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SAOVA NEWS AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Session Calendar
2015 State Legislative Sessions Calendar
National Conference of State Legislatures. This calendar lists the dates state legislatures will convene and adjourn along with any special sessions.

Crossover Deadlines
2015 State Legislature Crossover Deadlines
StateScape Policy Tracking. Table lists dates bills must crossover to either House or Senate.

State Legislative Websites
State Legislatures Internet Links
Drop down menu for websites of the fifty state legislatures, the District of Columbia and the Territories. You can select to view specific website content materials (such as, bills, press rooms, statutes) from all states, one state or a selected list of states.

STATE LEGISLATION

INDIANA. Proposed rule change, Section 312 IAC 9-10-16 Dog training ground permit. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has posted proposed rule changes for Section 312 IAC 9-10-16 Dog training ground permit. The proposed rule changes would adversely affect beagling, training, and field trials in Indiana by placing time restrictions on field trials and unreasonably limiting training opportunities.

(1) No fences that divide the training ground into parcels less than 10 acres would be allowed. This would eliminate smaller pens necessary for use in training unstarted dogs and puppies. These smaller pens are integral to the training of beagles and other dogs that will later be used to hunt rabbits.
(2) Proposed rule establishes a new requirement that the training ground cannot be used for more than 8 hours a day during a licensed field trial. This appears to be completely arbitrary and may limit the number of dogs that could attend a trial and be tested that day.
(3) Additional record keeping has been proposed including name and address of each person from whom rabbits are obtained and the dates and numbers of all rabbits released into the training ground. Also required would be the recording of date of death or discovery of a dead rabbit and proximate cause of mortality of any rabbit. We see no justifiable purpose in reporting rabbit mortality. Rabbits are not long-lived and are utilized as a food source by many predators. In the majority of deaths there will not be any evidence of the cause as predators will have either eaten or carried off the remains.
(4) There are questionable and vague requirements for supplemental feeding and watering of rabbits, with no criteria listed, and specified percentages of types of cover.

Indiana Natural Resources Commission held a public hearing on this and other proposed amendments June 4, 2015. STATUS: Comment period is closed. Adoption of a final rule is expected by July 15, 2015.

NORTH CAROLINA. HB 159 Regulate Commercial Dog Breeders. Once again the misguided McCrory/HSUS breeder regulation bill has been introduced by Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln). This latest version attempts to create an exemption for those who keep dogs exclusively for herding, guarding livestock or farm animals, hunting, tracking, or exhibiting in dog shows, performance events, or field and obedience trials. However, the bill defines commercial breeder as anyone who owns or maintains 11 or more female dogs over the age of 6 months primarily for the purpose of breeding. This bases the law once again on ownership and not sales. The dictionary defines commerce as the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale yet HB 159 requires no sales activity to enact regulation. The bill includes requirements for kennel standards, outdoor lighting, perimeter fencing, temperature control, and record keeping. STATUS UPDATE: The House approved and voted on a substitute bill just in time to make the April 30 crossover deadline. The detailed requirements listed in the original version were removed. The bill is now in line with Rep. Saine's attempt last session at what he calls sensible standards of care. HB159 still includes 10 intact females over the age of 6 months capable of reproduction as the threshold for being named a large commercial breeder. Any definition of commercial breeder should be based on commerce, not numbers owned. This substitute bill also moves the so-called standards out of Chapter 19A animal protection (animal welfare act) to Chapter 14 of NC statutes, Criminal Law. Items such as: Daily assessment of each dog's overall health and behavior; and Appropriate and prompt treatment or attention to any deviation in health are so vague they could be considered unconstitutional under criminal law. Because they are so interpretive they are most likely unenforceable. Failure to comply with any standard is punishable by a misdemeanor PER dog and each violation is a separate offense. Violations of such care standards should NOT be separate criminal offenses. The bill was referred to the Senate and is now in Ways and Means Committee. The Senate may refuse to act on this bill again as they did last session. It is important that NC dog owners, breeders, and sportsmen contact their Senator with opposition to this bill. Let the Senate know that you support their decision to once again reject this bill.

