AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) thanks both the New Hampshire residents who contacted lawmakers this month regarding bills impacting dogs and the New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture Committee for the consideration of their comments and the thoughtful review of legislation before them.
Two of three helpful bills supported by AKC GR and considered by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on February 3, 2021, have been amended and unanimously approved.
DEFINITION OF PET VENDOR
HB 250, as amended, would address multiple concerns that resulted from the state’s changed definition of “pet vendor” enacted back in 2019. First, it would increase the number of dogs transferred, from 25 to 35, during a 12-month period before a person needs to obtain a state pet vendor license. Second, it would also waive the requirement for municipal zoning approval for anyone applying for the pet vendor license who transferred less than 50 dogs during the year.
This change would ensure that breeders who were not previously required to obtain a state license can continue to own and personally enjoy their dogs without needing to petition local authorities to grant a municipal zoning permit required by the state pet vendor license application. This license application process has resulted in the violation of due process for responsible dog breeders who have been unable – after the transfer limits in 2019 were cut in half – to obtain a municipal zoning permit and therefore comply with the state application requirements.
ANIMAL SHELTER FACILITIES
HB 249, as amended, would require all dogs, cats, and ferrets transferred out of a shelter to have a form of positive identification and a rabies vaccination if proof of prior vaccination is not available. Animals transferred into the state would need a health certificate and a quarantine period before re-homing. Shelters would be required to notify owners of an animal in their custody within 72 hours; and if the owner cannot be located or refuses to claim it, every effort must be made to contact any secondary owner listed on the microchip registry.
After hearing concerns expressed by residents and AKC GR, the House Agriculture and Environment Committee voted unanimously to reject the following:
RABIES VACCINATIONS FOR DOGS
HB 387 would have required dog owners pay for a rabies antibody test after initial vaccination to confirm the dog’s immunity and authorized the acceptance of a rabies titer test in lieu of vaccination for dogs with a reaction to initial vaccination.
REQUIRING AN ANIMAL’S COLOR PHOTO ON A RABIES VACCINATION CERTIFICATE
In addition to information already required to be included on rabies vaccination certificates for dogs, cats, and ferrets, HB 322 would have required each veterinarian to include a color photograph of the vaccinated animal.
AKC GR will continue to provide updates on pending dog-related legislation in New Hampshire. For more information on these or other legislative issues in the state, contact AKC GR at 919-816-3720 or