Friday, February 21, 2014

Senator McCoy changes anti-breeder bill number

Senator Matt McCoy has apparently shelved his anti-breeder bill, SF2166, and replaced it with SF 2254. No changes to content were made.  The bill is fast tracking and moved through committee in one day (February 20).

Call Senate members to oppose SF 2254.  Look for yesterday's SAOVA alert with talking points.

Susan Wolf

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Indiana: House Committee to Hear Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment on Monday

On Monday, February 24 at 10:30 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider Senate Joint Resolution 9.  Sponsored by state Senator Brent Steele (R-44) and state Representative Mark Messmer (R-63), SJR 9 would guarantee Hoosiers the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife.  This proposed state constitutional amendment would ensure the preservation of Indiana's rich hunting heritage.  Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to support SJR 9 as proposed.

By declaring and enshrining this constitutional right, Indiana would keep the existing fishing and hunting structure in place while protecting future generations of sportsmen from attacks initiated by well-funded anti-hunting extremists.  Specifically, SJR 9 would promote wildlife conservation and management.  In addition, it specifies that hunting, fishing and harvesting of wildlife shall be used as a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.  This proposed constitutional amendment would ensure that sportsmen will continue to be used as Indiana’s responsible game managers instead of taxpayer-funded sharpshooters and unproven, expensive wildlife contraception schemes employed in other jurisdictions.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to SUPPORT your right to hunt and fish by voting “YES” on SJR 9.  Contact information for committee members is provided below.

House Judiciary Committee:

Republican Switchboard: 800-382-9841
Democratic Switchboard: 800-382-9842

Representative Gregory Steuerwald (R-40), Chairman

Representative Thomas Washburne (R-64), Vice-Chairman

Representative Casey Cox (R-85)

Representative Eric Allan Koch (R-65)

Representative Daniel Leonard (R-50)

Representative Peggy Mayfield (R-60)

Representative Jud McMillin (R-68)

Representative Wendy McNamara (R-76)

Representative Jerry Torr (R-39)

Representative B. Patrick Bauer (D-6)

Representative Edward DeLaney (D-86)

Representative Ryan Dvorak (D-8)

Representative Vernon Smith (D-14)


Senator Matt McCoy introduced SF2166, a bill that will have a devastating effect on Iowa dog and cat breeders. The bill was assigned to his committee and has passed.  A full Senate vote is expected soon. IT IS URGENT THAT YOU CALL OR EMAIL SENATE MEMBERS AND OPPOSE THIS BILL NOW.

The current law loosely defines a commercial breeder as anyone with 4 or more breeding dogs or cats, who sells, exchanges, or leases in return for consideration (term not defined).  Requirements for those who may be “commercial breeders” are extensive and extreme. Hunters are only exempt if they do not use any of their dogs for breeding (male or female).


SF2166 significantly increases license fees for commercial breeders in order to pay for animal seizures. Currently, the registration fee is $175 to cover the department of agriculture’s administration costs. SF2166 requires commercial breeders to pay that amount plus an additional amount ranging from $100 to $2,500 based on the number of dogs on your property at the time of an inspection.  The additional fee will be deposited in a new “animal rescue remediation fund” used to reimburse local authorities when dogs are seized.  Current law already requires anyone accused of cruelty to post a bond to cover animal care while hearings take place.

SF2166 requires a primary enclosure to be 2 times the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) standard by January 1, 2015.  The bill then repeals this at the end of 2015 and increases the mandate to 3 times AWA standard beginning January 1, 2016.  Breeders certainly cannot afford to purchase new crates or kennels for only one year’s use and then discard and build again.  In order to comply with the bill’s standards a breeder would have to renovate facilities to meet the 2016 standard.  This would mean primary enclosures (crates) of enormous size. An average size Cattle Dog would need a crate approximately 8X4X3.  In addition, a commercial breeder with ten or more breeding dogs must have primary enclosures that provide permanent unfettered access to an “attached” outdoor run.   Current Iowa code allows only 6 dogs inside the home of a licensee; however with the proposed enclosure requirements it is unlikely that any breeder can keep dogs inside and remain licensed unless their home includes enclosures with attached outdoor runs.

