2019 Legislation Update #5

A lot has been happening since our last update. Please find details below, along with some related articles. 

Also, please continue to contact your Senators and Representatives to ensure they hear your thoughts and concerns on all of the bills this year. If you have questions on how to best do this, don’t hesitate to reach out. 
BILL UPDATES
If you have any questions on a bill below, or one not listed, please let us know.

SB 77 -FN, relative to costs of care for animals seized in cruelty cases and prohibiting the future ownership of animals in certain animal cruelty cases.
Attached please find the latest version of the bill which they have added a return of unused bond if found innocent, but not a full refund. Also read the first two articles below as the recent Supreme Court ruling could have impacts on bills like this.

SB 161relative to the definition of pet vendor.
They moved amphibians, reptiles, fish, or small mammals to rulemaking, which lets the Dept of Ag determine threshold, but have done nothing to address the numbers for dogs, cats, or birds to a reasonable threshold. Dropping the current transfer number from 50 to 20 for dogs is a 60% decrease from current law and would label even the small-time breeder a Pet Vendor.

HB 501 -FNestablishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.
Retained in Committee.

HB 688 -FNrelative to transfer and inspection of animals.
No update at this time.

HB316 -FN, relative to the law governing training permits for the training of bird dogs and trail or tree hounds.
Voted Inexpedient to Legislate

HB 426establishing a committee to study allowing town clerks to accept proof of certain exemptions from the rabies vaccine for the purpose of registering dogs.
The hearing was Tuesday and was met with many in support, as well as many who opposed due to the study behind rabies titers not being complete.

HB 331relative to the duties of a veterinarian.
The hearing was Tuesday and similar to HB 426 as this also deals with rabies titers and vaccine dosage amounts.

HB 371adding cats to the definition of commercial kennel.
The hearing was Tuesday and was met with majority of support as the cat community would like to avoid being considered Pet Vendors in current definitions. With SB 161 removing the commercial kennel definition altogether, the topic was discussed briefly as well, and aside from HSUS many made it clear that a one-size-fits-all definition was not appropriate, including Rep. Flanagan who sponsored the bill.

HB 376establishing a commission to study best practices for companion animal groomers.
This hearing was Tuesday and the bill was opposed as written by most due to not including a professional groomer on the study commission. There were questions about if licensing groomers in NH is needed and a voluntary registration idea was raised. It seems the commission will be tasked with determining if this is needed, or if more education on best practices would be a good step.

Full list of bills


NEXT HEARINGS:
At this time only the following hearing is scheduled. Stay tuned for an update once the calendar comes out on Friday.

March 6 at 10:00am, LOB Room 302
House Commerce and Consumer Affairs
HB389: requiring the department of business and economic affairs to prepare materials for businesses relative to service dogs
This bill requires the availability, upon request, of the items below for businesses:
(a) A decal suitable for posting in a front window or door stating that service dogs are welcome and that misrepresentation of a dog as a service dog is violation of RSA 167-D:8.
(b) A brochure detailing permissible questions a business owner may ask in order to determine whether a dog is a service dog, proper answers to those questions, and guidelines defining behavior by the business owner that may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Such brochure shall also contain language stating that persons who have asthma or are allergic to animals may also be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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2019 Legislation Update #4

SB77: relative to costs of care for animals seized in cruelty cases and prohibiting the future ownership of animals in certain animal cruelty cases.

Public in attendance: 40 in support, 10 opposed
This isn’t a horrible bill, but it needs some fine tuning of word selection, language to refund cost of care bonds if found innocent, first right of refusal for co-owners of animals who weren’t involved in cruelty, to name a few things that were raised in opposition. No vote completed at hearing.

——————-
SB161: relative to the definition of pet vendor

Public in attendance: 34 in support, 19 opposed
We need to do some work on this one, so stay tuned for next steps. But overall, I thought we did a great job explaining our concerns, including: unreasonable threshold to become a pet vendor, zoning concerns, public health concerns due to non-compliance and avoidance of detection, and trying to justify why responsible home-based breeders who breed for preservation, sport, etc., more often than not only dream about making a profit. No vote completed at hearing.

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HB688: relative to transfer and inspection of animals

Public in attendance: 54 opposed, 2 in support
I think it was clear out of the gate that this bill is a mess, especially when presenting it Bixby had to explain all the amendments he was going to submit. We know he tried hard to get it right, but just went a little too far throughout the whole bill. The testimony given was superb and the committee seemed thoroughly invested in listening and understanding our concerns. We were able to repurpose a lot from SB161, but had to do a deeper dive in some areas, such as the lemon law, when to register, privacy concerns of database, etc. No vote completed at hearing.

 

Next steps coming soon!
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2019 Legislation Update #3

NEWS IN: The hearing for SB161, the Pet Vendor bill, was just announced and will be heard Thursday morning at 9:30, following SB77, the Senate’s Cost of Care bill at 9am. Then at 1pm is the hearing for HB688. Come join us for a fun filled day at the State Capital!

 SB77: Feb 7 at 9am, SH Room 103(relative to costs of care for animals seized in cruelty cases and prohibiting the future ownership of animals in certain animal cruelty cases)

This bill adds a preliminary hearing within 14 days of the lawful seizure of animals, outlines that cost of care is to provide confiscated animals with humane care and adequate and necessary veterinary services. It also adds language to prevent ownership for varying lengths of time for those convicted of a misdemeanor, among other changes.

 

SB161: Feb 7 at 9:30am, SH Room 103

(relative to the definition of pet vendor)

This bill removes definition of commercial kennel and defines Pet Vendor as anyone who transfers 20 or more live animals or birds used as household pets (all non-livestock species), in a 12 month period.

