BILL REQ. #:  S-0135.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Senators Jacobsen and Swecker

Read first time 01/12/09.   Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development.

     AN ACT Relating to heritage livestock and poultry breeds; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that preserving genetic diversity of animal species is of high interest to the public. The development of livestock and poultry species commenced centuries ago through domestication and breeding of what had been wild animal species. Through the ages, many species of food animals have been transported from one region or continent to another and distinct and recognizable breeds of these species have developed. The legislature finds that the historic livestock and poultry breeds retain different and unique genetic attributes including factors that can affect fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts, and resistance to diseases and parasites.
     As some specialized breeds have become favored in modern food production systems, competitive market forces have caused others to diminish or become extinct. When a breed is lost, the unique genetic attributes are not retrievable. The legislature finds that sufficient mechanisms currently do not exist to support the continued survival of some of the declining breeds.
     The purpose of this act is to establish a nonregulatory incentive-based program to encourage owners of rare and diminishing species of livestock and poultry to continue rearing these animals. It is the intent of the legislature to establish procedures to provide recognition to owners of animals as heritage livestock and poultry and thereby increase public awareness of their contribution toward the perpetuation of rare and declining breeds.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   (1) The Washington heritage livestock and poultry breed recognition program is hereby created in the department of archaeology and historic preservation.
     (2) The director shall establish a heritage livestock and poultry breed recognition program. To apply for recognition, an animal owner may submit an application form to the department that includes the breed of the livestock or poultry, photos of the animals, a brief history of the livestock or poultry breed including the breed's origin, and its interesting and unique characteristics. The department may use as a general guide for the recognition program, the species of livestock and poultry that are designated as "critical," "threatened," or "watch" on the conservation priority list established by the American livestock breeds conservancy. Persons owning livestock or poultry of breeds not included on these lists may submit supplemental information regarding the breed's status as a rare or diminishing breed for consideration by the department for possible designation as a heritage livestock breed.
     (3) The department shall (a) periodically issue recognition awards to the owners of the animals designated under subsection (2) of this section and (b) maintain a web site that includes pictures and a short description of animals on the heritage livestock breed registry.
     (4) This section expires July 1, 2011.

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