Regulatory Constipation

So apparently, the purpose of regulations by the government, is not to achieve a specific definable goal, but rather, to simply regulate and require – facilitating adherence to those regulations does not seem to be part of the perceived purpose of the government of the State of Wyoming.

First of all, we started researching what it took to raise quail, for the purpose of food production (eggs and meat). It all seemed pretty simple – apply for a permit, and away you go, at least, that is what people from other states were saying.

Wyoming seems to want to go out of their way to make it more difficult than it needs to be. First of all, the state claims ownership of all gamebirds in the state – including those that you buy and have shipped in from out of state, and including those that are non-native to the state, and which could not really survive in the wild here. They do not care, you are merely a steward over “their” birds, and you must account for each one, track breeding, disposal or destruction of the birds, ensure that the birds you produce are marked to distinguish them from “wild” birds, allow on-site inspections whenever they ask, etc.

There are two types of permits – the free one, that allows you to have up to 100 birds, not for commercial use. And the one that costs $130, for a “Gamebird Farm” which does allow you to sell them. It sort of assumes you are raising them for hunting purposes, on a substantial property. Ok, we can deal with that, short and long term.

Then we found a rather buried reference to a health inspection certification – attached to another section of regulation. This is what it states:

“A certificate of veterinary inspection completed by an accredited veterinarian from the state of origin within ten (10) days prior to importation of game birds and/ or game bird eggs into the State shall be required. In addition, a statement signed by the supplier of the game birds shall be submitted to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Attention: Permitting Officer, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, Wyoming 82604 on a form prescribed by the Department attesting that the game birds and/ or game bird eggs and premises of origin are free of infectious, contagious and communicable diseases. Diseases include, but shall not be limited to, Newcastle disease, Salmonella, pullorum, avian cholera, duck viral enteritis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, and avian influenza. The statement shall also indicate that no game bird within the flock of origin is known to be infected with or to be exposed to avian tuberculosis. Game birds and premises of origin shall have been free of said diseases for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the date of shipment into the State and the premises shall not have experienced an undiagnosed mortality of more than ten percent (10%) of the game birds during the same one (1) year period.”

Failure to comply can result in at least, the state destroying your flock, and most, fines and imprisonment.

So we started asking questions to find out just what the two prescribed forms WERE, and how to get them – our game warden is clueless, he’s never dealt with this, so he doesn’t know (good guy, no insult to him).

We called the State Veterinarian (because another regulatory document said we had to send a form to them), and they had no clue what we were talking about. They referred us to Fish and Game. You’d think someone in their office would know what we were talking about? Nope!

They suggested we talk to the permitting officer. Her secretary didn’t know what we were talking about either. Then we talked to the permitting officer – she explained that really, all we needed was a completely different form, provided by the state of origin, which didn’t really even specify the things that the regulation stipulated! Only the form she said IS required, is NOT the form that any of the hatcheries supplies as a rule. But she did not have an official form. It did not exist.

So we have a regulation, calling for something that does not exist, created by people who do not care whether it is enforced or not, and which is enforced by someone who isn’t even sure what it is that is required to meet the standard.

Wow. Compliance is a headache, and when it comes down to it, completely voluntary.

Here’s the thing…

I don’t have to do ANY of this if I buy in state. Of course, what I need is not AVAILABLE in state, but oh well… I could still buy diseased birds in state and never have to comply.

Furthermore, I could start doing this in my back room, where nobody sees it, order out of state, and not tell, and no one would be the wiser. The regulations are COMPLETELY unenforceable… even if the state appointed overseers DID know precisely what the regulation meant!

I’m sure that the state could be just a little more organized and helpful in encouraging compliance. This is enough to make someone give up!

This doesn’t seem to be an issue with a single department either. One would think that your state would want to encourage people to survive there – especially in a state that is so hard to live in as Wyoming. You’d think they’d want to encourage enterprise. You’d think that if they had a law, they’d want to help people to obey that law.

This seems to be an increasing issue with government where business is concerned. The creation of completely unenforceable laws that punish those who try to comply, while ignoring those who don’t.

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