(a) For the purposes of this section, Section 9-11-31, and Section 9-11-31.1, the term "protected game animals and game birds" means any species of bird or animal designated by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources by regulation pursuant to Section 9-2-7, species of the family Cervidae documented by the department to exist in the wild in this state prior to May 1, 2006, which are whitetail deer, elk, and fallow deer, or species of nonindigenous animals lawfully brought into this state prior to May 1, 2006, and their offspring.
(b) The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources may issue an annual game breeder's license to any properly accredited person, firm, corporation, or association authorizing a game breeder to engage in the business of raising protected game birds, game animals, or fur-bearing animals, for propagating purposes in this state. Before a license is issued, the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources shall make or cause to be made a thorough investigation and therefrom determine the qualifications, responsibility, and equipment of the applicant for entering upon the business of breeding, raising, and handling of game birds and game or fur-bearing animals. No license shall be issued or renewed for any person, firm, corporation, or association or any principal officer or partner in a firm, corporation, or association which is convicted of violating subsection (c) of Section 9-2-13 after May 1, 2006, or for the premises of any person, firm, corporation, or association whose license privileges are revoked after May 1, 2006. A game breeder's license shall expire on September 30 of the year in which issued, unless renewed, except that any license issued pursuant to this section between May 1, 2006, and September 30, 2006, shall expire on September 30, 2006. The commissioner shall promulgate rules for engaging in the business of breeding, raising, producing, and handling of protected game birds and game animals or fur-bearing animals or their eggs, embryos, or semen.
(c) The fees for issuance of licenses pursuant to this section shall be two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for all species, except members of the family Cervidae. The license fee for breeding members of the family Cervidae shall be two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for the first 50 animals, five hundred dollars ($500) for 51 to 100 animals, and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any number of animals in excess of 100. License fees shall be based on the number of animals on hand as of the immediately preceding April 1 of each year.