Feb. 21, 2019
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved updates to the AGFC Code of Regulations concerning the possession, breeding, sale and importation of captive wildlife species at its regularly scheduled meeting today.
Notable regulations changes include:
- The creation of a Venomous Reptile Possession Permit and venomous reptile caging and handling requirements for anyone possessing exotic or some native medically significant venomous reptiles after July 1, 2020;
- Adding a grace period for persons to submit applications for Wildlife Breeder/Dealer permits through July 1, 2020, to come into compliance with these regulations;
- The creation of a Conservation Education Permit to enable educators to possess more than six individual native wildlife specimens captured from the wild in Arkansas to conduct conservation education programs;
- The listing of captive wildlife species as unrestricted, permitted or prohibited using a standardized, science-based process to assess their risk for invasiveness as well as other risks to Arkansas wildlife, agriculture and human safety, and
- Modified the Code to allow the standard Certificate of Veterinary Inspection form to be used in lieu of the AGFC veterinary examination form previously required for wildlife importation into Arkansas.
A complete list of captive wildlife regulations is available at www.agfc.com/code.
Matthew Warriner, AGFC assistant chief of wildlife management, said the captive wildlife regulations are a living document and that staff will continue to develop the code as further species are assessed.
Commissioner J.D. Neeley of Camden voiced his appreciation toward all of the individuals involved for their open conversations and considerations during the revision.
“I want to thank all the staff that have put an unbelievable amount of work to get us to this point,” Neeley said. “We also want to thank our stakeholders who came and were a part of this process to create this good product.”
In other business, the Commission:
- Recognized Caleb Coulter,facility manager at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center, as the AGFC’s Education Division Employee of the Year.
- Approved a new Code of Conduct for AGFC Commissioners policy to guide current and future Commissioners in decision-making and ethical conduct.
- Approved an update to the policy and procedures governing the funds derived through the sale of AGFC conservation license plates to include the use of those funds on exhibits and other conservation education materials.
- Granted retiring wildlife officer Sgt. Brice Smith his service sidearm and allowed the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation to purchase his other service firearms at fair market value to be given to him.
- Approved a change to license regulations, enabling the use of a new “hard card” as proof of a valid license.
- Granted an either-sex elk permit to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for fundraising purposes to go to increased elk habitat in Arkansas.
- Granted an either-sex elk permit to the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation for fundraising purposes to go toward conservation education efforts.
- Granted an either-sex elk permit to the Arkansas Wildlife Federation for fundraising purposes to go toward increased habitat work and conservation education efforts.
- Approved the disposal of obsolete inventory with an original value of $223,375.19 and a current net book value of $9,764.54.
- Granted a used boat, motor and trailer to Yell County Mounted Patrol Search and Rescue Office to help them in their efforts to assist the citizens of Arkansas.
- Authorized the disposal of a small parcel of AGFC property to resolve an encroachment issue at Upper White Oak Lake in Ouachita County.
A video of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArkansasGameandFish.