing shall be held as soon as practicable. A request for a hearing shall not stay the quarantine order.

    (f) It shall be unlawful to violate the terms of a quarantine order issued pursuant to this section. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine order shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine order and causes the spread of a contagious disease beyond the quarantined premises shall be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than two years, or both. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 37, § 3; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1158. Quarantine zone

    (a) The Secretary may establish a quarantine zone whenever it is determined that a contagious disease is widely spread throughout an area of the State and that a quarantine zone is necessary to contain or prevent the further spread of the disease.

    (b) In establishing a quarantine zone, the Secretary may, by order:

    (1) regulate, restrict, or restrain movements of animals, animal products, or vehicles and equipment associated with animals or animal products into, out of, or within the zone;

    (2) detain all animals within the zone that might be infected with or have been exposed to the disease for examination at any place specified by the quarantine order; and

    (3) take other necessary steps to prevent the spread of and eliminate the disease within the quarantine zone.

    (c) The Secretary shall notify the public of the existence, location, and terms of a quarantine zone, in a manner deemed appropriate under the circumstances. The Secretary may also notify by certified mail or in person the owner or person in possession of any animal or animals which must be detained or otherwise regulated within the zone.

    (d) It shall be unlawful to violate the terms of a quarantine zone order issued pursuant to this section. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine zone order shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Any person who knowingly violates a quarantine zone order and causes the spread of a contagious disease beyond the quarantine zone shall be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than two years, or both. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1159. Disposal of diseased animals

    (a) The Secretary may condemn and order destroyed any animal that is infected with or has been exposed to a contagious disease. An order to destroy an animal shall be based on a determination that the destruction of the animal is necessary to prevent or control the spread of the disease. The Secretary shall order any condemned animal to be destroyed and disposed of in accordance with approved methods. The Secretary's order may extend to some or all of the animals on the affected premises.

    (b) The Secretary may order that any real property, building, vehicle, piece of equipment, container, or other article associated with a diseased animal be disinfected and sanitized. Any cost of disinfection incurred by the Secretary shall be deducted from any compensation paid to an animal's owner under this section.

    (c) The Secretary may compensate the owner of any domestic animal destroyed pursuant to this chapter because of exposure to or infection with contagious disease. The Secretary, after consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shall determine the necessity for and amount of compensation on a case-by-case basis.

    (d) Compensation under this section shall only be paid when:

    (1) the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has determined the origin of all animals on the premises containing the condemned animal;

    (2) all other applicable State or federal livestock statutes, rules, or regulations have been complied with by the owner or person in possession of the animal;

    (3) there are sufficient State funds appropriated for this purpose; and

    (4) in the case of a person who has made a claim for compensation under this section within the previous two years, the Secretary determines that adequate measures were taken to prevent the reintroduction of contagious diseases into that person's herd or flock.

    (e) It shall be unlawful to violate the terms of an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section. Any person who knowingly violates an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Any person who knowingly violates an order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section and causes the spread of a contagious disease shall be subject to a fine of not more than $15,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.

    (f) A destruction order, whether verbal or written, shall take effect immediately on notice to the owner or the person in possession of the animal or animals, if the owner or person in possession is known. The notice shall be given by certified mail or in person. Within 15 days of receiving the notice, the owner or person in possession may request a hearing to be held by the Secretary. The hearing shall be held within 60 days from the date of the request unless the Secretary has determined that a longer period is necessary because of the extent of the outbreak of disease, in which case the hearing shall be held as soon as practicable. A request for a hearing shall not stay the destruction order. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 14, eff. May 5, 1992; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2005, No. 12, § 4, eff. May 2, 2005; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1160. Emergency outbreak of contagious disease

    In case of the outbreak within this State of some contagious disease of domestic animals, or whenever there is reason to believe that there is danger of the introduction into the State of any contagious disease prevailing among domestic animals outside the State, the Secretary may take action and adopt emergency rules as necessary to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1999, No. 49, § 120; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1161. Fees for testing

    The Secretary may assess fees necessary to cover the cost of testing domestic animals for contagious diseases. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1989, No. 257 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 1991, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. May 5, 1992; 1995, No. 72 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. Feb. 14, 1996; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1162. Report of disease

    (a) All accredited veterinarians shall immediately report the discovery of any domestic animal within this State that is infected with, is suspected of being infected with, or has been exposed to a reportable disease as specified by this chapter. A veterinarian shall immediately report any sudden unexplained morbidity or mortality in a herd or flock located within the State. The report shall be made to the State Veterinarian and shall specify the physical address where the animal is located; identification and description of the animal; the disease or condition suspected or diagnosed; and the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the owner or person in possession of the animal.

    (b) All persons operating diagnostic laboratories shall immediately report the diagnosis of any domestic animal within this State that has a reportable disease as specified by this chapter. The report shall be made to the State Veterinarian and, in addition to the information required under subsection (a) of this section, shall include a copy of the test chart pertaining to the animal in question. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1163. Additional violations

    (a) A person who knowingly commits any of the following acts shall be assessed an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title for:

    (1) transporting an animal affected with, or exposed to, a contagious disease without first obtaining the permission of the Secretary;

    (2) interfering with any animal disease test conducted pursuant to this chapter;

    (3) advertising, selling, or offering for sale as tested under State or federal supervision any domestic animal that does not come from herds that are under State or federal supervision;

    (4) failing to report the discovery of a reportable disease as required by section 1162 of this title; or

    (5) interfering with or hindering the work of the Secretary or his or her agents pursuant to this chapter.

