The deadline for introduction of bills to be considered by North Carolina's General Assembly came and went last week without a word about the long-debated “Animal Protection Act.” The draft legislation, which resulted from nearly a year's worth of work by the House Interim Committee on the Prevention and Disposition of Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Animals, included a proposed tax on pet food that was meant to generate funds for low-cost spay/neuter programs and shelter renovations. The measure originally included several breeding restrictions, including mandatory sterilization and differential licensing for unaltered animals, which AKC and North Carolina fanciers fought tirelessly to oppose.
Legislators wary of introducing new taxes in an election year appear ready to back away from the issue for now. Questions about how best to handle the state's animal care and control concerns still linger in the capitol, however, and it is likely that the “Animal Protection Act” will return in some form next year. Purebred dog owners are strongly urged to use the coming months to strengthen their grassroots networks and to work with their state and local officials. The Canine Legislation department will continue to keep fanciers updated on any new developments.
For more information on grassroots lobbying or working with government officials, please contact the AKC's Canine Legislation department (firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-816-3720).
The deadline for introduction of bills to be considered by North Carolina’s