CHAPTER 65

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 7

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE ILLEGAL SLAUGHTERING OF ANIMAL SPECIES ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION, EMPOWERING THE DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE TO DESIGNATE ENDANGERED SPECIES AND PROHIBITING THE SALE OF CERTAIN ANIMAL SKINS.

WHEREAS, certain species of animals are on the verge of extinction and the protection of these animals is necessary not only for their natural beauty and for the purpose of biological study, but for the key role that they play in the maintenance of complicated botanical and animal life cycles directly affecting mankind; and

WHEREAS, the hides and skins of endangered. species bring large profits and thereby encourage the interstate transportation and sale of hides of wildlife taken in violation of the state and national laws and in many cases killed in violation of the laws of foreign nations; and

WHEREAS, as many of her sister states have determined, after countless attempts at eliminating on site illegal slaughter and poaching, that the greatest potential for the continued existence of these species is by eliminating the market for their hides and skins.

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section I . Amend Title 7 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new chapter, to be known and designated as Chapter 6, which new chapter shall read as follows:

CHAPTER 6. ENDANGERED SPECIES

§ 601. Endangered species

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Title, the importation, transportation, possession or sale of any endangered species of fish or wildlife, or hides or other parts thereof, or the sale or possession with intent to sell any article made in whole or in part from the skin, hide or other parts of any endangered species of fish or wildlife is prohibited, except under license or permit from the Division of Fish and Wildlife. For the purposes of this Section, endangered species shall mean those species of fish and wildlife designated by the Division of Fish and Wildlife as seriously threatened with extinction. Such a list shall in any event include, but not be limited to, endangered species as so designated by the Secretary of the Interior.

§ 602. Hides, pelts, and skins

No part of the skin or body, whether raw or manufactured, of the following species of wild animals or the animal itself may be sold or offered for sale by any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership within the State of Delaware: all endangered species as designated by the United States Department of the Interior; leopard (panthera pardus); snow leopard (Uucia uncia); clouded leopard (neofilis nebulosa); tiger (panthera tigres); cheetah (Acinoyx jubatus); alligators, crocodiles or caiman; vicuna (vicugna vicugna); red wolf (canis niger); and polar bear (thalarctos maritimus).

§ 0. Enforcement

Any officer or agent authorized by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or any officer or agent authorized by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, or any police officer of the State of Delaware, or any police officer of any municipality within the State of Delaware, shall have authority to execute any warrant in search for and seizure of any goods, merchandise or wildlife sold or offered for sale in violation of this Chapter, or any property or item used in connection with a violation of this Chapter; such goods, merchandise, wildlife or property shall be held pending proceedings in any court of proper jurisdiction. Upon conviction,

such seized goods, merchandise or wildlife shall be forfeited and, upon forfeiture, either offered to a recognized institution for scientific or educational purposes, or destroyed.

§ 604. Granting of permits

The Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife may permit, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, the importation of any species or sub-species of fish or wildlife listed in this Chapter for zoological, educational, and scientific purposes and for the propagation of such fish or wildlife in captivity for the preservation of a species, unless such importation is prohibited by any federal law or regulation.

Section 2. Should any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Act of the application thereof to any person or circumstances by adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confirmed in its portion to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which judgment shall have been rendered.

Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall become effective thirty days after signature by the Governor.

Approved May 8, 1971.