Next week, the New Hampshire House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hear public testimony on bills the American Kennel Club (AKC) believes are well-intentioned, but concerning as currently written.
SERIOUS CONCERN: HB 1310 would prohibit hunters from discharging a firearm in the direction of a building, livestock, or pets within their eyesight. A first offense violation would result in loss of hunting license, while a second offense would remove hunting privileges in New Hampshire for life. Although well intentioned, as filed, this bill does not distinguish “pets” from “hunting dogs” that are routinely trained to safely hunt game while also serving as companion animals. AKC encourages and strongly supports the interaction and mutual enjoyment of owners and dogs in sporting activities such as hunting and field trials. As written this bill may have a chilling effect on these activities.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: New Hampshire residents are strongly encouraged to electronically register your opposition to the bill by filling out this form.
- Click on the bill hearing date, January 26, 2022.
- Under the drop-down menu, select “House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety” and bill “HB1310”.
- Select I am “A member of the public” representing “myself”.
- Then indicate you are opposed to this bill.
- You will need to provide your name and address before submitting your position.
- Concerns that HB 1310 could penalize the use of “pet” dogs when hunting game should go to all committee members at HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us.
In addition, you may speak in person at the January 26, 2022, House Committee hearing in Reps Hall at the State House, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301. Sign in to testify when you arrive. The hearing starts at 9 AM. HB 1310 is scheduled to be taken up at 10:30 AM.
CONCERN: HB 1433 would amend the animal cruelty law to insert text making the negligent poisoning of an animal a misdemeanor crime and the purposeful poisoning of an animal a class B felony, with an exception for using poison to kill rats and vermin. AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs. Our concerns are that “toxic substance” is not defined and may render the bill unconstitutionally vague, and that an owner could be charged with negligence if an unsupervised animal were to accidentally ingest a harmful substance. In addition, an amendment is needed to explicitly recognize the practice of licensed veterinarians who purposely euthanize animals in medically appropriate circumstances.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Owners with examples of how their dog may have inadvertently ingested harmful substances without their knowledge are encouraged to contact the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety regarding HB 1433 with experiences and concerns before January 28, 2022. You can email the committee members at HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us.
The committee will hear public testimony in person on January 28, 2022, at the Legislative Office Building, Room 202-204, 33 North State Street. Concord, NH 03301. Sign in to testify when you arrive. The hearing starts at 9 AM. HB 1433 is scheduled to be taken up at 1:15PM.
CONCERN: HB 1004 would create a misdemeanor for anyone who’s off leash dog causes a person injury and leaves the site of the injury without providing ownership information. While AKC believes it to be well intentioned, the provisions of HB 1004 would be difficult to enforce if a dog owner or keeper leaves the scene without providing identification or contact information. Under current New Hampshire law RSA 466:19, dog bite victims can hold the owner or keeper of the dog that attacked them liable for personal injury and property damages whether the dog was leashed or not, except if the person was. trespassing or committing wrongdoing or crime at the time of the dog bite. Contradictorily, HB 1004 would charge a dog owner with a misdemeanor for failure to provide their contact information to someone injured by their dog even when trespassing on their property. HB 1004 needs to be amended in recognition of current state law.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: New Hampshire residents may provide written comment to the committee members before January 28, 2022, at HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us. The committee will hear public testimony in person on January 28, 2022 at the Legislative Office Building, Room 202-204, 33 North State Street. Concord, NH 03301. Sign in to testify when you arrive. The hearing starts at 9 AM. HB 1004 is scheduled to be taken up at 2:00PM.
For more information on these or other legislative issues in New Hampshire, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Dog Owners of the Granite State at email@example.com.