2014 NH Legislative Update #15
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Upcoming Public Hearings & Legislative Meetings
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
House Fish & Game Committee, Room 307 LOB
10:15 AM: Subcommittee meeting to discuss SB 407 – Banning wolf hybrid dogs and giving Fish & Game Dept. jurisdiction for the enforcement.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Senate Judiciary Committee, Room 100 State House
10:30 AM: Public Hearing on HB 1410 – including pets in domestic protection orders.
CALL TO ACTION – Shelters should provide health certificate
Unfortunately, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee voted 5-0 to kill HB 1178 (requiring shelters to provide a health certificate issued within 14 days of the sale/transfer of a dog, cat or ferret). While health certificates are required for pets imported into the state, they are not for those that originate in NH. The Senate Committee agreed with the shelters that the cost of providing a health certificate was too burdensome for these nonprofits. The Senate will vote on the recommendation on April 17th. You are encouraged to contact your state senator – ask them to vote to overturn the committee report and vote to pass the bill. Find your senator and their contact information at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
Remind senators that health certificates and rabies vaccination are provided to protect public and pet health (including other pets that come into contact with the newly acquired pet). This nominal cost seems little to ask for the protection from infectious diseases.
2014 NH Legislative Status Summary
SB 407: As amended in the Senate; defines and regulates the possession of wolf hybrid dogs. Prohibits anyone from newly acquiring or breeding a wolf hybrid. Requires those currently owned to be spayed/neutered. Gives the Fish & Game Dept. authority to inspect and adopt rules. Repeals the exemption allowing them in the state temporarily for competitive events.
STATUS: Passed the Senate with amendments. Subcommittee meeting of the House Fish & Game Committee on 4/15 at 10:15am. A Copy of the bill can be obtained at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
DOGS Position: The NH statutes already prohibited anyone from newly acquiring a wolf hybrid and requires spay/neutering (RSA466-A:3). The Senate amendment to the current law and the new chapter dedicated to Wolf Hybrids is unnecessary. The Dept. of Agriculture should retain jurisdiction as these are not the kind of “wild” animals that Fish & Game oversees.
HB 1144: As amended, creates a committee to study access to arrest records and case disposition information dissemination. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Passed House. Senate committee recommends passage.
DOGS Position: DOGS supports studying the issue of internet harassment that can ensue when someone is charged with a crime, such as animal cruelty, but not convicted. This bill was requested by someone harassed on the internet after an animal cruelty charge.
HB 1178: Removes the animal shelter exemption from the requirements prior to sale/transfer of dogs, cats, ferrets. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Recommended Inexpedient to Legislate (5-0), Full Senate vote on 4/17. Passed House (157-145 vote).
DOGS Position: Support removing animal shelter exemptions. Animal shelters should comply with the health certificate for sale/transfer.
HB 1261: Increases the fee for notice of civil forfeiture of an unlicensed dog from $5 to $10. Proposed senate amendment changes the fee to the cost of mail delivery of the notice. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Passed House. Senate Public & Municipal Committee recommends passage with amendment, Senate votes 4/17.
DOGS Position: Support; the fee increase is reasonable, and reflects a municipality’s cost to send the notice by certified mail.
HB 1410: Allows animals to be included in domestic protective orders. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Passed House. Senate Judiciary Committee public hearing on 4/29 at 10:30am.
DOGS Position: Support; including household pets in domestic protective orders may be necessary to protect the owner’s and pet’s safety.
HB 1451: Establishing New Hampshire Canine Veterans’ Day on March 13th. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Passed House. Awaiting public hearing in Senate.
DOGS Position: Support.
HB 1568: As amended by the House: Increasing the penalties for “willfully” injuring a service dog to include replacement of the dog, and requires service dogs to meet the minimum training standards for public access as set by the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners. A copy of the bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Passed House as amended. Senate committee recommends passage.
DOGS Position: The requirement to leash one’s animal in the proximity of a service dog was removed from the bill and the threshold of culpability for injuring a service dog was changed back to “willingly” (currently in statute).
HB 1579: As amended, the bill allows the traps but increases the fines and. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Awaiting vote in Senate. Passed House with amendment.
DOGS Position: DOGS supports the amended version of the bill. The bill is in response to an incident in 2012 when a dog was fatally injured when caught in a conibear trap that was illegally set. Trapping wild animals is necessary to protect livestock, control infectious diseases and avoid property damage.
HB 1636: Allowing reduced fee spay/neuter for families at or below 130% of the poverty level. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.
STATUS: Passed the House. Awaiting Senate public hearing.
DOGS Position: DOGS supports.
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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 2014 NH Legislative Session. Yvonne Nanasi, DOGS Legislative Consultant, prepares the “Update”. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
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 Joyce Arivella, DOGS President, at DOGS@NHdogs.org