News from the State Capitols
Eleven state legislatures and the District of Columbia are currently in regular session; California, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are in special session. To date, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has tracked over 1,100 bills in 2010 at all levels of government. For the latest information on the state and federal bills being tracked by the Government Relations (GR) Department, visit our 2010 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated daily, provides the latest bill text, status, and Legislative Alerts posted by the AKC.
Also, be sure to check out our state legislative version of the In Session newsletter and consider printing and distributing it to lawmakers and candidates as you discuss canine legislation issues.
For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some highlights of the bills we are currently tracking:
Missouri – A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding will be placed on the November 2010 ballot. The Missouri Secretary of State has certified that supporters of the initiative, which duplicates previous unsuccessful legislative efforts, have submitted the required number of petition signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot. The initiative contains a 50 dog ownership limit. The Missouri Federation of Animal Owners and other groups opposed to the initiative lost a court challenge to change the language. GR has issued several legislative alerts on this matter, and continues to work with the Missouri Federation in opposition to this initiative effort. Read the AKC’s official statement on this ballot measure.
New York – Assembly Bill 11684 seeks to ban devocalization of dogs and cats unless the procedure is medically necessary to treat or relieve an illness, disease, injury, or congenital abnormality that is causing (or may cause) harm to the animal. Before performing the procedure, the veterinarian must submit a report to the clerk of the municipality providing the reason for the devocalization and any diagnostic opinions or test results that prove it is necessary. No one may sell a devocalized animal unless they have a copy of these records. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Ohio – The Ohio General Assembly has recessed for the summer and has not yet announced when it will reconvene to consider legislation. The American Kennel Club is tracking two bills of interest in Ohio:
House Bill 55 – This bill, which revises penalties and clarifies Ohio’s animal cruelty provisions, was amended on the House floor to remove breed-specific language (specifically, the term “pit bull”) from the state’s vicious dog definition. The amendment was added after House Bill 79, which sought to remove the breed-specific language, was stalled in a House committee. Read more about House Bill 79 and Ohio’s vicious dog law. The bill now goes to the State Senate.
Senate Bill 95 – This bill, which seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, was passed by the Senate State & Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee. It defines “high volume dog breeder” as one who produces at least 9 litters and sells at least 60 puppies and/or adult dogs per year. Numerous amendments have been added to address many of the AKC’s concerns, including ensuring breeder representation on the new Kennel Control Authority Board and eliminating the limits on breeding ages. Other problematic provisions remain, however, including a definition of “kennel” that could be interpreted to mean any owner of a purebred dog and problematic standards for “high volume breeders". Read the latest Legislative Alert for more information on SB 95.
Pennsylvania – Senate Bill 1417 transfers all duties prescribed in the state’s “Dog Law” (including individual dog and kennel licensing, penalties, etc.) from the state Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. AKC GR is closely monitoring this legislation.