Earlier this week, a conference committee of New Hampshire state senators and representatives failed to agree on a compromise version of Senate Bill 569. This effectively ended consideration of the bill for the remainder of the legislative session.
SB 569 was introduced in January as a response to a high-profile cruelty case in New Hampshire. Both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Dog Owners of the Granite State (DOGS), our New Hampshire federation of fanciers and breeders, expressed deep concerns with SB 569. As introduced, the bill would have imposed potentially unconstitutional bond-for-care requirements for those charged with cruelty and significantly expanded the state’s definition of ‘commercial kennel’ to regulate non-commercial breeders and owners. We argued that New Hampshire already had strong anti-cruelty laws that, if enforced appropriately, would have helped address cases of cruelty; and as such, did not require vast expansion of regulatory oversight.
The Senate passed a less-harsh version of the bill in March. The New Hampshire House passed a significantly-amended version of the bill in early May which, after working with the House Environment and Agriculture Committee, both AKC and DOGS supported. Because the Senate and House versions differed, a conference committee of members from both chambers were appointed to work out differences. Those appointees failed to agree on a compromise.
The American Kennel Club commends the many concerned fanciers, enthusiasts, breeders, and owners who successfully advocated for changes throughout the months-long consideration of Senate Bill 569. The AKC offers our sincerest congratulations to the Dog Owners of the Granite State, which worked tirelessly in ensuring that the rights of responsible breeders and owners were respected while promoting sound, effective, and appropriate breeder and cruelty laws.