 

HB688: Feb 7 at 1pm, LOB Room 301-303

(relative to transfer and inspection of animals)

This bill introduces the definition of Hobby Breeder and includes anyone who transfers 1-30 live animals or birds (all non-livestock species) in a 12 month period, requiring inspection and registration, with contact information of them and anyone receiving an animal to go into the proposed Animal Transfer Database.

 

Bill details: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=SB161,SB77,HB688&txtsessionyear=2019   

 

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2019 Legislation Update #2

New hearing dates and times for next week. Please attend to show your support or opposition.

 

HB484: Feb 5 at 10am, LOB 303

(relative to group dog licenses)

This bill changes Group Licenses to increase by $1 per dog over the initial 5 dogs. $2 of the license fee will continue to go to companion animal  neutering fund, with the remainder going to the town or municipality.

 

HB296: Feb 5 at 1pm, LOB Room 210-211

(relative to animal waste cleanup in state forests and state parks)

This bill requires any person bringing an animal into a state park or state forest to clean up or remove all solid waste produced by such animal.

 

HB501: Feb 5 at 1:30pm, LOB Room 303

(establishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases)

This bill would establish a cost of care fund to assist municipalities with caring for animals during animal cruelty cases. Revenue to the fund would be from $0.50 of every dog license fee paid, one-half of the fees collected from registration for distribution of commercial animal feed, and court-ordered restitution for care in animal cruelty cases.

 

HB688: Feb 7 at 1pm, LOB Room 301-303

(relative to transfer and inspection of animals)

This bill introduces the definition of Hobby Breeder and includes anyone who transfers 1-30 live animals or birds in a 12 month period, requiring inspection (adherence to Ag Part 1704) and registration.

 

HB512: Feb 12 at 1:30pm, LOB Room 305

(relative to dogs on hiking trails in state parks and state forests)

This bill allows dogs off leash on hiking trails in state parks and state forests.

 

Bill details available here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=HB484,HB501,HB296,HB688,HB512&txtsessionyear=2019

Full list with all bills we’re monitoring available here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=HB484,HB501,HB512,HB513,HB282,HB316,HB361,HB249,HB371,HB376,HB389,HB426,HB442,HB331,HB688,HB296,HB605,SB77,HB696,SB161&txtsessionyear=2019

 

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2019 Legislative Updates

We have a number of bills we’re monitoring this session. To get us started I am providing info on the top priority items. There is a brief overview for each, but we all need to look at them in greater detail to uncover additional areas that may be of concern.

HB688: relative to transfer and inspection of animals

This bill introduces the definition of Hobby Breeder and includes anyone who transfers 1-30 live animals or birds in a 12 month period, requiring inspection (adherence to Ag Part 1704) and registration. 

Hearing Tentatively scheduled for Jan. 29 at 4pm. Room TBD.

SB161: relative to the definition of pet vendor

This bill removes definition of commercial kennel and defines Pet Vendor as anyone who transfers 20 or more live animals or birds used as household pets, in a 12 month period.

No hearing scheduled yet.

HB605: relative to criminal penalties for possession, transfer, or manufacture of animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to be present at, aiding in, or contributing to such fighting

This bill classifies the following items as animal fighting paraphernalia, but it is not limited to:  breaking sticks, cat mills, fighting pits, springpoles, unprescribed veterinary medicine, treatment supplies, gaffs or slashers or heels, or any other sharp implement designed to be attached in place of the natural spur of a cock or game fowl. The intent behind the possession, ownership, purchase, sale, transfer, or manufacturing of these items is presumed to be for animal fighting it is a class B felony.

No hearing scheduled yet.

SB77: relative to costs of care for animals seized in cruelty cases and prohibiting the future ownership of animals in certain animal cruelty cases

This bill adds a preliminary hearing within 14 days of the lawful seizure of animals, outlines that cost of care is to provide confiscated animals with humane care and adequate and necessary veterinary services. It also adds language to prevent ownership for varying lengths of time for those convicted of a misdemeanor, among other changes.

No hearing scheduled yet.

HB501: establishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases

This bill would establish a cost of care fund to assist municipalities with caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.  Revenue to the fund would be from $0.50 of every dog license fee paid, one-half of the fees collected from registration for distribution of commercial animal feed, and court-ordered restitution for care in animal cruelty cases. 

No hearing scheduled yet.

The details for the above bills can be found here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=HB688,HB605,SB77,SB161,hb501&txtsessionyear=2019

Other Bills we are monitoring and will provide more detail on at a future date:

HB249: permitting restaurant owners to allow dogs in restaurants

HB282: relative to the authority of fish and game officers to search without a warrant

HB296: relative to animal waste cleanup in state forests and state parks

HB316: relative to the law governing training permits for the training of bird dogs and trail or tree hounds

HB331: relative to the duties of a veterinarian

HB361: relative to property settlement including animals

HB371: adding cats to the definition of commercial kennel

HB376: establishing a commission to study best practices for companion animal groomers

HB389: requiring the department of business and economic affairs to prepare materials for businesses relative to service dogs

HB426: establishing a committee to study allowing town clerks to accept proof of certain exemptions from the rabies vaccine for the purpose of registering dogs

HB442: relative to coyote hunting

HB484: relative to group dog licenses

HB512: relative to dogs on hiking trails in state parks and state forests

HB513: relative to allowing the use of therapy animals or facility dogs for therapeutic purposes in proceedings involving children or certain other persons

HB696: establishing a protective order for vulnerable adults

Full list here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=HB484,HB501,HB512,HB513,HB282,HB316,HB361,HB249,HB371,HB376,HB389,HB426,HB442,HB331,HB688,HB296,HB605,SB77,HB696,SB161&txtsessionyear=2019

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