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On Thursday, January 16, 2020, multiple animal bills will be reviewed by the New Hampshire House Committee on Environment and Agriculture.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly encourages those who reside in New Hampshire to contact the committee to express significant concerns with three bills.

HB 1627 seeks to establish a statewide database of all health certificates issued for any dog, cat, or ferret for which it is required, upon transfer.  New Hampshire animal shelters are exempt from obtaining health certificates upon transfer, and it is unclear whether those who import rescued animals into the state would be required to submit official health certificates to this database.  The bill also fails to protect personally identifiable information from being featured in the database.  AKC supports official health certificates issued by a licensed veterinarian being required upon transfer of an animal, but the requirement must apply to anyone transferring animals, not just pet vendors and breeders.  Furthermore, to protect pet vendors and breeders from harassment, intimidation, and threats from animal rights activists, personally identifiable data must be protected in the database.

HB 1683 prohibits any person from permitting the docking of dog tails, removal of dewclaws, and the cropping of dog ears – unless medically necessary.  The AKC believes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal are long-accepted animal husbandry practices and do not constitute animal cruelty. These procedures can ensure the health and safety of certain dogs and should not be banned.  HB 1683 perpetuates the myth that these procedures are cosmetic procedures of convenience instead of realizing they help the dog better and more safely perform the tasks for which they are originally bred, and preventing harm and the need for medical attention.  The AKC believes that all decisions regarding appropriate medical care for dogs should be made by the owner in conjunction with their veterinarian and not subject to arbitrary government regulation and is strongly opposed to this bill.

For more information, read Dispelling the Myths of Cropped Ears, Docked Tails, Dewclaws, and Debarking.

HB 1389 would amend the state’s animal cruelty law by making it a crime to not provide sufficient food, water, or shelter; and to leave a dog outside and unattended, regardless of access to an outdoor shelter, for more than 15 minutes during any period in which the temperature is below 32-degrees Fahrenheit or above 90-degrees Fahrenheit.  This would apply to dogs kept in a securely fenced-in yard, dogs in a kennel, or dogs humanely tethered.  The AKC abhors animal cruelty and promotes responsible dog ownership.  While we support performance standards that ensure appropriate care of all dogs, the AKC believes HB 1389 fails to recognize that different breeds are designed to comfortably handle temperatures beyond the range it prescribes.  In our view, HB 1389 must be amended to recognize there are different dog breeds that require different animal husbandry practices, and that one size fits all approaches to animal care is not appropriate.

For more information, read Sassy’s Story and the Question of Tethering.

Another bill under review:

  • HB 1117 would make theft of an animal and removal of a microchip or e-collar a crime; but authorizes law enforcement and animal shelters to remove them after an unlicensed dog has been in their possession for seven days and all attempts to locate an owner have failed. A microchip is a permanent identifier of personal property and anyone who is not a veterinarian should not be allowed to remove one.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  New Hampshire residents are strongly encouraged to email committee members to express their concerns with the aforementioned bills; or attend the January 16, 2020, hearing, which starts at 10:AM in Room 303 of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building, 33 North State St., Concord, NH.  Be sure to sign in to speak.

Chairwoman Gorgui Amanda.Gourgue@leg.state.nh.us
Vice Chairman Bixby Peter.Bixby@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Ward catherine4Ward7@gmail.com
Rep. Melvin Charlie.Melvin@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Pearl Howard.Pearl@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Comtois Barbara.Comtois@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Murray Megan.Murray@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Bouldin Andrew.Bouldin@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Chretien Jackie.Chretien@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Ellis Donna.Ellis@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. McConnell Liz.McConnell@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Furbush Mike.Furbush@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Richards bethrichardsforward3@gmail.com
Rep. Dutzy Sherry.Dutzy@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. O’Connor John.O’Connor@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Bean  Harry.Bean@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Aron Judy.Aron@leg.state.nh.us ?
Rep. Viens Harry.Viens@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Beaulieu Jane.Beaulieu@leg.state.nh.us
Rep. Verville Kevin.Verville@leg.state.nh.us

For more information on these or other legislative issues in New Hampshire, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org; or the Dog Owners of the Granite State at dogs.nh@gmail.com.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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