In Oklahoma, committee and crossover deadlines came and passed earlier this month and bills that did not yet receive hearings or consideration in their originating chamber have effectively failed. AKC tracked a number of bills this session and below you will find an update on legislation of interest. The session officially adjourns May 26th.
Bill to Simplify Breeder Reporting Signed into Law
Recently, the Oklahoma Governor signed HB 2059 into law, which makes positive changes to breeder reporting requirements.
The law repeals a section of the Commercial Pet Breeder’s and Animal Shelter Licensing Act that requires licensed breeders to file a yearly report with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) that specifies the number of intact female animals held at the facility and other information about breeding operations from the prior year. The law went into effect immediately after passage.
Prior to the bill becoming the law commercial breeders were required to apply for licensure every year and to complete a report at the conclusion of each license year. Removing this redundant reporting requirement came at the request of the ODAFF, but it also lessens the reporting burden on licensed breeders in the state.
SB 349, an identical bill, passed both the Senate and the House, but the companion HB 2059 was ultimately singed into law.
Dog and Cat Bill of Rights Held in Committee
House Bill 1992, also known as the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights failed last month when it missed a deadline to be heard in House Agriculture Committee. The bill would have codified some common beliefs that animals deserve certain treatment, but the title of the bill and certain clauses declared that dogs and cats have certain rights.
Dogs in Oklahoma are property and AKC remains concerned about any bill that could impact the legal status of animals. Nothing in the bill had new requirements or created new law but if it were codified it could open the door for a radical shift in the legal status of animals.
Bill Penalizing Misrepresenting Service Animals Held in Senate
House Bill 1570 would have made it a misdemeanor to misrepresent a service animal. The bill was approved by the Oklahoma House, but it failed after it missed a deadline to be considered by the Senate Committee on Public Safety.
The AKC strongly condemns characterizing dogs as service animals when they are not, or attempting to benefit from a dog’s service dog status when the person does not have a disability or need for a service animal. House Bill 4164 and House Bill 5206 would have penalized those who knowingly misrepresent a service animal in order to gain rights or privileges reserved for those with true service animals.
AKC Government Relations continues to monitor state and local issues impacting dog owners in Oklahoma. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org