The new primary enclosure regulation in SF2166 is also required for cats. Current AWA standard requires all cats be in enclosures at least 24 inches high. Cats up to and including 8.8 lbs must be provided with at least 3 SF of floor space; cats over 8.8 lbs must be provided with 4 SF of floor space. SF2166 requires space 3 times what is specified in Title 9 C.F.R. §3.6.   Cats are NOT excluded from the requirement that the primary enclosure include an “attached” outdoor run with unfettered access.  A mandate for cats to have unfettered access to outdoor runs will place them at risk of contact with feral cats and exposure to deadly diseases.

Having “unfettered” access to outdoor runs could be deadly to puppies and kittens.  This would also make it impossible to maintain temps required under existing laws.

The bill mandates annual veterinary examinations for all breeding dogs and breeding cats.  There are no specifications for what the exam entails. A routine 15-minute exam can only detect obvious conditions such as missing teeth or being over/underweight, and places the veterinarian in a position of certifying or documenting an exam using only these external assessments. This provision only serves to make breeding dogs and cats more expensive without measurable benefit. Veterinary care should remain at the owner’s discretion and not become a legislative mandate.

SF2166 prohibits commercial breeders from purchasing a dog or cat from anyone who is not licensed and also from participating in rescue.

The bill mandates annual inspections during business hours.  For dog and cat owners who are not true businesses, making their homes available for inspection will be problematic.  Hobby breeders, those with as few as four breeding animals, and small breeders working outside the home during inspection hours could face disciplinary action for not being home for an inspection.

SF2166 is not an animal welfare bill; it is an attempt to shut down breeding of cats and dogs in Iowa.

Please cross post widely.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators

Monday, February 17, 2014

Continue To Spread The Word: HSUS Is A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily
Feb. 17, 2014

A Wisconsin dairy producer takes HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle to task for his organization’s deceitful practices.

Over the weekend, I spoke at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association. On our way back to South Dakota from Wisconsin Dells, we stopped in Minnesota to visit my husband Tyler’s family. We were visiting with his grandparents when we both noticed a pair of winter gloves lying on the table. Eblazoned on them were the words, “Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).”

Immediately, Tyler asked his grandma where she got those gloves. Worried that the gloves were a reward for her $19.99 donation to HSUS to save homeless dogs and cats (a fallacy that HSUS claims in its advertising), we were somewhat relieved to hear she had received the gloves from a neighbor. My mother-in-law had explained to Tyler's grandma how HSUS is an adversary to animal agriculture, and Tyler’s grandma had dutifully tried to obscure the “United States” part of the gloves with a black permanent marker.

What I found disturbing, however, was that the neighbor who had given Tyler's grandma the gloves is from an active hog-producing family. Apparently there are still well-intentioned farmers and ranchers out there who unknowingly donate money to HSUS, the very organization that seeks to end animal agriculture.
full story at link:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Legislation Updates February 16, 2014

SAOVA Friends,

Most legislatures are now in session for 2014 and there is no shortage of bills being introduced targeting dog breeders and sportsmen.  We have a short list of bills below that require your attention now.  Additional bills are being tracked at the SAOVA website Please check weekly for updates.  Cross posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators

Wayne Pacelle made a personal appearance at this month’s Humane Lobby Day to push HSUS priority bills. Among them HB 2022 prohibiting convicted animal abusers from owning or otherwise caring for any animal and HB 2215/SB 1036 adding cockfighting or other animal-fighting crimes to the list of racketeering crimes.

HB 2242 Commercial Dog Breeders and Pet Dealers is another HSUS priority bill. Sponsors: Representatives Kavanagh, Sherwood, Ugenti, Coleman, Forese, Lovas, Pratt, Shope; Senators Reagan, McComish, Melvin, Meza. HB 2242 adds definition of commercial dog breeder to Pet Lemon Law Statute 44-1799. Commercial dog breeder defined as a person that sells twenty or more dogs in a calendar year but does not include commercial livestock operations. The bill adds commercial breeder to the definition of pet dealer and also requires a veterinary examination of all female dogs owned before breeding. Commercial breeders would then be subject to provisions of the Pet Lemon Law including record keeping, purchaser remedies, and civil penalties. STATUS: Passed House Agriculture and Water Committee 8-0; passed House second read 1/23/14. Placed on Consent Calendar 2/10/14. Calls in opposition are urgently needed now.

