New Hampshire House Bill 1102, which describes brachycephaly as a “birth deformity that causes suffering” and would CRIMINALIZE the sale and breeding of brachycephalic dogs and any dog that could be claimed to have a birth deformity, is scheduled to be considered by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at 2PM.
HB 1102 is one of the most egregious anti-breeding bills introduced in a state legislature over the past decade. While it may appear that this bill only targets a subset of breeders, its expansive language actually targets breeders of all dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the New Hampshire Dogs Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS) believes it is imperative that all New Hampshire breeders, owners, and residents, and AKC-affiliated clubs in New Hampshire and national breed parent clubs express strong opposition to HB 1102. (Scroll down to contact legislators, below, for contact information.)
Summary of HB 1102:
- Labels brachycephaly as an animal deformity that causes suffering.
- Adds the sale and breeding of brachycephalic animals to the state’s criminal definition of animal cruelty.
- Adds the intentional breeding of two animals with “the same birth deformity that causes suffering” to the state’s criminal definition of animal cruelty.
- Provides for the criminal prosecution of breeders.
Talking Points in Opposition to HB 1102 (As Introduced):
- HB 1102 will devastate New Hampshire’s ability to produce purebred dogs and will establish a dangerous precedent for radical legislative proposals around the country.
- HB 1102 inaccurately concludes that all brachycephalic animals, including dogs, suffer from serious health issues. In reality, brachycephaly does not equal unhealthy. Across all dog types, multiple factors can contribute to differences in dogs’ breathing, including physical condition, environment, and genetics. Nevertheless, all breeding of brachycephalic breeds–regardless of respiratory quality, breeder background, fancier status, or club affiliation—will be a criminal act under HB 1102, which will have a chilling effect on all responsible dog breeding.
- HB 1102 inaccurately implies that all who breed dogs do so without regard for the dogs’ welfare. Facts demonstrate that responsible purebred dog breeders are passionate about both preserving breed characteristics and producing healthier successive generations
- Protecting and promoting responsible breeders and the puppies they produce is a better solution than threatening them with criminal prosecution based on inaccurate information that creates a perverse incentive for New Hampshire residents to buy puppies online that are not protected by New Hampshire consumer protection laws.
- By banning intentional breeding when a “birth deformity causes suffering”, HB 1102 targets all breeds regardless of phenotype. Breeding dogs is part art and part science; and despite best efforts chance plays a part when it comes to inherited disease or health conditions.
- HB 1102 is unconstitutionally vague. There is no way to know for each breed type how the provisions of HB 1102 would be interpreted and enforced.
- New Hampshire’s pet buyers would be better served through enforcement and strengthening of its consumer protection laws for pet purchasers.
All breeders, owners, and residents, along with all AKC-affiliated clubs in New Hampshire and all national breed parent clubs, are strongly encouraged to express opposition to HB 1102 to the members of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee and bill sponsor State Representative Ellen Read. Please share your experiences and concerns and feel free to use the talking points above in sharing your opposition to HB 1102.
For all: Use “Oppose HB 1102” in your email subject line.
New Hampshire residents: In your email, identify what city/town you’re emailing from.
Parent clubs: Send email under club letterhead and share that your club is the national expert organization of your breed.
Committee members and Sponsor Read may be individually contacted as follows:
State Representative Judy Aron, Chair – Judy.Aron@leg.state.nh.us, 603.843.5908
State Representative Jim Creighton, Vice Chair – email@example.com, 603.588.2739
State Representative Barbara Comtois, Clerk – Barbara.Comtois@leg.state.nh.us, 603.776.8989
State Representative Kevin Verville – firstname.lastname@example.org, 603.731.0654
State Representative Arnold Davis – email@example.com, no phone number listed
State Representative Jacob Brouillard – Jacob.Brouillard@leg.state.nh.us, 978.876.4544
State Representative Matthew Coulon – Matthew.Coulon@leg.state.nh.us, no phone number listed
State Representative Catherine Kenny – Cathy.Kenny@leg.state.nh.us, 603.883.7535
State Representative Kelley Potenza – Kelley.Potenza@leg.state.nh.us, 603.456.1741
State Representative Lisa Smart – Lisa.Smart@leg.state.nh.us, 603.393.6766
State Representative Peter Bixby – Peter.Bixby@leg.state.nh.us, 603.749.5659
State Representative Catherine Sofikitis – catherine4Ward7@gmail.com, no phone number listed
State Representative Sherry Dutzy – Sherry.Dutzy@leg.state.nh.us, 603.557.5599
State Representative Megan Murray – Megan.Murray@leg.state.nh.us, 978.494.4636
State Representative Nicholas Germana – Nicholas.Germana@leg.state.nh.us, 603.762.8139
State Representative Linda Haskins – Linda.Haskins@leg.state.nh.us, no phone number listed
State Representative Molly Howard – Molly.Howard@leg.state.nh.us, 603.525.9330
State Representative Allison Knab – Allison.Knab@leg.state.nh.us, 603.580.5896
State Representative Corine Morse – firstname.lastname@example.org, no phone number listed
State Representative Paige Beauchemin – email@example.com, 603.296.5489
State Representative Ellen Read, HB 1102 Sponsor – firstname.lastname@example.org, 352.978.7692
Those opposed can also register their opinion and upload/submit testimony to NH House Environment and Agriculture Committee via this online platform up until midnight on January 15, 2024. Please note that Information and testimony submitted on this form is entered into the public record for each piece of legislation and will be considered public records subject to disclosure under New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law. Do not submit any personal information you do not wish to disclose publicly.
ATTEND THE COMMITTEE HEARING
In addition to contacting the legislators listed above, those in opposition to HB 1102 are strongly encouraged to appear alongside representatives of AKC and NH DOGS at the January 16 committee hearing to express their opposition. HB 1102 is scheduled to be considered at 2PM in Room 301-303 of the Legislative Office Building, 33 North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. When you arrive, sign in stating your opposition and whether you would like to speak.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
AKC and NH DOGS strongly encourage you to join in the fight against this radical legislation. For more information on HB 1102 or how you can help in the fight against it, contact AKC Government Relations at email@example.com or NH DOGS at firstname.lastname@example.org.