AKC has learned that last night the Senate Public Affairs Committee postponed hearing SB188. The...
AKC has learned that last night the Senate Public Affairs Committee postponed hearing SB188. The bill will NOT be on the schedule for today's meeting, however it will likely be heard in the near future, perhaps as early as next week. Please check the New Mexico Legislature's Committee Calendar http://legis.state.nm.us/lcs/agecalendars.asp for scheduling information. Fanciers are encouraged to use this time to contact their Senators and urge opposition to the bill.
[Thursday, February 03, 2005]
Update: New Mexico fanciers report that SB 188 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Public Affairs Committee Friday, February 4th at 1:30 pm in Rm 303. Dog owners who can attend this committee session are strongly encouraged to do so. If you can't attend the committee meeting, call the members offices and respectfully ask them to oppose the bill. (See below for committee information.)
[Wednesday, January 26, 2005]
Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort last week introduced the "Pit Bull Breeding Ban Act" (S188). Provisions of the bill will place severe restrictions on ownership and acquisition of a "pit bull" (defined as a Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, or dog identifiable as or known as a pit bull. Owners of these dogs must not:
- Acquire a pit bull after July 1, 2005
- Breed a pit bull either privately or commercially
- Keep existing pit bulls unless they are
- Spayed or neutered
- Licensed at a cost of $250 per year
- Kept indoors or outside in a six-foot-tall iron or steel pen with roof
- Chained and muzzled when off the owner's property
- Covered by a $100,000 liability insurance policy or surety bond
- Pit bull owners will face $1000 fine if their dog is found at large.
In addition, the bill automatically declares the following breeds "dangerous" and subjects them to additional fines and restrictions: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American or "Old Country" Bull Dog, Boxer, Presa Canario, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky and wolf-hybrids. Finally, S188 would impose new fines on owners of any dogs that bite.
What Is the AKC's Position?
The American Kennel Club opposes S188. Instead, we support reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern dog ownership and require owners to be responsible. We do not believe that banning breeds is the answer to animal control problems. Since any breed of dog can be trained to be aggressive and to attack, eliminating certain breeds will only make irresponsible owners select a new breed to train. In the process, however, many responsible owners will be forced to part with dogs that have become loving members of their family.
Enacting leash laws, implementing strong efforts to teach responsible dog ownership, and clearer guidelines for communities to manage dangerous dogs are all more effective ways of dealing with this important safety issue.
What Is the AKC Doing to Help?
AKC and responsible dog owners in New Mexico have been monitoring this issue closely since Sen. Beffort first announced her intention to sponsor breed-specific legislation last fall. Understanding her desire to keep communities safe, the Canine Legislation department sent the Senator model dangerous dog legislation along with a statement in support of such a measure rather than one that targeted certain breeds. New Mexico fanciers have also attempted to work with Sen. Beffort's office, but their efforts were rebuked.
On a more positive note, AKC and purebred dog owners have been in touch with other New Mexico legislators who support enactment of a strong but generic dangerous dog law. We will continue to offer our resources and materials to these and other interested individuals. AKC was pleased to note the recent introduction of H400, known as the "Dangerous Dog Act," at the request of Governor Richardson's office this week. This legislation makes a much more reasonable attempt than does S188 at resolving New Mexico's problems with dangerous dogs.
What You Can Do:
S188 has been jointly referred to the Senate Public Affairs and Judiciary Committees. Please contact the committee members and urge them to oppose S188!
Senate Public Affairs Committee
Santa Fe, NM 87503
Sen. Dede Feldman (Chair) Phone: 505-986-4482, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Mary Jane Garcia Phone: 505-986-4726, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Stuart Ingle Phone: 505-986-4726
Sen. Gay Kernan Phone: 505-986-4274, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Steve Komadina Phone: 505- 986-4377, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Steven Neville Phone: 505-986-4266, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino Phone: 505-986-4380, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Mary Kay Papen Phone: 505-986-4270
Sen. James Taylor Phone: 505-986-4862, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senate Judiciary Committee
Santa Fe, NM 87503
Sen. Cisco McSorley (Chair) Phone: 505- 986-4485, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Richard Martinez Phone: 505-986-4389, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Rod Adair Phone: 505-986-4385, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Kent Cravens Phone: 505-986-4391, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. John Grubesic Phone: 505-986-4260, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Clinton Harden Phone: 505-986-4369, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Linda Lopez Phone: 505-986-4737
Sen. William Payne Phone: 505-986-4276, E-mail: email@example.com
Sen. Lidio Rainaldi Phone: 505-986-4310
Sen. Michael Sanchez Phone: 505-986-4727, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Points to Consider:
- Breed-specific laws are unfair to responsible owners of the restricted breeds. Deeds, not breeds, should be the determining factor.
- A strongly enforced dangerous dog law would force all owners to be responsible, regardless of what breed they own.
- Breed-specific laws increase burden and costs for municipalities. Administrative costs, enforcement costs, and shelter costs will increase under S188.
- Countless national animal organizations—American Kennel Club, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Animal Control Association, National Animal Interest Alliance, and others—oppose breed-specific legislation because they know it simply doesn't work. No animal welfare group supports these bills.
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