PENNSYLVANIA. Senate Bill 373 providing for the offense of cruelty to animals (anti-tethering). Sponsor: Sen. Alloway (R-District 33). Dogs may not be tethered outdoors if a severe weather warning has been issued for the area by the National Weather Service; or for a longer than 30 minutes if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. All dogs housed outdoors must have shelter meeting specific requirements: Moisture proof floors raised 3 inches from the ground; roof extending 8 inches over doorway to protect from rain; seasonal protection from sun; between November 1 and March 31, the structure must have a windbreak at the entrance. Provides for a summary offense if a person violates the tethering and shelter provisions, second and subsequent offenses shall be a misdemeanor of the third degree. STATUS: passed Senate 6/3/2015 and has been referred to House Judiciary Committee.

PENNSYLVANIA. HB 351 Animal Abuser Registry. Sponsor: Rep. Harry Readshaw (D, Allegheny). Registry to be maintained by local sheriffs and forwarded to PA State Police for inclusion in central public database. Notification of all schools, humane societies, animal shelters, and businesses within one-half mile of listed abuser's address. Registration records in database remain for 15 years. An animal abuser is defined as anyone over 18 convicted of a felony violation of a statute protecting animal welfare. STATUS: Referred to Judiciary 2/9/2015.

TEXAS. Right to Hunt and Fish. Senate Joint Resolution 22. Introduced 1/9/2015 by Senator Brandon Creighton (R, 4). Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildfire. STATUS: Passed and filed with Secretary of State to be placed on the ballot November 3, 2015.

TEXAS. Right to Hunt and Fish. House Joint Resolution 61. Introduced 12/17/2014 by Representative Trent Ashby (R-57). Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildfire. STATUS: Passed and filed with Secretary of State to be placed on the ballot November 3, 2015.

TEXAS. HB 2562 Sheltering and Tethering of Outdoor Dogs Sponsors: Sheets, Laubenberg, Farrar, Crownover, and Senfronia Thompson. HB 2562 mandates excessive and unclear provisions for sheltering and tethering of outdoor dogs. The current language could be interpreted to apply to any dog left unattended even temporarily or for a few hours in a backyard when weather might not demand shelter. The bill will require nearly all dog owners in Texas to purchase new and larger dog houses to avoid possible criminal charges. Calculating tether lengths for larger dogs per formula in HB 2562 could result in overly long tethers which could become tangled more readily. STATUS: PLACED ON CALENDAR; NO VOTE; SESSION ADJOURNED

TEXAS. HB 235 Animal Abuser Registry, Central Database. Filed 11/11/14 by Rep Jessica Farrar (D, 148). Establishes an animal abuser registry for anyone over 17 years of age with felony conviction of animal cruelty. Central database available to the public to be maintained by Department of Public Safety; registration required annually for 10 years. Failure to register is a Class C misdemeanor. Database may be established and maintained only if sufficient funds are available. Funding may be accepted from any source including government agencies, private foundations or individuals. STATUS: LEFT PENDING IN COMMITTEE; SESSION ADJOURNED

WYOMING. S7 Dog Tethering. Prefiled 12/11/2014 by Senator Gerald Geis (R, 20). Prohibits tethering unless dog is within sight of a responsible party. Tether must be 5 times length of dog or 10 feet, whichever is greater; no tethering in certain inclement weather conditions; no tethering of dogs under six months of age. DIED IN COMMITTEE 3/5/15.



Archive - previous tracking sheets

2012 brought a number of animal abuser registry bills. Perhaps the most notable legislation was the HSUS engineered ban on bear and bobcat hunting with hounds in California. Lawmakers also passed a ban on exotic animal ownership in Ohio.2012 legislation tracking spreadsheet

2011 was filled with a diversity of legislation and included a large number of very dangerous bills to establish Animal Abuser Registries. ALL animal abuser registry bills were defeated. View spreadsheet in PDF format.

2010 legislation included numerous bills to restrict tethering; increase penalties for animal cruelty to felonies; and of course regulate dog breeding under so called "puppy mill" bills. View spreadsheet in PDF format.

2009 legislation included commercial breeder bills and confinement bills similar to California's Prop2.
View spreadsheet in PDF format







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