HB 2302 Public Sale of Animals Sponsors: Representatives Frank Pratt (R, 8), T J Shope (R, 8).
Revises statutes making public sale of animals unlawful on any public highway, street or park or any public property adjacent to a public highway, street or park, or any commercial private property without the express consent of the owner or lessee of the property. Status: 1/22/14 PASSED Agriculture and Water 8-0. Placed on Consent Calendar 2/10/14. It is common practice for dog breeders and sportsmen to meet at mutually convenient locations in order to buy or sell a dog. HB 2302 would make this illegal. Now that the APHIS pet rule demands sales for most breeders be transacted in person, it is more important than ever to stop bills that place prohibitions on where sales can take place.   

Contact info for Arizona House Members:

HB 4188 Animal Abuse Registry. Sponsor Maria Antonia Berrios (D-39) creates the Animal Abuse Registry Fund; amends the Humane Care for Animals Act. Provides that the Department of Agriculture shall create and maintain an animal abuse registry. Failure to register is a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a subsequent violation. Prohibits a registered person from owning a companion animal or being employed at an animal shelter, pound, pet shop, zoo, or other business where companion animals are present. See SAOVA page opposing Animal Abuser Registry Campaign 
Animal abuse cases comprise less than 1% of all convictions in the State of Illinois. At this time, the small percentage of convictions does not warrant the large expenditure of funds required to set up and maintain a registry.  See SAOVA’s opposition letter

HEARING SCHEDULED. Agriculture & Conservation Committee Feb 18 2014 2:00PM Stratton Building Room D-1 Springfield, IL. 

Call committee members and OPPOSE the registry.
Patrick J. Verschoore (217) 782-5970
Jerry F. Costello, II  (217) 782-1018
Donald L. Moffitt  (217) 782-8032
Kelly Burke  (217) 782-0515
John D. Cavaletto  (217) 782-0066
Katherine Cloonen  (217) 782-5981
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.  (217) 782-8272
Brad E. Halbrook  (217) 558-1040
Josh Harms  (217) 558-1039
Stephanie A. Kifowit  (217) 782-8028
Frank J. Mautino  (217) 782-0140
Charles E. Meier  (217) 782-6401
Christian L. Mitchell  (217) 782-2023
Raymond Poe  (217) 782-0044
Wayne Rosenthal  (217) 782-8071
Sue Scherer  (217) 524-0353
Brian W. Stewart  (217) 782-8186

SB42 Penning of fox or coyote; penalty. Summary as passed by Senate: Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to erect or maintain an enclosure for the purpose of pursuing, hunting, or killing or attempting to pursue, hunt, or kill a fox or coyote with dogs. The bill exempts from the prohibition any enclosure operated by a person holding a permit initially issued prior to January 1, 2014. The bill has been assigned to House Subcommittee on Natural Resources
There are nearly 40 pens in rural parts of Virginia. Penning is NOT a blood sport as HSUS claims; the pens are a good way to train dogs while keeping them out of roads and off property of others.  Sportsmen should continue to oppose SB42.

HB 4218 Permitting counties to adopt certain ordinances relating to dogs and cats; introduced and referred to House Political Subdivisions 01/17/14.  Sponsor Rep. Marty Gearheart (R-27); Cosponsors  Shott, Ellington, Border, Sponaugle, Fleischauer, Manypenny, Evans, A., Westfall, Campbell, Romine. Bill summary: the Legislature finds that it may be in the best interest of the public to protect the health and safety of the individuals as well as the health and safety of animals owned by residents of a county by reducing the number of dogs and cats that are stray or abandoned. HB 4218 confers authority to counties to enact ordinances requiring various restraints and control of dogs owned or in the custody and control of persons in the county. The bill allows county commissions to adopt an ordinance upon approval by referendum.

An ordinance may:
Prohibit persons from keeping a dog on a leash and tied to the ground or structure;
Prohibit persons from confining a dog to a pen, run or cage or leave a dog in a vehicle without adequate protection;
Prohibit persons from leaving a dog confined without providing adequate food or water to safely sustain the dog at all times.
Limit the number of animals owned that are not spayed or neutered;
Provide penalties for violations and authorize humane officers to take possession of any dog or cat that is not properly spayed or neutered or adequately restrained or controlled as required by the ordinance.

HB 4218 is a roadmap for bad local legislation and ownership restrictions.  Contact information for House Political Subdivisions Committee: