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Louisiana Update: Legislature Has Convened-Time to Contact Legislators

(Thursday, March 15, 2012)

On Monday, March 12, the Louisiana Legislature convened its 2012 regular session. While education and the state budget are expected to be key issues for lawmakers, a bill further threatening the rights of responsible dog owners and breeders has been filed. If enacted, House Bill 163 would further limit the number of dogs an individual may own, require most breeders to adhere to vague and arbitrary care and conditions requirements, and prohibit all dog owners from stacking crates, even temporarily. The American Kennel Club strongly opposes House Bill 163. It is imperative that all concerned dog breeders and owners in Louisiana make initial contact with the bill’s sponsor, Representative Anthony V. Ligi, Jr.; the members of the House Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development Committee; and your elected representative. Respectfully let them know you oppose the bill.

Click here to read AKC’s March 5 informational alert and talking points against HB 163.

Click here for a sample letter to customize then use when contacting Louisiana legislators about HB 163.

HB 163 Sponsor:

Representative Anthony V. Ligi, Jr.
4425 Clearview Pkwy.
Suite B
Metairie, LA 70006
Phone: (504) 456-3173
FAX:
Email: ligit@legis.la.gov

Louisiana House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development:

Representative John F. “Andy” Anders, Chairman
200 Advocate Row
Suite D
Vidalia, LA 71373
Phone: (318)336-5865
FAX: (318)336-9268
Email: larep021@legis.la.gov

Representative Bob Hensgens, Vice Chair
407 Charity Street
Abbeville, LA 70510
Phone: (337)893-5035
FAX: (337)898-1160
Email: hensgensb@legis.la.gov

Representative Richard T. Buford
671 Hwy. 171
Suite E
Stonewall, LA 71078
Phone: (318)925-9588
FAX: (318)925-9590
Email: burfordr@legis.la.gov

Representative Henry L. Burns
954 Hwy. 80
Suite 400
Haughton, LA 71037
Phone: (318)949-2463
FAX: (318)949-5019
Email: burnsh@legis.la.gov

Representative Thomas Carmody
5916 Fairfield Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71106
Phone: (318)862-9956
FAX: (318)862-9958
Email: carmodyt@legis.la.gov

Representative Simone B. Champagne
205 E. Lastie Street
Erath, LA 70533
Phone: (337)937-8827
FAX: (337)937-8829
Email: champags@legis.la.gov

Representative Charles R. Chaney
P.O. Box 8
Rayville, LA 71269
Phone: (318)728-5875
FAX: (318)728-5876
Email: chaneyb@legis.la.gov

Representative Jerry Gisclair
P.O. Drawer 1448
Larose, LA 70373-1448
Phone: (985)798-7707
FAX: (985)798-7757
Email: gisclairj@legis.la.gov

Representative John E. Guinn
P.O. Box 287
Jennings, LA 70546
Phone: (337)824-0376
Fax: (337)824-4780
Email: guinnj@legis.la.gov

Representative Lowell C. Hazel
1013 Main Street
Pineville, LA 71360
Phone: (318)767-6082
FAX: (318)767-6084
Email: hazelc@legis.la.gov

Representative Dorothy Sue Hill
529 Tramel Road
Dry Creek, LA 70637
Phone: (800)259-2118
FAX: (337)639-4045
Email: hilld@legis.la.gov

Representative Frank A. Howard
1601 Texas Highway
Many, LA 71449
Phone: (318)256-4135
FAX: (318)256-4137
Email: howardf@legis.la.gov

Representative Mike Huval
391 Cannery Road
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
Phone: (337)332-3331
FAX: (337)332-3341
Email: huvalm@legis.la.gov

Representative Katrina R. Jackson
1051 Kansas Lane
Monroe, LA 71203
Phone: (318)362-5123
FAX: (318)362-5125
Email: jacksonk@legis.la.gov

Representative Robert A. Johnson
P.O. Box 467
Marksville, LA 71351
Phone: (318)253-8891
FAX: (318)253-6377
Email: johnsoro@legis.la.gov

Representative Terry Landry
800 South Lewis Street
Suite 204-C
New Iberia, LA 70560
Phone: (337)373-9380
FAX: (337)373-9382
Email: landryt@legis.la.gov

Representative H. Bernard LeBas
115 Southwest Railroad Ave.
Ville Platte, LA 70586
Phone: (337)363-0152
FAX: (337)363-0179
Email: lebasb@legis.la.gov

