A bill is advancing in Colorado that would expand the powers of the state’s Bureau of Animal Protection agents.
Currently, the purpose of the Bureau of Animal Protection, as stated on the Department of Agriculture’s website, is to “serve as a support mechanism to local law enforcement agencies in conducting animal cruelty and neglect investigations.” This includes issuing summons and complaints.
Senate Bill 20-104 would significantly expand their powers and grant agents, including allowing private, non-profit organizations the power to also conduct investigations.
As with current law, agents must undergo training established by the department before appointment, and non-profits must provide a minimum of $100,000 of liability coverage for each agent, as the state will not be held liable for their activity. The commissions must be approved by the department and may be revoked at any time.
Nevertheless, AKC shares concerns with constituents and other organizations regarding who may serve as an agent and therefore be given these expanded powers.
AKC thanks the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs for their work in getting an amendment placed in the bill that ensures that agents appointed in the future must be based in Colorado (and from Colorado-based organizations), thereby ensuring no out of state special interests.
This bill has passed the Senate and is ready for consideration by the full House. The fiscal note has been removed from the bill and it is unclear what this means for the funding of this program.
Clubs and breeders in Colorado are encouraged to contact their state representative TODAY and express their comments and concerns with this proposal. Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to find the name and contact information for your State Representative.
AKC will continue to provide information as it becomes available. For more information, contact the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-842-1033, or AKC Government Relations at email@example.com.