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AGO 1952 No. 369 - August 08, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

APPROPRIATIONS

An appropriation to the Department of Agriculture for "Indemnities and Control of Bang's Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis; Control of Mastitis, Plant Diseases, Insect Pests, Apiculture; Marketing Research" cannot properly be used for paying indemnities to the owners of swine.

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                                                                  August 8, 1952

Honorable Sverre N. Omdahl
Director
Department of Agriculture
Old Capitol Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 369

Dear Sir:

            This is in response to your request for an opinion of this office contained in your letter of August 5, 1952.  You will recall that the question you ask is whether any portion of an appropriation made by chapter 3, Second Extraordinary Session of the Thirty-Second Legislature for "Indemnities and Control of Bang's Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis; Control of Mastitis, Plant Diseases, Insect Pests, Apiculture; Marketing Research" may be properly used to pay indemnities to the owners of swine whose destruction is regarded as necessary in the campaign to rid the country of the very recent outbreak of the disease known as vesicular exanthema.  We also note and appreciate your remarks as to the severity of the disease and the desirability of finding moneys which may be used for this program, in which event your efforts will be aided by federal matching funds made available within the past week for this purpose.

            You are advised that it is the opinion of this office that the appropriation contained in chapter 3, Second Extraordinary Session of the Thirty-Second Legislature for "Indemnities and Control of Bang's Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis; Control of Mastitis, Plant Diseases, Insect Pests, Apiculture; Marketing Research" cannot properly be used for paying indemnities for the owners of swine whose animals were or are about to be destroyed in a swine disease eradication program.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Quite clearly that portion of the language of the appropriation contained in the aforementioned statute which reads "* * * Control of Mastitis, Plant Diseases, Insect Pests, Apiculture; Marketing Research" in no way refers to the control of swine diseases.  The remaining language, "Indemnities and Control of Bang's Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis", while referring to indemnities, we believe refers only to indemnities paid in the regular continuing program of Bang's disease and bovine tuberculosis control carried out under the provisions of chapter 16.40 RCW in which it is expressly contemplated that indemnities will be paid.  See in particular RCW 16.40.080.  We note that while there appears to be no explicit declaration in any of the statutes that indemnities will be paid for the destruction of swine in a disease control program, we think that it is within the powers and duties conferred by RCW 16.36.010 et seq., which is concerned with the diseases of domestic animals in general; however, we understand that your department has in the past traditionally not expended or had appropriated to it funds for indemnities other than for the control of Bang's disease and bovine tuberculosis.  It would seem that this is significant and further indicative of a legislative intent that the indemnities referred to are those to be expended in connection with the Bang's disease and bovine tuberculosis control program.

            In view of the provisions of RCW 16.36.090 and 16.36.100 which contemplate that the Director of Agriculture will cause the destruction of livestock affected with any infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous disease which may affect the public welfare, and that you will cooperate with the government of the United States in the prevention and eradication of the diseases of domestic animals, it would appear that this is an emergency necessitating an expenditure out of the moneys appropriated to carry out the provisions of section 10, chapter 9, Laws of 1925, as last amended by section 1, chapter 126, Laws of 1933, RCW 43.86.100.  Accordingly, we can only suggest that you submit to the governor duplicate copies of a sworn statement setting forth the facts constituting the emergency and the estimated amount of money required therefor.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

WILLIAM C. KLEIN
Assistant Attorney General

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