SB 370 (Breeding Bill)  UPDATE

On January 19th, at the Senate Executive Departments Committee’s public hearing on SB 370 (dog breeder requirements), six members of the public testified in opposition to the bill and over 18 signed in as opposed. The State Veterinarian, Dr. Crawford, was also opposed to the bill.

Senators on the committee and the prime senate sponsor of the bill (Senator Odell) noted that they had received numerous letters from both sides. However, only two members of the public testified in favor of the bill.  The major supporter of the bill was Joanne Bourbeau, HSUS NH/VT Representative.  During her testimony, Joanne noted that SB 370 is intended to prevent large puppy mills (“700+ dogs”) from locating in NH.   Her statement neglected to recognize that the current state law requires such an operation to first obtain local zoning approval before applying for a commercial kennel license from the Department of Agriculture. Once licensed, the facility is subject to being inspected every 6 months (RSA 437:8) by the State Veterinarian for compliance with all NH’s regulatory requirements (AGR 1702).  Representative Cunningham, a cosponsor of the bill, testified that he was a health officer in Croydon for 8 years. During that time, he investigated a couple of complaints where in-home dog breeding resulted in unsanitary conditions.

As several people testified, this bill has serious flaws and will affect responsible breeders whose passion for working and breeding dogs brings our state recognition and contributes to the state’s recreation and hunting industry.  New Hampshire has very good animal laws and the current animal cruelty laws provide options for intervention.

Representative Cunningham and Senator Odell (sponsor of the bill) offered an amendment that would replace the whole bill.  The amendment would clarify that local law enforcement has the authority to enforce the current animal cruelty laws and regulations. If the amendment replaces the whole content of the bill, DOGS is supportive of the amendment.

DOGS certainly appreciated those who took the time to attend the public hearing as well as everyone that sent emails and letters to Senators.  Your efforts provided Senators a wealth of new information about dog care and breeding. Those who attended the public hearing might want to drop a short thank you email to the members of the Committee and Senator Odell. Tell them you appreciated their attention to your concerns and thoughtful questions.

This coming week, the Senate Executive Departments Committee is expected to make a recommendation on the bill. Our hope is for an ITL (inexpedient to legislate) or OTP/A (ought to pass with amendment) – Senator Odell’s amendment replacing the current bill.

Upcoming Public Hearings

HB 1498: Repealing Municipal Dog Licensing (see extensive review in Update #1).

  • DOGS Position: Opposed. The bill is creates a public health care risk, removes privacy protections for dog owners, and the expedient process for dog owner identification.
  • STATUS: New Public Hearing Date: Monday, January 23rd at 11:35am in room 301 Legislative Ofiice Building
  • A copy of the bill can be obtained at:

HB 1336: Regarding reciprocity and nonresidents/guide use of hunting bear hunting dogs.

HB 1339: Prohibits contracting for limited trapping/hunting access on private land.

HB 1231: Repeals the prohibition on sale of chicks, ducklings, goslings and rabbits under 4 weeks old and in quantities of less than 12 to any individual.

  • DOGS Position: Repealing the quantity and age requirements seems reasonable for chicks, ducklings and goslings. Allowing rabbits to be separated from their mother before they are 4 weeks old may not be appropriate due to developmental issues.
  • STATUS: Public hearing scheduled for 1/26 at 2pm before the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee.
  • A copy of this bill can be obtained  at:

SB 312: Prohibits the cruel confinement of sows and calves raised for veal.

  • DOGS Position: Feedback from those who raise livestock indicates that these confinement restrictions are inappropriate.
  • STATUS: Scheduled for public hearing in Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on 1/26/12 at 9:30am
  • A copy of this bill can be obtained at:

ADDITIONAL LEGISLATION NOTE:  DOGS is monitoring a number of bills that address issues relating to access to private property, ability to confiscate private property, and return of private property if a person is not convicted of an offense.  If you have a special interest in these issues, please contact the DOGS Legislative Consultant for further information Email Yvonne.

January 20 Legislative Update
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