FISH AND GAME
WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING PREVENTION
I. Except as provided in paragraph II, no person shall knowingly purchase, sell, offer for sale, or possess with intent to sell, any item that the person knows or should know is a covered animal species part or product.
II. Paragraph I shall not apply:
(a) To employees or agents of the federal or state government undertaking any law enforcement activities pursuant to federal or state law or any mandatory duties required by federal or state law.
(b) When the activity, and any sport-hunted item that is legally obtained in accordance with federal or state law, are authorized by federal or state law.
(c) When the activity involves a species that is subject to a federal management plan under 16 U.S.C. sections 1851-1869.
(d) When the covered animal species part or product is a fixed component of an antique, or is an antique that is wholly or primarily of the covered animal species part or product, provided that the antique status is established by the owner or seller thereof with documentation evidencing reasonable provenance and showing the covered animal species part or product to be not less than 100 years old.
(e) When the covered animal species part or product is a fixed component of a musical instrument, including, but not limited to, string instruments and bows, wind and percussion instruments, and pianos, provided that the covered animal species part or product was legally acquired.
(f) To the noncommercial transfer of ownership of a covered animal species part or product to a legal beneficiary of an estate, trust, or other inheritance.
(g) To the donation of a covered animal species part or product to a bona fide scientific or educational institution for scientific or educational purposes.
(h) To the possession of a covered animal species part or product by any enrolled member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe.
(i) To a knife or firearm, or a component thereof, that contains an animal part or byproduct derived from any species listed in RSA 212-C:1, I if:
(1) The animal part or byproduct is a fixed or integral part of the knife or firearm, or the component thereof; and
(2) All the requirements for the sale of the knife or firearm, or the component thereof, set forth in federal and state law are met.
III. There is a presumption of possession with intent to sell a covered animal species part or product when the part or product is possessed by a retail or wholesale establishment or other forum engaged in the business of buying or selling of similar items, and a finding of intent to sell is supported by other evidence which independently establishes such intent.
IV. A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation. The circuit court and the superior court shall have concurrent jurisdiction to hear matters brought under this chapter. If the appraised value of the covered animal species part or product exceeds $25,000 or if the prosecuting entity seeks relief unavailable in the circuit court, the matter shall be transferred to the superior court for adjudication.
V. Any covered animal species part or product that has been seized by a law enforcement officer pursuant to this chapter shall be appraised to determine its value. During the pendency of any criminal matter, the court shall provide an opportunity for a hearing to determine who shall maintain custody of the items, how the items shall be preserved, liability for any costs incurred to preserve the items, and such other matters as may be required to protect the property until a final dispositional order has been entered.
VI. If the owner of the covered animal species part or product is found not guilty, the property shall be returned to the owner. If the owner is found guilty, the covered items shall be forfeited to the fish and game department. Any fines assessed by the court shall be used first to reimburse the entity ordered to preserve the property prior to adjudication, and thereafter, to the fish and game department to reimburse for any costs incurred in final disposition of the items, and finally to the entity which successfully prosecuted the matter.
VII. The executive director of the fish and game department may adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to:
(a) The purchase, sale, offer for sale, or possession with intent to sell, of parts or products of any covered animal species.
(b) The method and manner to be used in appraising the value of any covered animal species part or product seized by law enforcement or abandoned into the care or custody of the department.
(c) The method and manner used to determine ownership of any covered animal species part or product abandoned to its care or custody other than by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(d) The noncommercial disposition of covered animal species parts or products to:
(1) A legal beneficiary of an estate, trust, or other inheritance;
(2) A bona fide scientific or educational institution for scientific or educational purposes;
(3) Any enrolled member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe; or
(4) Any other person that has claimed right of ownership.
(e) The destruction of covered animal species parts or products not otherwise disposed of in accordance with this chapter.
Source. 2018, 226:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2019.