2/28/2013 Edition #9 – 2013
Dog Owners of the Granite State
2013 NH Legislative Update # 9
MORE “DOGS” INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON
UPDATE – HB 390 (Allowing companion dogs at outdoor cafés)
On March 27th, the House Commerce Committee’s subcommittee held a work session on HB 390 (allowing companion dogs in outside areas of restaurants at the restaurant owner’s discretion). The subcommittee decided to recommend the bill for passage with an amendment. The amendment will require that a sign be posted at the entrance to the patio area to notify the public that dogs are allowed and that patrons with companion dogs can be asked to leave if a patron with a service dog is seated. This gives notice to all patrons (some may not want to be around dogs). It also gives the restaurant the ability to seat the patron with a service dog and not remove the companion dog.
DOGS successfully argued against adding amendments that would allow only one dog per patron and leash requirements. We felt these details are up to the restaurant owner’s discretion. DOGS was not successful in removing the requirement for a companion animal to leave if a service dog is present. We felt that the Department of Justice’s ADA 2010 revised requirements guidance allows the owner of an establishment to ask that an unruly or undisciplined service dog be removed from an area. Therefore, there is no special right for an unruly service dog to remain and eject the well behaved companion animal. Nevertheless, the amendment is intended to allow the restaurant to try to accommodate both service and the companion dogs if the service dog owner agrees.
The House Commerce Committee will vote on the subcommittee recommendation on March 5th. The subcommittee will review the amendment on March 5th prior to the 11am committee voting session on the bill.
UPDATE – HB 110 (NOT “Ag Gag” – Reporting Cruelty to Livestock)
The House Environment & Agriculture Committee voted to retain the bill in a 16-4 vote. The bill’s sponsor and several subcommittee members felt more study and consultation with legal counsel was needed to craft appropriate amendments. Also, the committee had received hundreds of letters and emails from those opposing the bill. Retained bills are usually studied in committee over the summer and early fall. The committee will issue a report and recommendation for action in the 2014 session. DOGS will alert our members when the committee schedules a work session on the bill.
Legislative Status Listing
HB 110: Requiring reporting of livestock abuse.
The original bill requires those who record suspected livestock abuse to report and turn over the video/photos to local law enforcement authorities within 24 hours.
A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2013/HB0110.html
DOGS Position: DOGS supports. Recordings of suspected animal abuse are evidence and should be turned over the law enforcement for appropriate action prior to being edited or released to the public for public relations purposes. Prompt reporting of suspected abuse best protects animal safety.
HB 328: Relative to pet sales.
This bill clarifies the requirement to provide a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within the prior 14 days at the sale/transfer of a dog, cat, bird, or ferret.
A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2013/HB0328.html
STATUS: Passed the House with amendment and awaiting action in the Senate. The amendment contains the clarifying language that DOGS recommended.
DOGS Position: DOGS supports HB 328. The bill does not add any new requirements for the sale/transfer of cats or dogs. It is the result of the House E&A Committee subcommittee study and recommendations of the State Veterinarian. The bill helps clarify the law enacted last year. This requirement helps ensure that those accepting pets, particularly imported pets, have current information about the animal’s health status.
HB 390: Allowing companion dogs in outdoor areas of restaurants.
This bill gives a restaurant owner the option to allow patrons to bring dogs in outdoor restaurant areas where there is no food preparation. If a service dog is present the companion dog will be asked to leave. See UPDATE, above for description of the proposed amendment.
A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2013/HB0390.html
STATUS: House Commerce Committee subcommittee recommends OTP/A. Full committee vote on March 5th.
DOGS Position: DOGS supports and requested removal of the provision to remove a companion dog when a service dog is present.
SB 59: Defines cruel containment for sows and veal.
This bill limits livestock management practices relative to the tethering and movement of calves- those raised for veal, and the use of gestation crates for gestating sows. It is essentially the same bill as SB 312, introduced and defeated in the Senate last year and similar to HB 1522, introduced and defeated in the House in 2008. According to the NH Farm Bureau, all three bills were written by and introduced on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and supported by other organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2013/SB0059.html
STATUS: Awaiting a recommendation in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
DOGS Position: DOGS has been monitoring this bill. The State Veterinarian already has the authority under the state’s existing animal cruelty laws to ensure livestock are being treated humanely. At the February 13 public hearing before the Senate Committee, several NH pork producers told Committee members that though they operated small-sized operations, on occasion they used gestation crates and when properly used, are a humane management practice that ensures safety of the piglets and the caretaker.