This week State Senator Gene Yaw introduced Senate Bill 907 which would establish an Animal Welfare Board. The bill, which will allow for a comprehensive review of current and future regulations regarding dogs in the Commonwealth, is supported by the AKC and has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
SB 907 establishes a Board that is empowered to review existing laws and regulations and make recommendations for legislative and regulatory 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 representatives from both the PA Department of Agriculture and the State Attorney General’s office and 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 local constituent breeder had several conversations with Senator Yaw’s staff and provided suggestions which have been included in the legislation. AKC recommendations incorporated in the bill include a representative of the American Kennel Club. Further, to ensure the impact that we believe this Board could have, we suggested that it meet more frequently than originally planned.
As introduced, the board shall review existing laws and regulations in Pennsylvania related to the keeping and handling of animals, including:
(1) The Dog Law.
(2) Section 9.3 of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
(3) 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55 Subch. B (relating to cruelty to animals).
(4) 22 Pa.C.S. Ch. 37 (relating to humane society police officers).
(5) The Animal Welfare Act (Public Law 89-544, 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.).
(6) Any other state law or regulation that the board determines relevant under this act.
Additionally, the board will be empowered to make recommendations for legislative and regulatory changes.
What You Can Do:
- Now that Senate Bill 907 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 907 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 907 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.