2001 - 2002 LEGISLATURE
April 6, 2001 - Introduced by
Joint Legislative Council. Referred to Committee
on Natural Resources.
1An Act to amend
23.50 (1), 29.921 (1), 29.921 (5), 29.931 (2) (a), 173.01 (2), 951.01 2
(4), 951.015 and 951.18 (1); and to create
29.921 (1m), 173.01 (4) and 951.01 3
(5) of the statutes; relating to: authorizing conservation wardens to enforce
4the trespass law and prohibitions on shooting at caged or staked wild animals
5and to make arrests under warrants issued for felonies or misdemeanors.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill is explained in the Notes provided by the joint legislative council in
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Prefatory note: This bill was prepared for the joint legislative council's special
committee on conservation laws enforcement. It expands the authority of conservation
wardens in three areas: enforcement of trespass law, enforcement of prohibitions on
shooting caged or staked wild animals, and arrests under misdemeanor warrants.
1. Trespass. Currently, conservation wardens are not authorized to enforce
violations of s. 943.13, stats., the trespass law. This bill authorizes wardens to do so
subject to the limitation that they may do so only if the warden determines, while carrying
out his or her statutory duties, that a violation has been committed. The authority to
issue processes and to arrest for violations is discretionary. The primary duty to respond
to trespass complaints remains with sheriff and police departments.
2. Shooting at caged or staked wild animals. Currently, s. 951.09, stats., provides:
"No person may instigate, promote, aid or abet as a principal, agent, employee,
participant or spectator, or participate in the earnings from, or intentionally maintain or
allow any place to be used for the shooting, killing or wounding with a firearm or any
deadly weapon, any animal that is tied, staked out, caged or otherwise intentionally
confined in a man-made enclosure, regardless of size. Nothing in this section prohibits
the shooting of any wild game in its wild state or the shooting of game birds and waterfowl
at licensed game farms or licensed shooting preserves."
This law does not apply to the shooting of wild game in its wild state or the shooting
of game birds or waterfowl at licensed game farms or licensed shooting preserves.
However, shooting any other animal that is staked out, caged or otherwise intentionally
confined in a man-made enclosure, regardless of size, is illegal. This is penalized as a
Class C forfeiture. However, any person who intentionally or negligently violates any of
this law, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A Class C forfeiture is penalized by a
forfeiture not to exceed $500. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed
$10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed nine months, or both.
This bill allows a conservation warden to enforce s. 951.09, stats., when the animal
involved is any animal of a wild nature endowed with sensation and the power of
voluntary motion." The effect of the change will be to permit conservation wardens to
issue citations for shooting at caged or staked wild animals where the operation is not
pursuant to a game farm or shooting preserve license issued by the department of natural
resources (DNR) or the shooting is not of the wild game in its wild state.
3. Misdemeanor warrants. Currently, a conservation warden who has completed
an approved law enforcement training program, been certified as qualified to be a law
enforcement officer, and complied with applicable requirements is authorized to arrest
a person pursuant to an arrest warrant for a felony or arrest a person who has committed
a crime in the presence of a warden. However, the conservation warden may not arrest
a person who is the subject of an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor.
AB301, s. 1
23.50 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The procedure in ss. 23.50 to 23.85 applies to all actions in circuit 3
court to recover forfeitures, penalty assessments, jail assessments, applicable 4
weapons assessments, applicable environmental assessments, applicable wild 5
animal protection assessments, applicable natural resources assessments, 6
applicable fishing shelter removal assessments, applicable snowmobile registration 7
and applicable natural resources restitution payments for 8
violations of ss. 77.09, 134.60, 167.10 (3), 167.31 (2), 281.48 (2) to (5), 283.33, 285.57 9
(2), 285.59 (2), (3) (c),
and (4), 287.07, 287.08, 287.81,
and 299.64 (2), and of s. 951.09
10when a wild animal as defined in s. 29.001 (90) is involved
, subch. VI of ch. 77, this
chapter and chs. 26 to 31,
and of ch. 350, and any administrative rules promulgated 2
thereunder, violations specified under s. 285.86, violations of rules of the Kickapoo 3
reserve management board under s. 41.41 (7) (k),
or violations of local ordinances 4
enacted by any local authority in accordance with s. 23.33 (11) (am) or 30.77.
Note: This provision authorizes the DNR to utilize its citation procedures specified
in ss. 23.50 to 23.85 for enforcement by conservation wardens of prohibitions on shooting
caged or staked animals if a wild animal is involved.
AB301, s. 2
29.921 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
29.921 (1) Generally.
The department and its wardens may execute and serve 7
warrants and processes issued under any law enumerated in ss. 23.50 (1), 167.31, 8
346.19, 940.24, 941.20, 948.60, 948.605,
and, subject to sub. (1m), s.
in the same manner as any constable may serve and execute the process; and 10
may arrest, with or without a warrant, any person detected in the actual violation, 11
or whom the officer has probable cause to believe is guilty of a violation of any of the 12
laws cited in this subsection, whether the violation is punishable by criminal 13
penalties or by forfeiture, and may take the person before any court in the county 14
where the offense was committed and make a proper complaint. For the purpose of 15
enforcing any of the laws cited in this subsection, any officer may stop and board any 16
boat and stop any vehicle,
if the officer reasonably suspects there is a violation of 17
Note: This provision gives the DNR and its conservation wardens the authority
to enforce the trespass law, subject to limitations created by s. 29.921 (1m), as created by
AB301, s. 3
29.921 (1m) of the statutes is created to read:
29.921 (1m) Trespass.
The department and its wardens may act as provided 20
in sub. (1) with respect to violations of s. 943.13 only if in the course of the warden's
duties under s. 23.50 (1) and this section a person is determined to have committed 2
Note: This provision provides that conservation wardens, during the course of
their duties and in the exercise of their discretion, as their work load permits, may enforce
the trespass law. Other law enforcement agencies will remain the primary enforcers of
the trespass law.
AB301, s. 4
29.921 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
29.921 (5) Additional arrest powers.
In addition to the arrest powers under 5
sub. (1), a warden who has completed a program of law enforcement training 6
approved by the law enforcement standards board, has been certified as qualified to 7
be a law enforcement officer under s. 165.85 (4) (b) 1.,
and has complied with any 8
applicable requirements under s. 165.85 (4) (bn) 1.,
while on duty and in uniform or 9
on duty and upon display of proper credentials may assist another law enforcement 10
agency as defined under s. 165.83 (1) (b) including making an arrest at the request 11
of the agency, may arrest a person pursuant to an arrest warrant concerning the 12
commission of a felony crime, as defined in s. 939.12,
or may arrest a person who has 13
committed a crime in the presence of the warden. If the warden makes an arrest 14
without the presence of another law enforcement agency, the warden shall cause the 15
person arrested to be delivered to the chief of police or sheriff in the jurisdiction 16
where the arrest is made, along with the documents and reports pertaining to the 17
arrest. The warden shall be available as a witness for the state. A warden may not 18
conduct investigations for violations of state law except as authorized in ss. 23.11 (4), 19
and 41.41 (12). A warden acting under the authority of this subsection 20
is considered an employee of the department and is subject to its direction, benefits, 21
and legal protection. The authority granted in this section does not apply to county 22
conservation wardens or special conservation wardens.
Note: This provision authorizes a conservation warden who has completed a
training program approved by the law enforcement standards board to arrest a person
pursuant to an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor, as well as for a felony, by allowing
arrests under any arrest warrant concerning the commission of a "crime" as defined by
s. 939.12, stats.": "A crime is conduct which is prohibited by state law and punishable by
a fine or imprisonment, or both. Conduct punishable only by a forfeiture is not a crime."
