Apr 29, 18 - 1:34 PM
Good news! After devoting long hours last week to preparing an amendment, on April 24th, in a bipartisan vote, the House Environment and Agriculture Committee, voted SB 569 Ought to Pass as Amended. The committee has addressed many of our concerns that they heard in the testimony at the hearings.
You can read the bipartisan amendment here.
Some of the changes include:
The Cost of Care section has been eliminated. It is replaced with a study commission to explore the cost of care of confiscated animals using a state managed fund similar to the very successful state spay/neuter fund. Additionally, the commission will explore funding sources to ensure reliable source for the monies needed. DOGS will be represented on the commission.
The commission will examine the Department of Agriculture’s need to perform inspections of licensed pet vendors, which include animal shelters, animal rescues, pet stores, and commercial breeding kennels, and the funding of those inspections.
The definition of Breeding Females has been changed so a female who has not had a litter in 18 months shall not be counted as a breeding female. Also, it now says “kept and maintained for the demonstrated purpose of breeding and selling or transferring the dog’s offspring …” so the possibility of mere ownership of 7 unspayed females will not be enough for requiring the owner to be licensed by the state.
The exception to the licensing requirement now includes dog breeders who breed for “hunting; field work; drafting; and guarding, working, or herding livestock, as defined in RSA 21:34-a, II(a)(4); or participating in any lawful dog event, including, but not limited to, conformation shows or obedience trials, field trials, agility events, hunts, mushing” provided they have not bred 10 or more litters or sold 50 or more puppies in a 12 month period. Those who have done so will be required to be licensed by the state just like they are now.
The committee has added a definition of animal hoarding to the animal cruelty law. Animal hoarding is the problem at the root of most large-scale animal seizures. Adding a definition of animal hoarding to the law is endorsed by both the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society, two nationwide animal welfare organizations which help the victims of animal hoarding.
Not unexpectedly, HSUS is not happy with the changes to SB 569 and is campaigning hard against the amendment. It will be voted on by the House on May 2 or May 3. If it passes the House, then the bill will be sent over to the Senate to either “concur,” “not concur,” or ask for a committee of conference. Here’s what you can do help -this is important!
We NEED you to call your Representatives and ask them to support the Environment and Agriculture Committee’s amended version of SB569.
Also, we NEED you to call your Senator and ask them to vote to “Concur with the House changes”.
To find the contact information for your Representatives and Senator, go to http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx and put in your town.
Here are some talking points for your call –
The House did a great job, held multiple work sessions and put together a good bill that addresses the issues while also respecting constitutional rights and responsible dog owners.
The other important issues will be studied so all stake holders can come together and find appropriate and long term solutions.
If your Rep(s) or Senator brings up any of HSUS’s specific issues with the amended version of SB569 , here are some answers. These are specific answers to HSUS statements in their opposition announcement. The HSUS statements are in red.
Does not allow for mandatory inspections of commercial kennels, animal shelters, rescue organizations or pet stores...
All licensed facilities will still be subject to inspections.
Strips penalties for purposeful and egregious cruelty that results in the death of an animal...
If animal cruelty is so severe that it causes an animal’s death, it is already a felony in current law.
Adds a controversial hoarding provision...
Both the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society, two nationwide animal welfare organizations which help the victims of animal hoarding, endorse the inclusion of a definition of animal hoarding in state’s laws. It has been included in law in Illinois since 2001.
Exempts all categories of dog breeders, including existing commercial kennels, from licensing and basic animal care standards...
Any breeder who meets the current requirement for licensing as a commercial kennel will still have to be licensed.
All animal owners in New Hampshire are subject to the animal cruelty laws and must provide adequate care to their animals whether they are licensed by the state or not.
Prohibits anonymous complaints...
The Department of Agriculture has always had a policy against anonymous complaints. This bill does NOT prevent other entities, such as the local police, from investigating anonymous complaints if they should choose to do so.
Repeals existing law that allows the public to request records from a licensed facility regarding public health and animal welfare...
The public will still have the ability to inspect a licensee’s animal health certificates. What they will no longer have access to is a licensee’s business records including customer names and addresses in order to protect the customer’s privacy and security.
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This summary report on NH Legislation provides a snapshot of the viewpoints and status of the significant bills that are being considered during the 2018 NH Legislative Session.
DOGS is An American Kennel Club affiliated federation. Our members are involved in all aspects of pet ownership. To become a supporting member of DOGS’ programs and legislative advocacy efforts contact Elin Phinizy, DOGS Interim President, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dog Owners of the Granite State