(1) The classification review committee described in 87-5-708 , MCA, shall consider petitions for species classification. Any individual, government agency, or interested group may petition the classification review committee to recommend to the commission classification of a species.

(2) The classification review committee must make its recommendations based on the best available information and scientific knowledge of the following:

(a) the environmental impacts caused by the animal if it is released or escapes from captivity, including ecological and economic impacts;

(b) the risk the animal would pose to the health or safety of the public, wildlife, livestock, domestic animals and agriculture; and

(c) the ability of a person to readily control and contain the animal in captivity.

(3) Based on recommendations made by the classification review committee, the commission may classify exotic wildlife to either a noncontrolled, controlled, or prohibited list. The commission shall adopt exotic wildlife classifications as administrative rules, amendments, or repeals according to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act.

(4) Species of exotic wildlife may not be imported into Montana unless the following occur:

(a) the exotic wildlife species has been classified by the commission or by listing in state statutes;

(b) the department has issued the required permits for possession of exotic wildlife species classified as noncontrolled, controlled or prohibited; and

(c) the person has obtained authorization for importation from the Department of Livestock pursuant to Title 81, chapter 2, part 7, MCA.

History: 87-5-704, 87-5-705, 87-5-712, MCA; IMP, 87-5-707, 87-5-708, 87-5-711, 87-5-712, MCA; NEW, 2005 MAR p. 814, Eff. 5/27/05.