(a) No person may use any noise-making device to scare or repel wildlife in order to prevent the damage and destruction of agricultural crops unless such person obtains a permit for each such device from the Commissioner of Agriculture. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any provision of a municipal ordinance, which ordinance is adopted after June 21, 1967, a person engaged in agriculture may make written application to the commissioner for such a permit on forms prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner, or the commissioner’s designee, may make an on-site inspection prior to making a final determination regarding an application for such permit. Prior to the issuance of such permit, the applicant shall provide evidence of the need for protection of the applicant’s crops, a description of other methods employed to prevent crop damage and an estimate of the potential loss, as a percentage of the crop, attributed to wildlife damage. The term of the permit shall be for the period for which protection of the crops specified in the application is necessary.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 22-26g
- Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- farm: includes farm buildings, and accessory buildings thereto, nurseries, orchards, ranges, greenhouses, hoophouses and other temporary structures or other structures used primarily for the raising and, as an incident to ordinary farming operations, the sale of agricultural or horticultural commodities. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- legislative body: means : (1) As applied to unconsolidated towns, the town meeting. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- month: means a calendar month, and the word "year" means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- Ordinance: means an enactment under the provisions of section 7-157. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
(b) The application shall state (1) the type of noise-making device to be used, (2) the location of the farm where such device will be used, (3) the locations on the farm where such device will be used, (4) the animal causing damage, (5) the crops to be protected, (6) the hours and interval of operation, (7) the period for which protection is needed, and (8) the name, address and signature of applicant or landowner, if different.
(c) The commissioner may authorize the use of the following in permits issued under this section: Propane exploders, acetylene exploders, carbide exploders, electronic noisemakers and similar noise-making devices. The use of fire crackers and similar explosives is prohibited. No permit shall be issued for the use of any noise-making device for a property of less than five acres in area or for use within five hundred feet of any dwelling, other than the dwelling of the applicant for such permit, without the written consent of the occupants of such dwelling.
(d) No person may operate or allow the operation of noise-making devices pursuant to this section in excess of 80 dB peak sound pressure level from ten o’clock p.m. to seven o’clock a.m. local time or in excess of 100 dB peak sound pressure level from seven o’clock a.m. to ten o’clock p.m. local time. Such sound level shall be as measured from the property line of any receptor residential property. Any noise-making device authorized pursuant to this section shall be operated in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer of such device and any written conditions contained in the permit that the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee deems appropriate.
(e) No noise-making device shall be used in any manner or in any location that may endanger public safety. Any noise-making device permitted under this section to repel or scare birds may only be operated from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Any such noise-making device used to repel or scare nocturnal or crepuscular marauding wild animals may be operated between sunset and sunrise.
(f) Any noise-making device used pursuant to this section shall bear a weather-resistant tag that shall state the name, address and phone number of the operator of the noise-making device. At all times, such tag shall be securely affixed to the noise-making device and shall be legible.
(g) (1) If the legislative body of any municipality adopts a resolution that states that there is undue hardship on nearby residents as a result of the use of any device permitted under this section, and that requests that the commissioner deny or cancel the right to use such device, or, in the alternative, institute a best practical use procedure described in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the commissioner, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, may deny or cancel a permit to use such device, or, in the alternative, institute a best practical use procedure in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection, if the commissioner determines that its use creates, or will create, an undue hardship on nearby residents. In making any such decision, the commissioner may consult with experts in wildlife damage to crops and any county or state-wide advisory group the commissioner deems appropriate. For the purposes of this subsection, “undue hardship” means causing significant injury to the health and comfort of a person, as a result of the use of the permitted device while such person is on his or her own real property and within the curtilage of his or her home.
(2) The commissioner may require the implementation of a best practical use procedure by a permittee in response to a resolution adopted pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection if the commissioner determines that such a best practical use procedure is feasible to limit the excessive use of such permitted device. Any such best practical use procedure shall limit the use of the permitted device to an extent that provides for the least detrimental level of use of such permitted device while enabling such device to be effective. In developing any such best practical use procedure, the commissioner shall assess the permitted device, the accepted trade practices associated with the effective use of such device, the technical feasibility of implementation and use of a best practical use procedure, the nature of the area in which the permitted device is used, the crop that is intended to be protected through use of such device and the wildlife that is intended to be scared or repelled by use of the permitted device. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to authorize any cause of action.
(h) The Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, shall issue a warning notice for each of the first two violations by a permittee of any provision of this section in any twelve-month period. The commissioner shall revoke a permit issued pursuant to this section for not less than one year upon the third violation of this section in any twelve-month period by such permittee. Any person who has his or her permit revoked by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee may appeal such order provided such person requests a hearing, in writing, to the commissioner and such request is received by the commissioner not later than fifteen days after the date of such order. During any such appeal, such order shall remain in effect until a final decision is rendered. The commissioner may appoint a hearing officer to hear such appeal and render a final decision, as the commissioner deems appropriate. In any such appeal, the only consideration shall be whether the violation or violations alleged actually occurred.
(i) Any person who operates a noise-making device without a permit, during an appeal period for a permit revocation, or after a permit is revoked shall be fined one hundred dollars for the first offense and three hundred dollars for a second and any subsequent offense. Each noise-making device operated in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.