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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 391-4-11 COMMERCIAL ALLIGATOR FARMING

Rule 391-4-11-.01 Purpose

The purpose of these regulations are to establish the procedures for the permitting/licensing of commercial alligator farms and to prescribe the standards under which alligator farms must operate. They also prescribe the administrative requirements for the sale of alligators, or parts thereof, the control, harvest, and sale of alligator hides and meats of alligators produced on an alligator farm licensed under the provision of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), Section 272-10.

Rule 391-4-11-.02 Licensing

(1) Application for license shall be submitted on forms provided by the Department and may be filed at any time. The license year is from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. The cost of the annual license as provided in Section 27-2-3 O.C.G.A. is $50.00.
(2) License shall not be issued to any applicant under 18 years of age.
(3) Before a license is issued, Department personnel will inspect the facilities and/or review the specifications of proposed facilities to insure they meet the requirements for the safe handling, humane care and treatment of the alligators.
(4) An alligator farming license shall not be issued to any person who has been convicted of any violation of O.C.G.A., Title 27, Sections 27-2-10 and 27-3-19 or rules of the Department of Natural Resources relating to the illegal taking of any crocodilian species, or their eggs, for two (2) years following such conviction.
(5) The alligator farming license of any persons convicted of any violation of O.C.G.A., Title 27, Sections 27-2-10 and 27-3-19 or rules of the Department of Natural Resources relating to the illegal taking of any crocodilian species, or their eggs, shall be revoked.
(6) Upon revocation of an alligator farming license as provided in 391-411-.02(5), the licensee shall have six (6) months to dispose of legally acquired alligator stock. Alligator stock may not be disposed of to corporations or partnerships to which the licensee is a principle.

Rule 391-4-11-.03 Acquisition of Alligators

(1) Alligator stock (alligators or alligator eggs) must be obtained from captive sources such as an established alligator farm or similar legal source or obtained from a licensed alligator agent-trapper. A permit as provided for in Section 27-2-10(b)Official Code of Georgia Annotated must be obtained from the Georgia Game & Fish Division before any alligators or their eggs are acquired or transported from one alligator farm to another. If the stock is obtained from an out-of-state source, legal requirements of the state from which the alligators originate must be satisfied before live alligators or alligator eggs can be moved across state lines. A bill of lading identifying the source of the alligators, their number, length, and sex, if known, or similar evidence of the sale, must be retained by the buyer.
(2) Alligator farmers licensed under the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 27-2-10 may purchase from any legal source alligator carcasses, the hide and other products from which may then be sold subject to provisions in Chapter 391-4-13.

Rule 391-4-11-.04 Specifications for Alligator Farms

(1) Breeding ponds, grow-out ponds, or any other outside alligator holding facilities, shall be fenced around the perimeters with woven wire or board fences of sufficient height (minimum, 4 feet) and tightness, constructed so as to prevent the escape or entrance of any size of alligator. Fences shall be buried or otherwise secured at the bottom so as to prevent entrance or escape.
(2) Holding houses containing an adequate number of artificial tanks will be provided for growing out alligators. Alligators six feet or less in length must be held in tanks or ponds that can be readily drained and are constructed so as to make all alligators visible upon draining.
(3) A controlled environmental chamber complete with an artificial nesting area (incubator) will be provided for hatching of eggs.

Rule 391-4-11-.05 Harvest of Alligators

(1) Alligators, or the skins or products of such captive-reared alligators raised on a farm licensed under the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 27-2-10, or alligators purchased from a licensed alligator agent-trapper or other legal source may be sold, but only in accordance with the following restrictions:
(a) Alligators may be harvested and skinned only at Department approved sites and only with approval of an authorized agent of the Department. Alligator hides must be held at a specified site until the date of sale. An alligator farmer may request authorization from the Department to skin and receive hide tags for no more than his current total farm inventory of alligators.
(b) The sale of alligators or alligator products from the captive-reared or otherwise legally-obtained alligators shall not be permitted until six (6) months have elapsed from the date of the initial issuance of an alligator farming license.
(c) Any alligator killed under authority of this section shall be tagged within 24 hours with a tag furnished by the Department. Such tag shall remain attached to the alligator hide until finally processed by the fabricator. Tags removed from hides used to manufacture alligator products shall either be a) turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service upon product export or b) turned over to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Game and Fish Division, if the product is not exported. It shall be unlawful for any farmer or processor to possess untagged alligator hides or carcasses following the 24 hour period allowed. All alligators that die due to accident, natural causes, or reasons other than harvest shall be tagged within 24 hours or destroyed and recorded in the farm inventory records.
(d) Property rights to identifying hide tags issued to farmers shall be vested in the Department, and tags shall remain the property of the state. Unused tags will be returned to the Department within 15 days of the end of the calendar year. Possession of any alligator hide tags by persons other than licensed farmers or licensed nuisance alligator agent-trappers shall be prohibited.
(e) The meat of any alligator legally harvested or purchased from a licensed alligator agent-trapper may be consumed by the farmer or his immediate family, but shall not be sold or transferred except as provided in Rule 391-4-11-.07 below. Other alligator products may be sold subject to Rule 391-4-11-.07 also. Meat not processed and packaged for sale may be kept for personal consumption, but shall not be sold. Each package of meat so processed shall be labeled in indelible ink to indicate the hide tag number of the alligator from which it came and the alligator farm or agent-trapper's name who harvested the alligator.

