This is a bit late. My only excuse is summer!
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 Seacoast Cat Club, the New Hampshire Mushers Association, 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, German Shepherd Dog Club of Southern New Hampshire, and the contributions of our supporters.
Many thanks to everyone who has helped out this year. If you can, please go to our website and make a contribution. We really couldn’t do this without your involvement.
Final Round-up of 2016 bills
This year out of the 10 bills DOGS followed, only one was signed into law. Some we supported; others we opposed or requested amendments to make them acceptable. Members of DOGS testified at public hearings, contacted legislators and shared DOGS legislative information with local clubs and friends. Our efforts made a difference in the outcome of several bills. If you would like to get more actively involved, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Signed by the Governor
HB1547 – prohibiting bestiality. DOGS opposed the bill as written due to concerns about common animal husbandry practices being included in the definition of bestiality. DOGS’s members testified in the House against the veterinary/animal husbandry exceptions being only for commercial breeders or licensed veterinarians as well as our other issues with the bill. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee amended the bill to address our concerns. The final version moves the crime of bestiality to being under the Animal Cruelty statutes as suggested by the Farm Bureau and the Department of Agriculture.
Supported by DOGS
HB661 – relative to record keeping for sold or transferred animals and making certain technical corrections to the law governing the sale or transfer of animals. Killed in the Senate at the request of the sponsor.
HB1230 – relative to information on dog licenses. Killed in the House. This bill was introduced at the request of DOGS. It would have added emergency contact information to the dog licensing records. While the Municipal and County Government Committee appreciated the intent, it was felt that changing the Town Clerks software would be too expensive.
HB1567 – authorizing friends of animal number plates. Killed in the House. The Transportation Committee was concerned with the costs of producing a specialty license plate.
HB1615 – regulating the transfer of dogs from out of state. The House Environment and Agriculture Committee kept this bill for Interim Study. This bill licenses and regulates out of state transporters of dogs and cats who deliver pets for transfer into New Hampshire from out of state. The committee felt that this bill, while good, could be improved.
Opposed by DOGS
HB1499 – relative to certificates for rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, or ferrets. Killed in the House. This bill would have eliminated the requirement that veterinarians send copies of certificates of rabies vaccination which they generate to town and city clerks. The House Environment and Agriculture Committee felt that eliminating this central repository puts our citizens at risk.
HB1576 – repealing the licensure of dogs. Killed in the House. Although the minority of the Municipal and County Government Committee felt that dog licensing was a tax, the majority thought “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.”
HB1571 – prohibiting the possession, purchase, or sale of equipment used for animal fighting. Killed in the House. In the House Calendar, the House Environment and Agriculture Committee stated: “The committee overwhelmingly agrees that animal fighting is inhumane. This bill attempts to use various types of paraphernalia found in the possession of a person, even without the evidence of any animal being present, as a basis for finding the person guilty of animal fighting and subject to a class B felony. Many legitimate animal handlers could be subject to this vague interpretation of law. This bill would presume that they are guilty and now are required to prove their innocence with no recourse. currently, there are sufficient laws in statute to regulate any animal fighting that may occur. There have not been any instances of animal fighting in NH for many years.”
SB415 – requiring appropriate hydration be made available to certain animals and establishing a committee to study harmful weather conditions for dogs. Killed in the House. Although DOGS supported changing the original bill’s requirement for having water available 24 hours a day to “appropriate hydration,” the House Environment and Agriculture Committee felt that the current law which requires providing adequate sustenance, which includes hydration, was sufficient. Also, they cited the testimony of members of DOGS that it would be impossible to set a standard about harmful weather conditions due to the variability in dog breeds and acclimatization.
SB505 – relative to the transfer of animals and birds. Killed in the Senate. This was a constituent requested bill which would have remove the requirement that Health Certificate be issued by a NH veterinarian, made a dog or cat Health Certificate valid for 30 days, removed facilities inspections prior to the issuance of a state license, removed the mandatory quarantine. The bill only required a 48 hour quarantine if the dog or cat show sign of sickness.. The Senate Executive Departments and Administration agreed with the testimony of DOGS members against this bill.