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Monday, February 25, 2019

Every New Hampshire resident is encouraged to call or email your member of the NH House of Representatives and State Senate today.  First, ask your Representative to vote “NO” on HB 688 this Wednesday, February 27.  Second, contact your Senator and request a “NO” vote on SB 161 and SB 77 on March 7.  (To identify your elected officials and their contact information go to  https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx.)

HOUSE BILL 688
Despite wide opposition at public hearing earlier this month, and the sponsor’s desire to table the bill and fix it later, a delayed action oversight on House Bill 688 – An Act Relative to Transfer and Inspection of Animals, has resulted in the bill being scheduled for consideration by the full New Hampshire House this Wednesday, February 27.  Both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and our New Hampshire federation, the Dog Owners of the Granite State (DOGS), have serious concerns with HB 688 including defining “hobby breeders” as anyone transferring ownership of even one “animal” per year, and requiring them to:

  • Register with the state and be listed in an electronic database.
  • Submit to inspection of property by the state, local officials, law enforcement, health officials.
  • Submit to inspection of records by the above-mentioned parties or any member of the public.

Inspecting the premises of every companion animal owner that transfers ownership of even one animal in a year and who may whelp a litter of puppies in a bedroom, is an invasion of privacy.  HB 688 also fails to recognize any exemption for persons selling, exchanging, or otherwise transferring the offspring of their personally-owned animals.  Click here to read AKC’s previous alert on HB 688.  All New Hampshire residents are encouraged to contact their elected members of the New Hampshire House and urge them to vote “NO” on HB 688.

SENATE BILL 161
SB 161 similarly fails to appropriately clarify the state’s definition of “pet vendor.”   It strikes the phrase “in the business of” from the definition of “pet vendor”, categorizes anyone transferring 20 or more animals as a “pet vendor”, and eliminates the statutory definition for “commercial kennel”.  The number 20 is arbitrary and ignores the fact that many purpose-bred dogs produce large litters.  Thus, two litters from dogs personally owned and kept for sport or exhibition could result in an owner being categorized as a New Hampshire pet vendor in violation of licensure requirements designed to protect consumers and guilty of a misdemeanor.

SB 161 is scheduled for a Senate floor vote on March 7.  The AKC encourages all New Hampshire residents to contact their elected members of the Senate and respectfully urge them to vote “NO” on SB 161 as currently written.

SENATE BILL 77
Minor changes requested for SB 77 to protect responsible breeders’ rights were not adopted by the Senate committee.  As currently worded, the bill still fails to protect the rights of non-possessory co-owners of dogs that have been seized, and fails to prohibit medically unnecessary permanent alteration of a seized animal.   New Hampshire residents are encouraged to contact their elected members of the Senate and respectfully urge them to vote “NO” on SB 77 as currently written.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information on these bills as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org; or the Dog Owners of the Granite State at www.nhdogs.org.

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