NH LEGISLATIVE ACTION UPDATE
SB 365: requires that animal shelters and rescue organizations cannot sell, give away, adopt, or otherwise transfer ownership of any dog or cat unless it has been sexually sterilized. An exemption from the requirement is provided for shelters that can demonstrate that at least 85% of the dogs transferred had been sterilized in the previous year through the voucher system or private means.
DOGS supported the bill which was requested by shelter advocates. DOGS requested an amendment incorporated into the bill that added essential protections for animals and animal owners such as an exemption for health an animal’s health status and an animal that is reclaimed by its owner.
At the public hearing, concerns raised by a veterinarian about the lack of enforcement especially with regards to animals transported from other states and the potential for requiring neuter/spaying of all pets as the “next step” alarmed many committee members.
In fact, NH veterinarians’ report that 95% of the dogs and cats they see are neutered/spayed. Also, a representative of the Concord SPCA testified that they would oppose the bill without the 3 year exemption as they were the process of adding surgical capacity to their shelter.
Further amendments were requested by DOGS at the House Environment Committee public hearing. One amendment would make it clear that those who transfer less than 10 litters or 50 kittens in a 12-month period are not required to obtain a state license. DOGS has earmarked the issue of clarifying that hobby cat breeders are not required to be licensed as the subject for requesting new legislation next year.
STATUS: House Environment Committee is recommending the bill be killed. The Committee voted 11-1 that the bill be “Inexpedient to Legislate. NEXT STEP: House floor vote on 4/28.
HB 1417: allowing companion dogs in certain areas of restaurants at the owners’ discretion. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Butler, owns an Inn and the new health inspector maintains that the owner’s dogs having access to the dining room is a violation of the state regulations. Many of New Hampshire’s Inns, Bed & Breakfasts are pet friendly for the inn owner’s pets and guests’. This unique feature should be the establishment owner’s decision. DOGS is supporting the bill.
STATUS: The House passed the bill. NEXT STEP: Senate Commerce Committee public hearing on April 29th at 12:30pm in room 103 State House.
ACTION NEEDED: Contact Senate Commerce Committee members to support this bill.
Senate Commerce, Labor and Consumer Protection Committee
- Margaret W. Hassan, Chairman, 107 North Main Street, Room 302, Concord, NH 03301-2528
- Betsi L. DeVries, V Chairman, 107 North Main Street, Room 106, Concord, NH 03301-2528
- Deborah R. Reynolds, 5 Chaddarin Lane, Plymouth, NH 03264-4401
- Jacalyn L. Cilley, 2 Oak Hill Road, Barrington, NH 03825-3820
- Peter E. Bragdon, P.O. Box 488, Milford, NH 03055-4425
- Sheila Roberge, 83 Olde Lantern Road, Bedford, NH 03110-4816
HB 431: requiring certain engine coolants and antifreeze to include an aversive (bittering) agent so that they are rendered unpalatable.
DOGS POSITION: DOGS is supporting the House passed version of the bill. The Senate amendments weaken the benefit of the bill to consumers, children and animals. Consumers will have no way of knowing whether the fluid in vehicles, farm equipment or other machinery they have serviced was or was not treated.
STATUS: The Senate Energy Committee recommended amending the bill to exempt motor vehicle sales and containers of 55 gallons or more. During Senate floor action, the bill was tabled – not voted on and held for later action.