A. The Commissioner may adopt regulations to prevent and control avian influenza in the live-bird marketing system and is authorized to participate in the federal Live Bird Marketing Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as it may be amended from time to time. In adopting such regulations, the Commissioner shall be exempt from the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and from public participation guidelines adopted pursuant thereto. The State Veterinarian and his representatives are authorized and empowered to enter the premises of any entity within the live-bird marketing system to carry out the provisions of any regulations adopted pursuant to this section. Any regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall, unless a later effective date is specified, take effect upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations, who shall publish the regulations as final regulations in the Virginia Register of Regulations, except that no requirement authorized by subsection B that a person be registered or licensed may take effect any sooner than 90 days after the promulgation date of the regulations containing such requirement, the promulgation date being the date of publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations of the final regulations containing such requirement. The regulations shall contain a preamble stating that the Board will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision of such regulations.
B. The Commissioner shall establish by regulation a registration or licensing system to regulate the live-bird marketing system in Virginia. As a part of such registration or licensing system, the Commissioner shall register or license all persons who participate in any component of the live-bird marketing system. Such registration or licensing system may include the granting, denial, suspension, or revocation of any registration or license, including governing: (i) the grounds for granting such registration or license; and (ii) the grounds for the denial, suspension, or revocation of such registration or license.
C. Any person violating any regulation adopted pursuant to this section may be assessed a civil penalty by the Commissioner in an amount not to exceed $ 2,500 per day per violation. In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the Commissioner shall give due consideration to: (i) the history of the person’s previous violations; (ii) the seriousness of the violation; and (iii) the demonstrated good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance with the regulation after notification of the violation. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the Livestock and Poultry Disease Fund established in § 3.2-6045. The Commissioner shall prescribe procedures for payment of uncontested penalties. The procedure shall include provisions for a person to consent to abatement of the alleged violation and pay a penalty or negotiated sum in lieu of such penalty without admission of civil liability arising from such alleged violation. Final orders may be recorded, enforced, and satisfied as orders or decrees of a circuit court upon certification of such orders by the Commissioner. Such orders may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).
D. For the purposes of this section: (i) “live-bird marketing system” includes live-bird markets and the production and distribution units that supply live-bird markets with birds; (ii) “live-bird markets” includes any facility that receives live poultry to be resold or slaughtered and sold onsite, not including any producer or grower that prior to the sale of his own birds slaughters or processes them onsite or at an approved slaughter facility or any producer or grower that sells live birds grown exclusively on his premises and is not a “production unit” or “distribution unit” as defined herein; (iii) “production unit” includes a production facility or farm that is the origin of or participates in the production of poultry offered for sale in a live-bird market; and (iv) “distribution unit” includes a person or business such as a wholesaler, dealer, hauler, and auction market engaged in the transportation or sale of poultry within the live-bird market system.
2006, c. 442, § 3.1-741.6; 2008, c. 860; 2016, c. 563.