Order of the State of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board
amending, repealing and recreating, and creating rules
The statement of scope for this rule, SS 026-13, was published in Register No. 687, on March 31, 2013. This permanent rule was approved by the Governor on February 26, 2018. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board proposes an order renumber and amend Ch. NR 19.79 (1), to amend NR 19.71 (4) and (13), 19.72 (6), 19.73 (3) (a) 1., 19.74 (1) (a), (b) and (d) and (2) (Intro.) (Note), 19.75 (1), (2) and (Note), 19.77 (2) (a), 19.79 and (Note), 19.80 (2) (b) 3., 19.81, 19.82, 19.84; to repeal and recreate 19.71 (10), 19.73 (2) (d) and (3) (d); and to create NR 19.71 (1m), (2m), (3m), (6m) and (9m), 19.72 (2) (Note) and (4) (Note), 19.73 (1) (d) (Note) and (e), (2) (a) 1m., (2) (e), (3) (a) 1m., (c) (Note), and (3) (a) 2m. and (e), 19.74 (1) (e), (2) (a) to (e) and (3), 19.76 (2m) and (Note), 19.77 (2) (a) (Note), 19.78 (9) to (12), 19.79 (2), 19.80 (2) (b) 5. to 8 and (Note), and 19.81 (3) and (Note), relating to wildlife rehabilitation.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Natural Resources
Statutory Authority and Explanation of Agency Authority: The department’s authority to authorize and regulate the rehabilitation of wild animals is established in s. 169.24 Stats. The department is directed by s. 169.24(2) Stats to, “promulgate rules to establish the qualifications required to obtain a rehabilitation license, the types of activities authorized by a rehabilitation license and the standards, limitations, and requirements for rehabilitation licenses.” All rules promulgated under this authority are subject to review under ch. 227, Stats. Statutes Interpreted and Explanation: These rules interpret statutes related to captive wildlife, especially s. 169.24.
Related Statute or Rule: No other rules currently being promulgated are directly related to this proposal and these proposed rules are not a response to recently enacted statutes.
Plain Language Rule Analysis: This subchapter was adopted in 2004 to establish consistent standards for the rehabilitation of wildlife, ensure that all persons engaged in wildlife rehabilitation are qualified, and to ensure that rehabilitators provide humane care and housing for wildlife being rehabilitated. These proposed revisions will clarify existing rules and establish new requirements for people licensed to rehabilitate wild animals based on what the department has learned after more than ten years of experience administering the subchapter. Specifically, these rules would:
Section 1 establishes a definition of basic care which is feeding, watering, and cleaning to provide for an animal’s basic needs. The section also establishes a definition for “cage” to clarify that it can mean any type of enclosure. Finally, this section establishes a definition of direct supervision to clarify that the actual presence of the licensee or consulting veterinarian is required in certain situations.
Section 2 updates a cross reference to American veterinary medical association standards so that it will always refer to the current standards.
Section 3 establishes a definition of indirect supervision to clarify that the actual presence of the licensee or consulting veterinarian is not required in certain situations. This section also defines that a “subpermittee” is a person who is working in a limited capacity under the supervision of the holder of an advanced license for wildlife rehabilitation.
Section 4 defines that a “volunteer” is a person who works onsite under the direct supervision of the licensee.
Sections 5 and 30 update the name of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, the group of volunteers appointed by the secretary to advise the department on wildlife rehabilitation so that it is now a “council” and expand the council’s charge to include advisory roles related to wildlife health and other captive wildlife matters.
Section 6 provides information in a note so readers are aware that rehabilitation of skunks and wolves is not allowed and directing people to the location on the department’s website where rehabilitation restrictions and requirements related to deer, wolves and threatened and endangered species are explained. This section also clarifies in a note that wildlife rehabilitation licensing authority does not apply to birds held under falconry licensing.
Section 6m. updates a statutory cross-reference to the practice of veterinary medicine.
Section 7 clarifies that wild animal rehabilitation is restricted only to those species which are listed on the rehabilitator’s license and establishes a process by which additional species may be added to a license. A minimum amount of experience and knowledge that is needed before adding a species, and an exception, are established. This section also requires an applicant for a rehabilitation license to describe their previous rehabilitation and animal care experience when applying for a license.
Section 8 establishes the requirements under which volunteers may assist basic license holders with the rehabilitation of wild animals, including that volunteers may provide only basic care under the direct supervision of the licensee. This section also establishes that holders of a basic license for wildlife rehabilitation may not utilize the assistance of subpermittees.
Sections 9 and 10 require the signature of a veterinarian to assure that applicants for an advanced wildlife rehabilitation license meet the minimum criteria for the license. These sections also require a description of prior wildlife rehabilitation experience and successfully completing a written exam which evaluates their knowledge as part of the licensing process. This is already a requirement for basic licensees. Section 10 also provides information in a note so readers are aware of controlled substances special use authorization (SUA) requirements for injectable euthanasia by the State of Wisconsin controlled substances board.
Section 11 establishes that volunteers can assist advanced license holders in rehabilitating wildlife and establishes the conditions and requirements.
Section 12 specifically establishes that subpermittees can assist a person who is licensed as an advanced rehabilitator, including at a location other than that of the advanced license holder. This section establishes reporting and other requirements for subpermittees and establishes that advanced licensees are responsible for the activities of volunteers. Finally, this section restricts the activities of a subpermittee to assisting only in a limited capacity which does not include admitting animals or performing euthanasia or advanced medical procedures.
Section 13 establishes a state requirement that consulting veterinarians comply with the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994. This is already a requirement of federal law. This section also requires that applicants for wildlife rehabilitation licenses read a code of ethics for wildlife rehabilitation,
Section 14 clarifies that, when providing documentation that facilities are allowed under local zoning, the documentation can be supplied by the applicant instead of the local unit of government. The requirement to show that facilities are allowed under local zoning is also an existing statutory requirement.
Sections 15 to 17 establish requirements for non-residents who wish to apply for a license to rehabilitate wild animals in Wisconsin. The requirements are similar to the ones which apply to resident applicants. As a condition of license renewal for residents, this section requires applicants to obtain and show proof of continuing education.
Section 18 establishes that, in addition to preparing a test, the wildlife rehabilitation council may recommend an existing examination that is used to evaluate applicants for wildlife rehabilitation licenses.
Section 19 requires wildlife rehabilitation license applicants to provide information about their enclosures used to confine animals to make the licensing process more efficient and to better assure that humane standards will be met.
Sections 20 and 21 incorporate by reference the standards for enclosures which are established by the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association and International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. This will provide more specific guidance to license applicants and will assure consistently better care and housing of animals.