50 CFR § 23.65 - What factors are considered in making a finding that an applicant is suitably equipped to house and care for a live specimen?

prev next
§ 23.65 What factors are considered in making a finding that an applicant is suitably equipped to house and care for a live specimen?

(a) Purpose. Under Article III(3)(b) and (5)(b) of the Treaty, an import permit or introduction-from-the-sea certificate for live Appendix-I specimens can be issued only if we are satisfied that the recipients are suitably equipped to house and care for them.

(b) General principles. We will follow these general principles in making a decision on whether an applicant has facilities that would provide proper housing to maintain the specimens for the intended purpose and the expertise to provide proper care and husbandry or horticultural practices.

(1) All persons who would be receiving a specimen must be identified in an application and their facilities approved by us, including persons who are likely to receive a specimen within 1 year after it arrives in the United States.

(2) The applicant must provide sufficient information for us to make a finding, including, but not limited to, a description of the facility, photographs, or construction plans, and resumes of the recipient or staff who will care for the specimen.

(3) We use the best available information on the requirements of the species in making a decision and will consult with experts and other Federal and State agencies, as necessary and appropriate.

(4) The degree of scrutiny that we give an application is based on the biological and husbandry or horticultural needs of the species.

(c) Specific factors considered for wildlife. In addition to the general provisions in paragraph (e) of this section, we consider the following factors in evaluating suitable housing and care for wildlife:

(1) Enclosures constructed and maintained so as to provide sufficient space to allow each animal to make normal postural and social adjustments with adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be indicated by evidence of malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress, or abnormal behavior patterns.

(2) Appropriate forms of environmental enrichment, such as nesting material, perches, climbing apparatus, ground substrate, or other species-specific materials or objects.

(3) If the wildlife is on public display, an off-exhibit area, consisting of indoor and outdoor accommodations, as appropriate, that can house the wildlife on a long-term basis if necessary.

(4) Provision of water and nutritious food of a nature and in a way that are appropriate for the species.

(5) Staff who are trained and experienced in providing proper daily care and maintenance for the species being imported or introduced from the sea, or for a closely related species.

(6) Readily available veterinary care or veterinary staff experienced with the species or a closely related species, including emergency care.

(d) Specific factors considered for plants. In addition to the general provisions in paragraph (e) of the section, we consider the following factors in evaluating suitable housing and care for plants:

(1) Sufficient space, appropriate lighting, and other environmental conditions that will ensure proper growth.

(2) Ability to provide appropriate culture, such as water, fertilizer, and pest and disease control.

(3) Staff with experience with the imported species or related species with similar horticultural requirements.

(e) General factors considered for wildlife and plants. In addition to the specific provisions in paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section, we will consider the following factors in evaluating suitable housing and care for wildlife and plants:

(1) Adequate enclosures or holding areas to prevent escape or unplanned exchange of genetic material with specimens of the same or different species outside the facility.

(2) Appropriate security to prevent theft of specimens and measures taken to rectify any previous theft or security problem.

(3) A reasonable survival rate of specimens of the same species or, alternatively, closely related species at the facility, mortalities for the previous 3 years, significant injuries to wildlife or damage to plants, occurrence of significant disease outbreaks during the previous 3 years, and measures taken to prevent similar mortalities, injuries, damage, or diseases. Significant injuries, damage, or disease outbreaks are those that are permanently debilitating or re-occurring.

(4) Sufficient funding on a long-term basis to cover the cost of maintaining the facility and the specimens imported.

(f) Incomplete facilities or insufficient staff. For applications submitted to us before the facilities to hold the specimen are completed or the staff is identified or properly trained, we will:

(1) Review all available information, including construction plans or intended staffing, and make a finding based on this information.

(2) Place a condition on any permit that the import cannot occur until the facility has been completed or the staff hired and trained, and approved by us.