H.B. NO.














relating to invasive species.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Hawaii detector dog program, which began its operation in November 1989, was terminated at the end of June 2009.  The remaining personnel were transferred to other inspector positions within the Hawaii department of agriculture, and the remaining detector dogs were retired and placed in appropriate homes within the State.  The program was terminated partly because of a twenty-seven per cent funding reduction due to the State's economic recession in 2009.

     The legislature finds that there are regularly scheduled commercial and military flights that arrive in Hawaii at all hours; therefore, the re-instatement of a dog detection and prevention program is needed to address the anticipated military build-up in the Marianas.  In fiscal year 2009, commercial and private flights averaged to 1,137 aircrafts inspected upon arrival, resulting in the clearance of about twenty-five thousand items that were only visually inspected.

     As a result of the future increase of military in Guam, there is a critical need to secure funding to support the department of agriculture to re-establish a dog detection and prevention program to effectively screen arriving aircraft, ships, and associated cargos for the presence of brown tree snakes from high-risk areas.  Additionally, any remaining funding will also be needed for the department of agriculture to further augment the rapid response team to prevent brown tree snakes and other invasive snake species from establishing a population in the State.

     The legislature finds that invasive species can wreak havoc on Hawaii's fragile ecosystem, environment, and agricultural lands.  Invasive species, such as the brown tree snake can damage the balance of the State's ecosystem, threaten native forest vertebrate species, precipitate power outages affecting private, commercial, and military activities, cause widespread loss of domestic birds and pets, and provoke considerable emotional trauma to residents and visitors alike when venomous snakes invade human habitats.

     In Guam, the brown tree snake was responsible for devastating the majority of the native bird population, and due to the availability of prey and lack of predators in introduced habitats, they have been known to grow to sizes larger than their normal one to two meters (3.3 to 6.6 feet) in length.  To minimize the incidents of accidental migration of invasive animal species, trained dogs have been used successfully to search, locate, and assist in the removal of migratory invasive species prior to the departures of outbound military and commercial cargo and transportation vessels from the State.

     The purpose of this Act is to establish an invasive species detection and prevention program within the department of agriculture, using dogs that are cross-trained to detect and prevent the entry of invasive species, including the brown tree snake.

     SECTION 2.  There is established within the department of agriculture, an invasive species detection and prevention program that uses trained dogs to detect migratory invasive species harbored in cargo carried by military and commercial transportation vessels before the cargo is released.

     The invasive species detection and prevention program shall contract with private dog handlers within the State to provide and cross-train dogs to detect various migratory invasive species.

     SECTION 3.  The department of agriculture shall submit to the legislature not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2013 regular session a report on the efficacy of the invasive species detection and prevention program established by this Act.

     SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012-2013 for the funding for the Hawaii invasive species detection and prevention program within the department of agriculture.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2012.








Report Title:

Department of Agriculture; Invasive Species Detector Inspector Positions; Appropriation




Establishes the Hawaii invasive species detection and prevention program within the DOA.  Makes an appropriation to the DOA for the funding for the program





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