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SB-395 Accidental taking and possession of wildlife: collision with a vehicle.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2019 09:00 PM
SB395:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 395


Introduced by Senator Archuleta

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Section 2000.5 of, and to add Sections 2000.3 and 2000.6 to, the Fish and Game Code, relating to wild game mammals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 395, as introduced, Archuleta. Accidental taking and possession of wildlife: collision with a vehicle.
(1) Existing law provides that the accidental taking of a bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian by collision with a motor vehicle while the vehicle is being operated on a road or highway is not a violation of law. A violation of the Fish and Game Code is a crime.
This bill would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt rules and regulations for the issuance of wildlife salvage permits through a user-friendly web portal to persons desiring to recover, possess, use, or transport, for purposes of salvaging wild game meat for human consumption of, any deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig that has been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision on a roadway within California. This bill would require that this permitting process be made available at no cost to the public.
The bill, notwithstanding any other law, would authorize (a) a person who unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle to recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal, and (b) a person who unintentionally strikes a deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle, leaving the animal severely injured, to immediately thereafter dispatch the severely injured animal in a safe, legal, and humane manner, and to recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal. The bill would make these provisions applicable to an individual who encounters an unintentionally killed or severely injured deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig that the individual did not strike with a vehicle, as described above.
The bill would require, within 24 hours of an incident described above, a person recovering, possessing, using, or transporting the animal for purposes of salvaging the edible portions to obtain a wildlife salvage permit and to report through the department’s web portal the exact location, animal type, date and time, and basic characteristics of the incident. The bill would require the department to make wildlife salvage permits available for issuance no later than January 1, 2021. The bill would also require the department, beginning March 1, 2023, and each March 1 thereafter, to make available on its internet website data that records the number of permits issued, locations of impacts, species of wildlife, and estimated pounds of meat salvaged each year.
The bill would make these provisions operative on January 1, 2021.
(2) By creating criteria for the accidental taking and possession of specified wild game animals, the violation of which would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) It is the intent of this legislation to make available to Californians tens of thousands of pounds of a healthy, wild, big game food source that currently is wantonly wasted each year following wildlife-vehicle collisions.
(b) Each year it is estimated that over 20,000 deer alone are hit by motor vehicles on California’s roadways. This translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized to feed those in need.
(c) State law prohibits its citizens from wasting big game meat. Among other things, Section 4304 of the Fish and Game prohibits any person at any time from leaving through carelessness or neglect any game mammal or game bird that is in that person’s possession, or any portion of the flesh thereof that is usually eaten by humans, to go needlessly to waste.
(d) Salvageable wild game meat programs are not new in America. However, because of technology, recent legislation in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska has codified programs that simplify the reporting and permitting process, minimizes direct agency oversight, and creates a seamless stream of pertinent data for state agency managers. This legislation seeks to adopt similar regulations in California.
(e) California hunters and fishers help manage fish and wildlife populations through regulated sport hunting and fishing opportunities and those animals are routinely consumed by humans as a part of their diet, with no public health inspection needs or requirements.
(f) Wildlife in the state of California belong to the people of the state of California.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2000.3 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

2000.3.
 (a) As used in this chapter, “roadway” has the same meaning as defined in Section 530 of the Vehicle Code.
(b) As used in this chapter, “vehicle” has the same meaning as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2000.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

2000.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 219, 2000, or any other provision of law, and notwithstanding any requirement for a permit or license or other entitlement to take a species, the accidental taking of a bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian by collision with a motor vehicle while the that vehicle is being operated on a road or highway roadway is not a violation of this code or a regulation adopted pursuant to this code. For purposes of this section, “highway” means highway as defined by Section 360 of the Vehicle Code and “road” means road as defined by Section 527 of the Vehicle Code. Nothing in this section authorizes a person to possess any bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian accidentally taken by collision with a motor vehicle as provided in this subdivision. However, accidental takes Animals accidentally taken on the road or highway a roadway may be removed by the state or local agency having jurisdiction over the road or highway. roadway.
(b) This section does not apply to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050).

SEC. 4.

 Section 2000.6 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

2000.6.
 (a) Consistent with Section 91.8 of the Streets and Highways Code, the department shall adopt rules and regulations for the issuance of wildlife salvage permits through a user-friendly web portal to persons desiring to recover, possess, use, or transport, for purposes of salvaging wild game meat for human consumption of, any deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig that has been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision on a roadway within California. This permitting process shall be available at no cost to the public.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 2000.5 or any other law, both of the following shall apply:
(1) In the event a person unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle, that person may recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal.
(2) In the event a person unintentionally strikes a deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle, leaving the animal severely injured, that person may immediately thereafter, and in a safe, legal, and humane manner, dispatch the severely injured animal and may recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal.
(c) The provisions of subdivision (b) shall also apply to an individual who encounters an unintentionally killed or severely injured deer, elk, antelope, or wild pig that they did not strike with a vehicle.
(d) Within 24 hours of an incident described in either subdivision (b) or subdivision (c), the person recovering, possessing, using, or transporting the animal for purposes of salvaging the edible portions shall obtain a wildlife salvage permit. In order to obtain the permit, a person shall report through the web portal the exact location, animal type, date and time, and basic characteristics of the incident.
(e) The department shall make wildlife salvage permits available for issuance no later than January 1, 2021.
(f) This section does not apply to the wildlife species listed pursuant to the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050)) and Section 670.1 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, or other nongame wildlife, fully protected species, migratory birds, including, but not limited to, waterfowl and other wildlife species not lawfully hunted.
(g) The state is not liable for any harm, injury, loss, or damage arising out of the recovery, possession, use, transport, or consumption of any wild game animal legally salvaged pursuant to this section.
(h) Beginning March 1, 2023, and each March 1 thereafter, the department shall make available on its internet website data that records the number of permits issued, locations of impacts, species of wildlife, and estimated pounds of meat salvaged each year.
(i) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2021.

SEC. 5.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.