Representative Steve E. Pylant
805 Jackson St.
Suite A
Winnsboro, LA 71295
Phone: (318)435-7313
FAX: (318)435-2994
Email: pylants@legis.la.gov

Representative Major Thibaut
2004 False River Drive
New Roads, LA 70760
Phone: (225)638-3811
FAX: (225)638-2952
Email: thibautm@legis.la.gov

Representative Chuck Kleckley, Ex Officio
130 Jamestown Road
Lake Charles, LA 70605
Phone: (337)475-3016
FAX: (337)475-3018
Email: larep036@legis.la.gov

Representative Walt Leger III, Ex Officio
600 Carondelet Street
9th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504)556-9970
FAX: (504)556-9972
Email: legerw@legis.la.gov

To find your Louisiana state representative:

Click here and enter your information.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to provide updates on HB 163 as developments warrant. Additional action on HB 163 may be necessary. For more information on HB 163, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.


LOUISIANA INFO ALERT: PREFILED BILL TO FURTHER LIMIT DOG OWNERSHIP RIGHTS AND IMPACT DOG EVENTS
[Tuesday, March 06, 2012]

Louisiana House Bill 163, sponsored by Representative Anthony V. Ligi, Jr., of Metairie, targets dog owners and events in Louisiana. The bill will infringe on the rights of dog owners by further limiting the number of dogs an individual may own and requiring most breeders to adhere to vague and arbitrary care and conditions requirements. Additionally, HB 163 will prohibit all dog owners from stacking crates -a provision that could have a significant impact on Louisiana dog events. The American Kennel Club strongly opposes House Bill 163, and urges all concerned Louisiana dog fanciers, enthusiasts, breeders, and owners to become familiar with the provisions of the bill in preparation for the legislative session, which begins Monday, March 12, 2012.

AKC’S POSITION ON BREEDER REGULATIONS:

The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsible human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC also supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

HB 163 falls far short of meeting those goals. As introduced, the bill will:

  • Further limit the property ownership rights of Louisiana residents. Louisiana is currently one of only four states that arbitrarily limit the number of dogs an individual may own. HB 163 seeks to remove the qualification that to count toward the ownership limit, a dog must be at least one year of age. The effect of this provision will be a drastic reduction in the practical number of dogs an individual may own. For example, an active breeder raising a few litters of puppies at one time could easily go over the limit temporarily if young puppies will be counted along with the individual’s adult dogs. As a result, a breeder may be forced to sell or relinquish dogs to come into compliance with the law, or face fines and jail time. 
  • Impose vague and inadequate care and conditions requirements. Care and conditions standards that are vague will prove difficult for breeders to comply with and difficult for officials to enforce. The proposal also fails to provide for key aspects of accepted animal husbandry practices, including cleanliness standards. The American Kennel Club believes that any care and conditions standards imposed should be clear in their goals and allow owners reasonable leeway to achieve those goals while also providing care that is appropriate for the breed, age, and health statuses of the dogs kept. 
  • Prohibit the use of stacked cages. Based on the bill’s wording, this can impact any stacking of enclosures—in homes and kennels, during transport and at events, including dog shows. This provision will have far-reaching impacts on both dog owners and event-giving clubs. By not permitting the stacking of enclosures in a safe and sanitary manner, owners will not be able to take advantage of the efficiencies that stacking allows, and may be forced to sell or relinquish dogs or to purchase new facilities to comply with the requirement. Additionally, AKC-affiliated clubs will face detrimental fiscal impacts by being forced to find larger facilities to help their exhibitors comply with the prohibition, or endure far fewer entries at their events. In both cases, a person unable to comply with this requirement will face fines or jail time.
  • Prohibit the use of wire flooring. In addition to running against the standards afforded licensees under the federal Animal Welfare Act, this provision fails to consider that wire of proper size, spacing, and coating, when used properly and kept in good repair, both ensures the safety of the dogs kept in an enclosure and promotes proper sanitation by allowing animal wastes to fall into catch pans instead of remaining in the enclosure with, and threatening the health of, the animal.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The American Kennel Club encourages all interested breeders and owners in Louisiana to become familiar with the provisions of HB 163. The AKC will continue to provide updates on HB 163 once Louisiana’s legislative session begins on March 12.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.