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Senate Bill 556, as introduced, seeks to expand and make changes to certain laws that govern trapping in the state.  As introduced, this bill could potentially increase hazards for dogs whose owners participate in field trials, Coonhound events, hunting, and training for these sports, as well as hiking, wilderness camping, and other outdoor activities with dogs.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Subcommittee on Fish, Game and Forestry at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Concerned dog owners are encouraged to contact subcommittee members and respectfully urge careful review of potential risks to dogs that could result from this legislation.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages and strongly supports the interaction and mutual enjoyment of owners and dogs in sporting activities such as hunting and field trials; in working circumstances such as herding, tracking, and pulling; and in competition events such as dog shows, obedience trials, agility trials, and other performance events and tests. The AKC believes that dogs should be properly cared for, humanely trained, and not pushed beyond reasonable limits for which they were bred.

AKC understands that S 556 seeks to address the problem of growing, destructive coyote populations. Subcommittee staff indicated that subcommittee members will review comments from a variety of sources and discuss potential negative consequences of the bill.

AKC thanks bill sponsor Senator Stephen Goldfinch and subcommittee members for their willingness to consider the concerns expressed by AKC and other stakeholders who are dedicated to the health and well-being of dogs.

What you can do:

South Carolina dog owners with concerns about Senate Bill 556 should contact subcommittee members prior to the meeting on Wednesday.

Contact information:

Senator Stephen L. Goldfinch, 803-212-6172, StephenGoldfinch@scsenate.gov
Senator Thomas D. Corbin, 803-212-6100, TomCorbin@scsenate.gov
Senator Michael Johnson, 803-212-6008, MichaelJohnson@scsenate.gov
Senator Margie Bright Matthews, 803-212-6016, MargieBrightMatthews@scsenate.gov
Senator J. Thomas McElveen, 803-212-6132, ThomasMcElveen@scsenate.gov

Messages to the full Senate Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry can be sent via an online form.

For questions or additional information, please contact doglaw@akc.org or call 919-816-3720.

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