To All Interested Persons and Parties:
Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, O.C.G.A. § 2-2-7, and § 50-13-4, notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Agriculture will be accepting written comments regarding the adoption of amendments to Chapter 40-13-13, relating to the Georgia Animal Protection Act. Amended Rules contained within this chapter will further clarify definitions for animal shelter, permanent location, rescue group, and adequate ventilation under 40-13-13-.01. Changes to 40-13-13-.02 will include updated information on website license applications and processes as well as inspection requirements for foster homes. Finally, 40-13-13-.04 is amended to reflect changes to premise requirements for animals.
The Department of Agriculture will be accepting written comments from May 8, 2013, to close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on June 10, 2013.
Synopsis, Main Features, and Differences:
The Department is proposing to amend Departmental Rule 40-13-13-.01 entitled “Definitions,” which defines certain language used throughout the Chapter. The definition of “Animal Shelter” (5) is amended by adding language which clarifies what entities have the authority to impound animals. “Rescue Group” (30) is further defined by stating they are not allowed to impound animals unless they are under contract with a government agency in Georgia to provide animal control services. “Permanent Location” (33) is added to the definitions in order to clarify transferability of licenses, and “Adequate Ventilation” (34) is being added to the definitions in order to define what constitutes proper ventilation for facilities housing animals and to add a standard/base definition for making a determination for the adequate ventilation aspect of inhumane care allegations.
The Department is also proposing to amend Rule 40-13-13-.02(1),(2),(3),(5) and (6), “Licenses.” The amendment to (1) gives additional information on how and where to go online to obtain Department of Agriculture licenses’ required by Title 4. (2) is amended by stating the license issued is only for the person and location named on the license; (3) is amended by adding (g) which requires an email address on license applications; (5) is amended to require the license holder to renew their license prior to expiration; (6) is amended by requiring 2 annual inspections of foster homes and further allows the Commissioner or his agent to make a determination on the number of animals a foster home may house based upon the space and caretakers ability to provide for the animals.
40-13-13-.04(1)(a) is amended by adding a requirement to house rescue animals separately from all boarded animals on the premises; (1)(b) is amended by requiring drain covers; (1)(e) is amended by removing the word “indoor”; (1)(h) is amended by requiring up to date records be kept by the licensee on the premises of the licensed facility; (1)(o) is amended by adding that portable wire type enclosures may only be used for temporary purposes and that they shall not be stacked and used as permanent housing; (1)(p) reduces the time for what is considered permanent tethering from 3 days to 24 hours.
40-13-13-.04(2) is amended by defining the minimum age for the sale of puppies to be 8 weeks.
Comment Period and Additional Information:
The Department will be accepting written comments from May 8, 2013, to close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on June 10, 2013. Written comments shall be considered on June 11, 2013. Please submit written comments to:
Mark Murrah, Animal Protection Manager
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone Number: 404-656-3600
FAX Number: 404-232-1547
You may download a copy of the synopsis and the proposed rules from the Georgia Department of Agriculture website at www.agr.georgia.gov.
This notice is given in compliance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4.