Rule 391-4-11-.06 Sale of Alligators

(1) Alligator farmers licensed under the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 27-2-10, may sell, barter, exchange, give or loan any live alligators or their eggs provided a permit is first obtained from the Department. If sold, bartered, exchanged in the interstate commerce or foreign trade, legal requirements of the state or country involved in the transaction must also be satisfied. Live alligators or alligator eggs may not be sold and transported to any state or country outside of their historical range without written permission of the Director.
(2) The request for such permits must contain the name and address of the proposed buyer, a reference to the buyer's license number or other authority for possession, and shall indicate the number and total lengths of alligators to be sold.

Rule 391-4-11-.07 Sale of Alligator Meat and Other Alligator Products

Alligator hides, meat, and other alligator products produced on a licensed farm may be sold subject to provision in Chapter 391-4-13.

Rule 391-4-11-.08 Records

(1) Licensed alligator farmers shall maintain complete written records and documentation regarding initial inventory of breeding stock indicating the source of such stock, their numbers, length, and sex, if known. Complete, accurate written records will be maintained on a current basis reflecting subsequent population levels due to hatching success, mortality, sale of stock, purchases of additional stock, etc. Shipping documents, invoices, or bills of lading must be maintained to reflect the disposition made of any alligator stock. Farmers shall maintain records that show an accurate inventory of alligators present on each farm. Any change in the number of alligators and the cause of such change (i.e. escape, death, transport, harvest, etc.) shall be recorded. Such records shall be made available to Department personnel for inspection at their request.
(2) Records shall be maintained at the alligator farm on all alligator carcasses purchased from nuisance alligator agent-trappers and shall include the length and hide tag number of the alligator purchased, the name of the agent-trapper, and the date of the purchase.

Rule 391-4-11-.09 Reports

(1) A complete and accurate Alligator Farm Annual Report form supplied by the Department must be submitted to the Department not later than March i of each year before an application for license renewal will be considered. The report must include the following information:
(a) number of alligators on the farm in the 0-2 feet, 2-4 feet, and over 4 feet size classes;
(b) number of breeding females, nests, eggs and hatching success ratio during the license year;
(c) total mortality (natural) during the year to include cause of death, if known, and disposition of hide and/or meat;
(d) number alligators harvested for market, identified by the size classes as outlined in (a) above;
(e) number of alligators or alligator carcasses purchased and identified by the size classes outlined in (a) above; and
(f) number of live alligators sold to other legal operatives, identified by the size classes as outlined in (a) above.
(2) It shall be a violation of this section to submit inaccurate or incomplete reports. For the purpose of this section, an inaccurate report shall be one that deviates more than ten (10) percent from the actual total of alligators present on a farm.

Rule 391-4-11-.10 Inspections and Inventories of Alligator Farms

(1) Department personnel may at any time inspect alligator farms including alligators, eggs, hides and other products, records, lands, buildings, motor vehicles and other equipment that could be used in production, processing, or transportation of alligator, alligator eggs, or alligator products.
(2) An alligator farm inspection will not include inventory by the Department except under one or more of the following conditions:
(a) upon lawful sale or transfer of farm ownership;
(b) where inspections of alligator farms or alligator farm records indicate a failure to maintain accurate, complete alligator farming records;
(c) when inspection or other Department actions indicate a violation of alligator processing procedures;
(d) pursuant to an investigation wherein alligators or their eggs are suspected of being taken, illegally from the wild; or
(e) before the transfer of alligator stock occurs after a conviction resulting in revocation of an alligator farming license.
1. An inventory may consist of a total count or a sample of a portion of the facility.
(3) Should an inventory be required by the Department, the licensed alligator farmer shall cooperate fully (including providing labor as requested) to conduct said inventory. Failure to abide by this requirement shall result in the suspension of all hide tags and transportation permits until the inventory is completed.
(4) If an inventory reveals a discrepancy in the reported numbers of alligators by a farmer in excess often (10) percent of the total, it shall be a violation of this section. Upon finding such a violation, all remaining hide tags will be seized as evidence and transportation permit requests held until the discrepancies are satisfactorily resolved or until the final disposition of the case by the court.

Rule 391-4-11-.11 Repealer

Any other regulation or parts thereof in conflict with the above regulations is hereby repealed.