Jan. 17, 2019
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission heard the first official reading of amended regulations concerning importing, breeding and selling of captive wildlife species and educational animals in the state at today’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
The regulations changes originally were presented during the Commission’s September and October meetings, and have been circulated to the public for comment. During the October 18, 2018 meeting, the Commission voted to table the first regulation proposals until January 2019. Modifications to the regulations were made based on public comment, and the final proposals were presented to the Commission today. A complete list of regulations changes is available at www.agfc.com/code for review. These proposals again are available for public comment and are expected to be voted on at the Commission’s next meeting, Feb. 21.
As a result of the final proposals being submitted, the AGFC voted to amend the current temporary suspension on the issuance of importation permits for venomous or poisonous wildlife species to allow persons to apply for temporary importation permits for short-term public exhibition of such species, provided they meet certain criteria:
- The permit applicant is capable of complying with all existing regulations applicable for such captive wildlife species;
- The permit applicant agrees to voluntarily comply with the proposed regulations concerning possession of venomous reptile species, including caging and handling requirements, and
- The duration of the visit will be no longer than seven calendar days.
In other business, the Commission:
- Approved an update to the AGFC’s policy and procedures in distribution of Conservation License Plate revenue to include educational exhibits as qualifying expenditures for funding.
- Authorized AGFC Director Pat Fitts to commence proceedings to petition Mountain Home to annex land recently acquired for a new regional office to facilitate the procurement of municipal utility services.
- Approved the demolition of a metal building on Loafer’s Glory Wildlife Management Area in Searcy County that was included with the original purchase of the WMA and is in a state of disrepair.
- Heard the first reading of a code revision to allow a reusable card to be used as a valid proof of hunting and fishing license privileges.
- Recognized Terry Thompson, president of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and his presentation of the NWTF Arkansas Wildlife Officer of the Year Award to Cpl. Gary Stell and K9 Officer Lucy in Dallas County.
- Recognized 19 employees, representing 355 years of service, for their commitment to the natural resources of Arkansas and the people who enjoy them.
- Heard a summary of highlights from the 2018 Arkansas black bass anglers’ survey. Mississippi State University contacted anglers on behalf of the AGFC.
- Heard a presentation on the status of Arkansas’s mussel species from AGFC Malacologist Kendall Moles, Ph.D.
- Awarded retiring wildlife officer Cpl. David Smith his service sidearm.
- Awarded retiring wildlife officer Lt. Larry Summerhill his service sidearm.
- Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with an original cost of $116,983.02 and a current net book value of $6,194.35.
A video of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArkansasGameandFish.