2016 Legislative Update #5

Upcoming Hearings

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on

  • HB1615-FNregulating the transfer of dogs from out of state.
    When: 10 a.m.  Where:  Room 303, the Legislative Office Building.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hold a hearing on​

  • HB 1547-FNprohibiting beastiality.
    When: 1 p.m.  Where:  Room 204, the Legislative Office Building.


New Bills of Interest

 HB1615-FNregulating the transfer of dogs from out of state.

STATUS: The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on 2/16/16 at 10 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Support  HB 1615 This bill defines an animal importer as someone who brings animals into NH with the intent of transferring ownership of them and requires importers to be registered with the Department of Agriculture.  Additionally, it defines a transfer event and requires animal importers to notify the department of these events.  If passed, it would protect consumers by regulating the retail rescue organizations.

HB 1547-FNprohibiting beastiality.

STATUS: The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hold a hearing on 2/29/16 at 1 p.m.

DOGS POSITION: Oppose as written  DOGS does NOT support bestiality, but, although the bill allows for “accepted veterinary procedures,” “insemination of animals,” and “accepted animal husbandry practices,” these exceptions only apply to either veterinarians or “animals bred for commercial purposes.”  This would exclude many small hobby dog and cat breeders, small farmers or horse owners who are not breeding for commercial purposes.  Please email the committee members a polite note explaining that not all animal breeding is done for commercial purposes and ask for an amendment eliminating that requirement.

Update on recent bills

HB1571 prohibiting the possession, purchase, or sale of equipment used for animal fighting.

STATUS: The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on 2/2/16 at 10 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Oppose  At the hearing, the sponsor introduced an amendment that removed “breaking sticks, treadmills, unprescribed veterinary medicine and treatment supplies” from the definition of animal fighting paraphernalia.  HSUS and several police officers spoke in favor of the bill.  The Farm Bureau and a member of public spoke against.  Both said they were against dog fighting but had concerns about some of the implements included in the definition of paraphernalia.  Spring poles are sold by Amazon as exercise equipment for active dogs. 

HB1499relative to certificates for rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, or ferrets

STATUS: The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on 2/2/16 at 11 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Oppose The State Veterinarian and a DOGS member spoke against.  Both discussed the need for accurate and authentic rabies certificates.  The only person in favor was the sponsor.


SB505-FNrelative to the transfer of animals and birds.

  • STATUS: Inexpedient to Legislate.

HB1230relative to information on dog licenses

  • STATUS: Inexpedient to Legislate.

  HB 1567 -FN-A authorizing friends of animal number plates

  • STATUS: Inexpedient to Legislate.

 HB1576- FN-Lrepealing the licensure of dogs

  • STATUS: Inexpedient to Legislate.

 

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2016 – Legislative Update #4

Upcoming Hearings

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold hearings on

  • HB1571prohibiting the possession, purchase, or sale of equipment used for animal fighting. When: 10 a.m. Where:  Room 303, the Legislative Office Building.
  • HB1499 relative to certificates for rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, or ferrets When: 11 a.m.  Where:  Room 303, the Legislative Office Building.

Bills of Interest

HB1571 prohibiting the possession, purchase, or sale of equipment used for animal fighting.

STATUS: The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on 2/2/16 at 10 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Oppose

This bill makes it a crime to own, buy, sell or manufacture animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in animal fighting.  DOGS opposes the inclusion of “breaking sticks, treadmills, unprescribed veterinary medicine and treatment supplies” in the definition of animal fighting paraphernalia. These are things that many dog owners use or have.  Pitbull Rescues advise owners to have a a breaking stick on hand in case they need to break up a dog fight which can occur when one has multiple dogs in the home. We have been told that amendment will be brought in addressing our concerns.

HB1499relative to certificates for rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, or ferrets

STATUS: The House Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on 2/2/16 at 11 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Oppose

This bill would eliminate the requirement for veterinarians to send a copy of the rabies certificate to the town clerk. This might reduce the compliance with dog licensing laws.  If an unlicensed dog were to bite a person, there would be no way to quickly determine its owner or its vaccination status resulting in the possibility of the victim having to go through post-exposure prophylaxis which is both expensive and painful.


Update on recent bills

SB505-FNrelative to the transfer of animals and birds.

STATUS: Committee Report – Inexpedient to Legislate (4 -0). The full Senate will vote 2/4/16.

Several of the committee’s senators thanked the DOGS’s representatives for their testimony.

HB1230relative to information on dog licenses

STATUS: Committee Report – Inexpedient to Legislate (13-0). The full House will vote 2/4/16.

From the House Calendar: Keith Ammon for Municipal and County Government. The purpose of this bill is admirable and the mandate is minimal. At the time of issuing a dog license, the issuing authority would be required to ask the owner if there should be a second contact name added to the license. This would facilitate a second contact person in the event the original could not be contacted or, in emergencies, if the original person was unable to care for the dog. It would simply direct the licensing authority to add the name of that contact person with contact information. The possibility that this would require a change to the form used for licensing was considered but the sponsor felt that simply adding the information to the bottom of the form would be sufficient. However, the committee felt it inevitable that the license form would require a change and any software recording licensing would be affected and require a change. There appears to be no impediment to adding a note on the license form to indicate a second contact person but mandating it would likely impose a financial burden.

HB 1567 -FN-A authorizing friends of animal number plates

STATUS: Committee Report – Inexpedient to Legislate (18-0). The full House will vote 2/4/16.

From the House Calendar: Alan Cohen for Transportation. The committee evaluated the bill in relation to all such specialty license plates. Based on previous testimony by the Department of Safety, the cost of producing specialty license plates is approximately $300K based substantially on the cost of software changes

HB1576- FN-Lrepealing the licensure of dogs

STATUS: Committee Report – Majority: Inexpedient to Legislate. Minority: Ought to Pass with Amendment. Vote (12-3)

From the House Calendar: Rep. Susan Treleaven for the Majority of Municipal and County Government. The proposal to eliminate licensing of dogs has been before this legislature several times and was always defeated. Although there is evidence that this practice was instituted to fund “damage done by dogs” to local sheep, it has become more than that today. The fact that other animals are not required to be licensed was brought up but most of those cited were animals that are normally confined and most not subject to spreading rabies. Without licensing, strays would be almost impossible to identify, the requirement for rabies vaccinations could be largely ignored and many programs of benefit to the public would go unfunded. Testing for rabies at the State Diagnostic Lab would be curtailed as well as other animal related programs and even the office of the State Veterinarian would suffer. The committee saw little support for this legislation, which was also the case in prior year attempts to do the same.

Keith Ammon for the Minority of Municipal and County Government. The history of dog licensure can be traced back to the 1800’s when it was a community fund to be used to compensate farmers for damage to their livestock by dogs. It has since morphed into a compulsory regulatory scheme, and once a tax or regulatory scheme is in place it’s almost impossible to dislodge it. Outside interests lobby to keep it. Quite often, if a dog owner forgets to renew their license, warrants are issued by the town and the police are dispatched to their home to remind them to pay. This seems like a preposterous use of law enforcement resources. The United Kingdom abolished mandatory dog licensing in 1987 and canine chaos has not ensued. Some dog owners resent being taxed on their best friend.

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WIn some, Lose some

Today, thanks to all your letters and after some great testimony by members of DOGS in opposition to the bill and no one speaking in support, the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee voted unanimously that SB505 was “Inexpedient to Legislate.”

Unfortunately, our emergency contact  bill, HB 1230, met the same fate. 

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2016 – Legislative Update

January 16, 2016

DOGS’ legislative advocacy program is made possible by contributions from our members and local dog and cat clubs. We are grateful for the continuing support of the Granite State Shetland Sheepdog Club of South East New Hampshire, the Lakes Region Kennel Club, the Merrimack Valley Kennel Club, the Newfoundland Club of New England, the Souhegan Kennel Club, and the contributions of our supporters.

 The Legislature’s computer system is being upgraded.  This has produced problems with emails not being received.  It seems to be improving but is not perfect yet.  Also, remember that Representatives and Senators receive a lot of emails about bills and may not be able to respond to them all.

 The Senate has a page about testifying before their committees.  They also encourage people to email their testimony to the committee staff.  You can attach a copy of your testimony and the staff will make sure it gets to senators on the committee. Please remember to copy DOGS (dogs.nh@gmail.com ) on your emails so we are aware of them.

****Important Upcoming Hearing ****

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Senate Executive Departments and Administration  Committee will hold a hearing on SB505-FN  relative to the transfer of animals and birds. When: 9:30 a.m.  Where:  Room 101, the Legislative Office Building.

Letters should be sent to the committee staff, Deb Chroniak.

Bills of Interest

SB505-FNrelative to the transfer of animals and birds.

 STATUS: The Senate Executive Departments and Administration  Committee will hold a hearing on 1/27/16 at 9:30 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Oppose Continue reading

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2016 – Legislative Update #2

January 16, 2016

DOGS’ legislative advocacy program is made possible by contributions from our members and local dog and cat clubs. We are grateful for the continuing support of the Granite State Shetland Sheepdog Club of South East New Hampshire, the Lakes Region Kennel Club, Merrimack Valley Kennel Club, the Newfoundland Club of New England, and the Souhegan Kennel Club

This year we will need some extra help with hearings and emails.  Our long-time legislative consultant is on sabbatical and some of our regular hearing attendees have health issues which will preclude their attendance in Concord. So please, if you can make it, try to attend the hearings or email the committee members about the upcoming bills.    Please remember to copy DOGS on your emails so we are aware of them.

Upcoming Hearings

 January 19, 2016

The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1567 -FN-A authorizing friends of animal number plates When: 11:40 a.m.  Where:  Room 203, the Legislative Office Building.

Bills of Interest

HB 1567 -FN-A authorizing friends of animal number plates

STATUS: The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on 1/19 at 11:40 a.m.

DOGS POSITION: Support  What’s not to like about this bill?  This bill will create a “Friends of Animals” automobile license plate similar to the “Moose” plates.  After paying the costs, all monies raised from sales of the plates will be equally divided between the N.H. Companion Animal Neutering Fund and the UNH Veterinary Diagnostic labs.  The N.H. Legislature traditionally does not like specialty license plates, so if you support this bill, please let the Transportation Committee know.  You can find a list of the committee members, their phone numbers, and emails here.

Update on recent bills Continue reading

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