    (b) A person who knowingly commits any of the following acts shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $15,000.00, or both for:

    (1) importing into this State any animal infected with or exposed to a contagious disease; or

    (2) selling or offering for sale for food purposes any animal or animal carcass condemned under the provisions of this chapter, unless the animal is inspected and approved for use as human food by an agent of the Secretary or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1164. Civil penalties

    (a) A person who violates any provision of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter or who commits any of the acts described in section 1163 of this title shall be assessed an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.

    (b) The Secretary may, in the name of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, obtain a temporary or permanent injunction to restrain a violation of this chapter.

    (c) After notice and opportunity for hearing, the Secretary may suspend or revoke any license issued pursuant to chapters 63 and 65 of this title for any violation of this chapter. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1165. Testing of captive deer

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    (1) "Captive deer operation" means a place where deer are privately or publicly maintained, in an artificial manner, or held for economic or other purposes within a perimeter fence or confined space.

    (2) "Chronic wasting disease" or "CWD" means a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    (b) Testing. A person operating a captive deer operation under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall inform the Secretary when a captive deer in his or her control dies or is sent to slaughter. The person operating the captive deer operation shall make the carcass of a deceased or slaughtered animal available to the Secretary for testing for CWD.

    (c) Cost. The cost of CWD testing required under this section shall be assessed to the person operating the captive deer operation from which the tested captive deer originated. (Added 2013, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. May 28, 2014; amended 2017, No. 30, § 3; 2019, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)


  • Subchapter 002: Equine Infectious Anemia
  • § 1181. Certification required

    (a) Any equine animal imported into the State or transported through the State shall be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinarian Inspection. The certificate shall state that the equine animal has been tested negative for equine infectious anemia (EIA) by an accredited veterinarian.

    (b) Any equine animal purchased, sold, offered for sale, bartered, exchanged, or given away within the State, or imported for one of these purposes, shall be tested by an accredited veterinarian and certified as negative for equine infectious anemia in accordance with rules adopted by the Secretary as provided by subsection (f) of this section. A test for equine infectious anemia shall not be required when:

    (1) the transfer of ownership is between the owner of the animal and his or her spouse, child, or sibling and where the animal is not moved to new premises; or

    (2) the animal is consigned directly to slaughter.

    (c) Whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that any equine animal has been exposed to equine infectious anemia and that the animal may pose a threat to other equine animals, the Secretary may require that the animal be tested for equine infectious anemia by an accredited veterinarian or by a State or federal veterinarian approved by the Secretary.

    (d) The Secretary may require by rule that any equine animal transported to any fair, show, competition, or other gathering of equine animals be accompanied by a certificate that states that the equine animal has been tested and found negative for equine infectious anemia.

    (e) The Secretary shall establish by rule the form and manner of required certifications and the periods of time within which testing and certification of equine animals shall be accomplished.

    (f) The Secretary shall adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 for the purchase by a livestock dealer for resale or for slaughter of equine not known to be tested for equine infectious anemia, as authorized by subsection (b) of this section. The rules shall include specifications governing equine quarantine facilities, procedures for equine animals of unknown EIA status intended for resale to be retested, procedures for handling equine animals of unknown EIA status purchased for slaughter, and record-keeping requirements for livestock dealers. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 39, § 1, eff. April 17, 1995; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1182. Testing of equine animals

    (a) Testing of equine animals for equine infectious anemia shall be done by an accredited veterinarian licensed in the State by means of a Coggins test or other test acceptable to the Secretary, at the owner's expense.

    (b) Any equine animal found to be a reactor by means of a test under subsection (a) of this section shall be administered a second test in accordance with the applicable State and federal statutes, rules, or regulations.

    (c) Any equine animal found to be a reactor shall be quarantined in accordance with instructions of the Secretary between receipt of the results of the first and second tests. Any equine animal found to be a reactor to a second test shall continue to be quarantined until adequate arrangements are made for disposition of the animal in accordance with section 1183 of this title.

    (d) Any veterinarian who identifies an equine animal as a reactor shall report that animal to the Secretary in a form and manner to be prescribed by rule of the Secretary. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1183. Disposition of reactors

    (a) Any equine animal identified as a reactor through testing as provided in subsections 1182(a) and (b) of this title shall be humanely destroyed within seven days of the second test. The destruction of the animal shall be by a licensed veterinarian and shall be observed by the Secretary or an agent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a reactor may be transported to an approved slaughterhouse or research facility where authorized by written permission of the Secretary. In granting permission, the Secretary may specify the conditions under which the animal shall be quarantined, transported, and destroyed.

    (c) Any licensed veterinarian who destroys any equine animal in accordance with the provisions of this section shall immediately report the destruction of the animal to the Secretary.

    (d) As an alternative to the destruction of animals under the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, reactors may be isolated permanently under quarantine from all other equine animals and shall be conspicuously freezebranded with the letters "EIA." In no case shall this action be delayed for more than two weeks. The quarantine shall apply to all equine animals on the premises where the reactor is located and shall remain in effect until the reactor is destroyed or isolated under quarantine and the remaining equine animals are tested and found to be negative.

    (e) The provisions of this section shall be implemented by rule of the Secretary. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 30, § 3.)

  • § 1184. Penalties

    Any person who violates the provisions of section 1181, 1182, or 1183 of this title shall be assessed an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title. (Added 1987, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2017, No. 30, § 3.)