Upcoming Public Hearings and Meetings
Tuesday, February 22nd
- HB 325 – Licensing Pet Vendors
- House Environment & Agriculture Committee Subcommittee Meeting
- 10am, Room 303 Legislative Office Building, Concord
- HB 398 – Defining Service Animals
- House Commerce Committee
- 2:45pm, Room 302 Legislative Office Building, Concord
UPDATES ON PRIORITY BILLS
HB 398: Defining service animals (including search & rescue dog), guide animal trainer and service animal trainer as well as the access to facilities that must be provided these animals.
DOGS opposes the bill. The bill repeals the law allowing restaurant owners to have their dogs in certain areas of their establishments. The bill prohibits other dogs from wearing orange colored items. It also has other provisions that are not in compliance with Federal ADA provisions. A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0398.html
STATUS: Public hearing scheduled for 2/22/11 at 2:45pm, Room 302 LOB
ACTION NEEDED: You are encouraged to attend the public hearing or write the House Commerce Committee members. Explain to the representatives why this bill is not practical nor is it fair to repeal the newly passed restaurant owners exemption. The mailing list for House Commerce Committee members can be accessed at: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/committeedetails.aspx?code=H43
HB 526: Requires those convicted of animal abuse in NH or another state to register on a public animal abusers list. DOGS opposes the bill as abuse registers have not proven effective but are costly to maintain. A copy of HB 526 is available on line at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0526.html
STATUS: Awaiting a vote by the committee. DOGS (Joyce Arivella and Nancy Holmes) testified in opposition to the bill at the public hearing. Deb Cost alerted her county sheriff about the bill. The NH Sheriff’s Association and the NH Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys joined us in testifying against the bill.
HB 325: Defining & Licensing “Pet Vendors” HB 325 was requested by the NH Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s office.
The bill sets out requirements for “pet vendors”. The bill defines “pet vendor” as anyone who transfers ownership of 10 or more litters of dogs or cats or more than 50 animals or birds customarily used as household pets during a 12 month period. Hobby breeders and animal rescues/shelters that do not meet the “pet vendor” definition are not required to be licensed as such, nor are they included in requirements. The bill only makes a few changes from the current law for those who were previously defined as “conducting a business” and will come under the new definition as “pet vendors”. The major change that the bill makes is removing the exemption for animal shelters. Animal shelters that qualify as “pet vendors” would be required to follow the requirements.
At the subcommittee meeting on HB 325, animal shelter representatives opposed the shelters having to provide health certificates and comply with a 7 day quarantine period (they prefer 2 days). They maintained that having to secure health certificates and abide by the quarantine adds additional burdensome costs for a nonprofit operation.
DOGS supports HB 325 and requested amendments to clarify the operational aspects of the bill. DOGS’ requested amendments would require that pet vendors scrutinize all animals (not just those with unknown owners) for positive identification before transfer, and all dogs that are imported be transferred with health certificates (not only those transferred by pet vendors). This amendment is supported by the State Veterinarian. DOGS supports removing the exemption for animal shelters. These facilities should be required to sell pets with health certificates, quarantine to protect public health safety, and provide a warranty of fitness or disclosure of health condition, especially if they undertake importing animals from out of state.
A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0325.html
STATUS: Subcommittee Mtg., February 22 at 10am, Room 303 LOB.
Other Bill Updates
HB 57: Establishing a committee to study the penalties for menace, nuisance, or vicious dogs. DOGS opposes the bill (see Legislative Update #1).
STATUS: The House Criminal Justice Committee voted “inexpedient to legislate” in accordance with the subcommittee recommendation. A copy of HB 57 is available on line at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0057.html
HB 406: Allows a local governing body to make additional regulations concerning the licensing (including fee increases of up to $2 per license) and restraining of dogs as well as affix penalties. DOGS is monitoring the bill. The current $1 fee was increased from 50 cents in 1994 and has not been increased since to fund localities’ processing and license tag costs. A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0406.html
STATUS: awaiting committee recommendation vote.
SB 55: Requiring certain engine coolants and antifreeze to include an aversive agent so that they are rendered unpalatable. DOGS supports this requirement. A copy of the bill is available on line at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/SB0055.html
STATUS: Awaiting a vote in Senate Energy Committee.