Enforcement actions; jurisdiction of commissioner of agriculture, district and superior courts
Section 37. As used in this section, the word “commissioner” shall mean the commissioner of agriculture or his designee, and any rules, regulations, orders, licenses or permits issued under this chapter. The commissioner may assess administrative fines, not to exceed $500 per offense, for violations of this chapter. Each animal involved in a violation may constitute a separate offense, and each day that a violation continues after receipt of written notice of such violation from the department may constitute a separate offense. Total fines assessed in any given action under this section shall not exceed $10,000. The commissioner may deny any application for, suspend or revoke any license or permit issued under this chapter upon a finding of consistent or continual failure to keep or produce records required by this chapter. Denial, suspension or revocations shall be effective pending resolution of any appeal, unless otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. Without alleging or proving the lack of other adequate remedies at law, the commissioner may apply for an injunction to restrain any violation of this chapter in order to protect human or animal health. The remedies provided in this section are available in addition to, and without limiting, any other penalties provided by law or equity, in this chapter or elsewhere. The district and superior courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction to enforce this chapter and to restrain violations thereof. Enforcement actions brought under this section and appeals thereof shall conform to the applicable provisions of chapter 30A and hearing regulations promulgated thereunder. The commissioner may promulgate regulations to implement this section. The commissioner may issue orders necessary to enforce this chapter and to restrain violations thereof. Such orders shall be effective pending resolution of any appeal, unless otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.