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Texas House Bill 543 seeks to restrict political subdivisions in the state, including counties and municipalities, from imposing requirements that ban the use of working animals.

The bill is scheduled to be considered by the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee on Thursday, March 18, at 8AM.  Texas residents are encouraged to contact the committee today and express support for HB 543. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly supports the training and use of dogs by humans, whose lives are enriched by dogs’ performing essential services. Dogs provide a wide variety of valuable services including: handicapped assistance dogs; drug, bomb, and arson detection dogs; and tracking dogs to locate missing persons and fugitives. The AKC opposes those who seek to define the assistance and service that dogs provide to humans as exploitative. The AKC encourages the continuation and further development of the use of dogs for these and similar purposes.

HB 543:

  • Defines “working animals” as those used for the purpose of performing a specific duty or function, including entertainment, transportation, or education.
  • Restricts political subdivisions from imposing a governmental requirement that terminates, bans, or effectively bans by imposing an undue financial hardship, the job or use of a working animal or an enterprise that employs a working animal.
  • Voids governmental requirements that ban working animals adopted before, on, or after September 1, 2021, the effective date of the act.

Texas residents are encouraged to contact the members of the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee to respectfully request the passage of HB 543.

Rep. DeWayne Burns, Chair (Dist. 58 – Cleburne)

Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, Vice Chair (Dist. 56 – Waco)

Rep. Ernest Bailes (Dist. 18 – Shepherd)

Rep. Sheryl Cole (Dist. 46 – Austin)

Rep. John Cyrier (Dist. 17 – Lockhart)

Rep. Ryan Guillen (Dist. 31 – Rio Grande City)

Rep. Abel Herrero (Dist. 34 – Robstown)

Rep. Jon E. Rosenthal (Dist. 135 – Houston)

Rep. Steve Toth (Dist. 15 – The Woodlands)

Please also contact HB 543 sponsor Rep. James White (Dist. 19 – Hillister) to thank him for sponsoring this important legislation:

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide updates on this and other important Texas legislation as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at