This week State Senator Gene Yaw introduced Senate Bill 785 , a reintroduction of a bill he sponsored last session to establish an Animal Welfare Board. The bill, which will allow for a comprehensive review of current and future laws and regulations regarding dogs in the Commonwealth, includes representation by the AKC, the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, licensed breeders, and the Northeast Beagle Gundog Federation, among others.
SB 785 is supported by the AKC and has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Pennsylvania dog owners are encouraged to contact the committee and their State Senator to express support for this bill. Scroll down for contact information.
SB 785 establishes a new Animal Welfare Board empowered to review existing laws and regulations related to the keeping and handling of animals and make recommendations for changes. Further, unlike a short-focused Task Force, this Board would continue until such a time that legislation was passed to eliminate it, thereby, allowing it to provide review and recommendation to any law or regulation established going forward.
The Board will consist of representation from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the State Attorney General’s office, and the Pennsylvania State Police as well as a broad variety of stakeholders, including those who are directly impacted by dog laws and regulations in Pennsylvania and two representatives of the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs (and one must be a Pennsylvania kennel license holder).
During the development of the legislation, AKC GR and a representative of the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs had conversations with Senator Yaw’s staff to confirm representation by the American Kennel Club, a breeder, and sportsmen. Further, to ensure the impact that we believe this Board could have, we suggested that it meet more frequently than originally planned.
What You Can Do:
- Now that Senate Bill 785 has been referred to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, we encourage you to contact Senator Elder Vogel, Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and ask him to bring the bill up for a full committee vote.
- Contact the members of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to voice your support of SB 785 and encourage them to request that the bill be brought up for a committee vote.
- Contact your Senator to make them aware of your support of SB 785 and encourage them to contact Senator Vogel to have the bill brought up for a full committee vote.
- Finally, contact Senator Gene Yaw and thank him for sponsoring this important legislation and working with the American Kennel Club.
For questions or more information on how you can get involved in Pennsylvania, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.