A bill is quickly moving through the Utah Legislature that could protect dog shows, working dogs, and pet choice in the state.
This is the last week of session, so it is important that you contact your State Representative and State Senator today and ask them to support House Bill 476. Scroll down for contact information.
House Bill 476, which is currently pending a vote by the full House of Representatives, has the innocuous title of “Local Agriculture Amendments”. When you look closer, though, you will see that it actually protects animal events, businesses, and many animal owners from restrictive local laws and regulations.
It protects “animal enterprises”, which is broadly defined as a “commercial or academic enterprise” that uses or sells animals for profit or exhibition, among many other uses. This includes animal competitions and exhibitions. It would also protect “working animals”, which includes animals “used for a specific function in commerce”, including education or exhibition.
These broad terms would seem to protect working animals, including livestock guardian dogs, and animals used in exhibition or competition that generate commerce in the state.
The bill would also protect legitimate retail pet stores from being shut down or restricted. This is important in protecting pet choice and consumer protection in the state. For more information on this issue and AKC’s position, visit www.akcgr.org/petchoice.
Dog shows and other AKC dog events have a significant impact on local Utah economies. In addition, dogs can provide numerous benefits to farmers and others working in agriculture in the state. House Bill 476 would ensure that local governments do not pass any laws that would restrict or ban legitimate animal competitions, businesses, or humane uses of working animals (likely including show dogs) in the state.
What You Can Do:
This is the last week of session and this bill will likely move quickly. Please do the following today:
- Contact your State Representative and State Senator. Let them know you are a constituent and ask them to support House Bill 476. If you participate in dog events in the district, be sure to mention that when contacting them.
Click the “My Legislators” tab at https://le.utah.gov/ and type in your address to get the name and contact information for your state legislators.
- Thank the sponsor. Contact Rep. Joel Ferry (Dist. 1- Brigham City) and thank him for sponsoring HB 476. Let him know if you participate in dog events or have a working dog.
AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this and other legislation moving in Utah with the potential to impact dog owners. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.