AB301, s. 5
29.931 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The department and its wardens shall seize and hold, subject to 3
the order of the court for the county in which the alleged offense was committed, any 4
or object declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance, or which they 5
have probable cause to believe is being used in violation of this chapter or s. 167.31, 6
287.81, 940.24, 941.20, 948.60, 948.605,
, or is being used in a violation of
7s. 951.09 involving a wild animal,
or is being used in the commission of a crime 8
relating to a submerged cultural resource in violation of s. 44.47. If it is proven that 9
the vehicle, boat,
or object is a public nuisance or that within 6 months previous to 10
the seizure the vehicle, boat,
or object was used in violation of this chapter or s. 11
167.31, 287.81, 940.24, 941.20, 948.60, 948.605,
or 948.61, or was used in a violation
12of s. 951.09 involving a wild animal,
or was used in the commission of a crime relating 13
to a submerged cultural resource in violation of s. 44.47, it shall be confiscated if the 14
court directs in its order for judgment.
Note: This provision permits the department of natural resources and its wardens
to seize and hold, subject to a circuit court order, any vehicle, boat, or object that is being
used in a violation of s. 951.09, stats., that involves a wild animal. If it is proven that the
vehicle, boat, or object was used in a violation of s. 951.09, stats., involving a wild animal,
it shall be confiscated if so ordered by the court.
AB301, s. 6
173.01 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
"Law enforcement officer" has the meaning given in s. 165.85 (2) (c) 17but does not include a conservation warden appointed under s. 23.10 except for
18purposes of enforcing s. 951.09 when a wild animal is involved
Note: This provision provides that the term "law enforcement officer" does not
include a conservation warden, except for purposes of enforcing s. 951.09, stats., when a
wild animal is involved. This provision will grant conservation wardens authority given
to other law enforcement officers under ch. 173, stats., relating to treatment of animals
with respect to wild animals.
AB301, s. 7
173.01 (4) of the statutes is created to read:
"Wild animal" has the meaning given in s. 951.01 (5).
Note: This provision cross-references the definition of "wild animal" created by
Section 9 of the bill.
AB301, s. 8
951.01 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
"Law enforcement officer" has the meaning assigned under given in 5
s. 967.02 (5) but does not include a conservation warden appointed under s. 23.10 6except when, for purposes of enforcing s. 951.09, a wild animal is involved
Note: This provision gives a conservation warden the powers of other law
enforcement officers under ch. 951, stats., relating to crimes against animals but only
when a wild animal is involved.
AB301, s. 9
951.01 (5) of the statutes is created to read:
"Wild animal" means an animal of a wild nature endowed with 9
sensation and the power of voluntary motion.
Note: This provision creates a definition of "wild animal" for purposes of allowing
conservation wardens to enforce s. 951.09, stats., when a wild animal is involved.
AB301, s. 10
951.015 of the statutes is amended to read:
11951.015 Construction and application.
This chapter may not be 12
interpreted as controverting any law regulating the taking of a wild animal as
13defined in s. 29.001 (90)
, the trapping of animals, the use of live animals in dog trials 14
or in the training of hunting dogs,
or the slaughter of animals by persons acting 15
under state or federal law.
Note: Current s. 951.09, stats., provides that ch. 951, stats., does not affect any law
regulating the taking of wild animals. The provision refers to the definition of "wild
animal" in s. 29.001 (90), stats. That reference is deleted since "wild animal" is defined
by s. 951.01 (5), as created by Section
AB301, s. 11
951.18 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
Any person violating s. 951.02, 951.025, 951.03, 951.04, 951.05, 2
951.06, 951.07, 951.09, 951.10, 951.11, 951.13, 951.14,
or 951.15 is subject to a 3
Class C forfeiture. Any person who violates any of these provisions within 3 years 4
after a humane officer or law enforcement officer
issues an abatement order under 5
s. 173.11 prohibiting the violation of that provision is subject to a Class A forfeiture. 6
Any person who intentionally or negligently violates any of those sections is guilty 7
of a Class A misdemeanor. Any person who intentionally violates s. 951.02, resulting 8
in the mutilation, disfigurement,
or death of an animal, is guilty of a Class E felony. 9
Any person who intentionally violates s. 951.02 or 951.06, knowing that the animal 10
that is the victim is used by a law enforcement agency to perform agency functions 11
or duties and causing injury to the animal, is guilty of a Class E felony.