Update on HB 1624 (Dog Breeder Requirements) & HB 1639 (Tethering and Animal Confiscation Criteria)
This past week, two bills that would restrict the rights of dog breeders and animal owners had legislative public hearings. Many thanks to all who prepared and presented testimony and signed in opposed as well as those who sent letters. No matter what the outcome of the bill, we can be very proud of our articulate messages, engaging presentations and knowledgeable demeanor. Feedback indicates that the legislators were impressed and became more informed.
Those who testified are encouraged to send a note to the committee members thanking them for listening to your concerns and offering to provide any further information to address any concerns or questions.
Supporters of the bills are reaching out work on amendments. HB 1639 and HB 1624 NEED TO BE KILLED – amendments to make the bills “better” are not an option as the bills are totally flawed, unjustified and lack funding for enforcement. If the bills were to be passed with exceptions for certain breeds or activities, the supporters would only return to the legislature in the future to remove the exceptions.
At this time neither bill has been scheduled for a subcommittee meeting by the respective committees. The House Environment & Agriculture Committee may vote on the bill during their executive session on January 28th. Stay tuned for more updates.
If you have not yet send a letter to the committee members and your local state representative, please do so now! Remember to individualize your letters.
Your local legislator and their contact information can be found at here.
HB 1639 adds a new section to the animal cruelty laws that sets specific requirements for dog tethering. It also amends RSA 644:8, IV-a(a), the animal cruelty statute, to allow an animal, suspected of being abused or neglected, to be taken into custody without a warrant.
House Criminal Justice Committee Members.
HB 1624 is proposed as a bill to stop “puppy mills” but it will impose unnecessary and onerous requirements on responsible dog owners and breeders. Education about and enforcement of the current laws, such as the requirement of a health certificate and the veterinary medical practice act, would be more effective than HB 1624 . The Dept. of Agriculture rules (AGR 1702) referenced in the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/agr1700.html