Notice of Public Hearing


Proposed Amendments to Chapter 4-71, Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), “Plant and Non-Domestic Animal Quarantine, Non-Domestic Animal Import Rules,” Including Amendment Banning Import of Dangerous, Wild Non-Domestic Animals for Performance or Exhibition in Circuses or Carnivals

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), and section 150A-9, HRS, that the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (Department or HDOA) will hold public hearings to receive testimony on proposed amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules (“HAR”), Title 4, Subtitle 6, Chapter 71:


Chapter 4-71 – “Plant and Non-Domestic Animal Quarantine

Non-Domestic Animal Import Rules”

The primary focus of these proposed amendments is to prohibit import of dangerous wild animals for short-term exhibition and performance in circuses, carnivals, and state fairs on the basis of the potential risk to public health and safety. The proposed amendments identify certain species as dangerous wild animals that will be prohibited import for short-term circus or carnival exhibition or performance, but that may be allowed import for zoo exhibition and for short-term commercial filming, subject to permit conditions adequate to address any associated risks. The individual species subject to the above prohibition and restriction include, but are not limited to, lions, tigers, bears, elephants, non-human primates, alligators, and crocodiles. (§§4-71-2, 4-71-3, 4-71-6.5, HAR). Further amendment will be proposed to clarify the exemption that allows import for short-term commercial filming.

The proposed amendments will also change the import list placement of two animal species: (a) the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, currently allowed import only for research, to allow its import for aquaculture production; and (b) the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, currently allowed import for research, to allow its import as feed for various insectivorous animals at Honolulu Zoo (§4-71-6.5, HAR).

In addition to general housekeeping changes, the proposed amendments will, among other things, do the following: (1) Specify risk to animal or public health and safety associated with import of a species as an additional basis for restricting or prohibiting import of specific non-domestic animals (§4-71-1, HAR); (2) Clarify that violation of permit conditions may result in a citation or cancellation of a permit, or both (§4-71-3); and (3) Clarify that short-term special permits for import of unlisted animals are subject to the same general safeguard requirements and maximum time periods for permit approval that apply to short term permits for import of animals on the lists of conditionally approved and restricted animals (§§4-71-3, 4-71-4.1, HAR).

The proposed amendments will also amend §4-71-6.5, HAR, titled “Permitted introductions”, to do the following: (1) Allow government agencies to import animals on the List of Conditionally Approved Animals, which are currently allowed import for individual possession, businesses, and institutions; (2) Expand the purposes for which animals on the List of Restricted Animals (Part B) may be imported from currently allowed purposes (i.e., private and commercial use, including zoological parks, or aquaculture production) to include government use; (3) Replace the term “municipal” zoos with the broader term “government” zoos; (4) Clarify that, in addition to universities and government agencies, other institutions may import restricted list animals for research, and that universities and government agencies may import restricted list animals for medical and scientific purposes as well as for research, as determined by the Board of Agriculture (Board); (5) Clarify that permits may be approved by the Board chairperson, as well as by the HDOA branch chief or Board, as specified by rules; (6) Clarify that site approval is required prior to the issuance of any permit issued for import of animals on the restricted lists and unlisted animals; and (7) Clarify that when a permit to import a restricted list or unlisted animal allows for transfer or sale, a proposed transferee must satisfy conditions for transfer and obtain a permit for possession of the animal.

Effect of Certain Amendments on Small Business: (1) The proposed amendment to ban import of dangerous wild animals for short-term circus-type performance or exhibition will apply to any potential importer of these animals for live performance or exhibition in a carnival or circus, whether the importer is a small business, big business, or government (county fairs), because of the inherent risk to public health and safety in the live entertainment situation. This proposed import ban may affect potential importers, including small business importers, in a potentially adverse way. Animals that are not “dangerous wild animals” can still be imported for live entertainment at events like the 50th State Fair. (2) The proposed amendments to change the import list placement of the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, to allow its import for aquaculture production, do not adversely affect small business and are strongly supported by small aquacultural businesses. (3) The proposed amendments to change the import list placement of the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, to allow its import as feed for various insectivorous animals at Honolulu Zoo do not adversely affect small business.


The following is the schedule of public hearings:






The proposed rule amendments may be reviewed online at or in person at any of the following Department offices during normal business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday from: March 28, 2017 to May 05, 2017,

Oahu- 1428 South King Street, Honolulu

Administrative Services Officer: Phone: 808-973-9600

or 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu Phone: 808-832-0566


Hawaii- 16E Lanikaula Street, Hilo Phone: 808-974-4141

or 95 Akahana Street, Room 9, Hilo Phone: 808-961-9393

or 73-302 Kupipi Street, Kailua-Kona Phone: 808-326-1077


Kauai- 4398A Pua Loke Street, Lihue Phone: 808-274-3071


Maui- 635 Mua Street, Kahului Phone: 808-873-3556


Molokai- 801 Puupeehua Ave., Hoolehua Phone: 808-567-6891

Molokai Irrigation Office


Copies of the proposed rules may also be obtained at the above offices by paying a fee for photocopying or may be sent by mail upon request by paying a fee for photocopying and postage. Copies may also be reviewed or downloaded at the Department’s website at:

All interested persons may attend the public hearings and submit comments orally or in writing. Those persons desiring to submit written testimony may do so via postal mail to the Plant Quarantine Branch c/o Department of Agriculture at 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu, HI 96819 or via FAX at (808) 832-0584 or via e-mail at Please include the word “testimony” and the subject matter when submitting testimony by e-mail. Those persons desiring to present oral testimony at the public hearing are asked to register with staff prior to the convening of the hearing. If possible, submit 5 written copies of the testimony to staff prior to the meeting. Testimony will be accepted up to the close of the last public hearing.

Persons requiring special modifications, e.g. sign language interpretation, large print, taped materials, accessible parking, at the hearing may call the Department at (808) 832-0566 or write to one of the addresses above at least 5 days in advance of the hearing.

Scott E. Enright

Chairperson, Board of Agriculture