Upcoming Public Hearings and Meetings
Tuesday, February 8th
- HB 325 – Licensing Pet Vendors
- House Environment & Agriculture Committee Subcommittee Meeting
- 3pm, Room 303 Legislative Office Building, Concord
Thursday, February 10th
- SB 55 – Adding an aversion agent to anti-freeze type products.
- Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Public Hearing
- 10:15am, Room 102 Legislative Office Building, Concord
- HB 526 – Requires those convicted of animal abuse to register on a public abusers list.
- House Criminal Justice Committee Public Hearing,
- 11am, Room 204 Legislative Office Building, Concord
- HB 406 – Local option to increase dog licensing fee for locality from $1 to $3.
- House Municipal & County Gov’t Committee Public Hearing
- 11:45am, Room 301 Legislative Office Building, Concord
UPDATE – HB 325: Defining & Licensing “Pet Vendors”
HB 325: Relative to licensing and regulating “Pet Vendors” and requiring health certificates. A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0325.html
Current Status: Subcommittee Mtg., February 8 at 3pm, Room 303 LOB.
HB 325 SUMMARY
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 new requirements include:
- If from out-of-state, any animal must be held for at least 7 days before being offered for transfer. This is an expansion from the 48 hour quarantine that is current law.
- Have a disaster plan included on their license application.
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 current and these additional requirements.
At the public hearing on HB 325, the Nashua animal shelter and HSUS 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). 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.
Other Bill Summaries
HB 57: Establishing a committee to study the penalties for menace, nuisance, or vicious dogs. DOGS opposes the bill (see Legislative Update #1). The House Criminal Justice Committee is expected to recommend “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 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
HB 406: Allows a local governing body to make additional regulations concerning the licensing (including fee increases) and restraining of dogs as well as affix penalties. A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0406.html
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 57 is available on line at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0526.html
SB 55: Requiring certain engine coolants and antifreeze to include an aversive agent so that they are rendered unpalatable. In the past legislative session, DOGS supported a similar bill but the bill encountered opposition from manufacturers and retailers and failed to pass. A copy of the bill is available on line at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/SB0055.html