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As mentioned in a previous alert, the Virginia House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Agriculture Sub-Committee considered a bill seeking to expand the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services by adding as an at-large member an expert in companion animal welfare who is employed by a releasing agency in the Commonwealth.

During last week’s Agriculture Sub-Committee meeting, bill sponsor Del. C. Matthew Farris offered a substitute version of HB 2109 which will be reconsidered by the Sub-Committee at a meeting on Wednesday, January 27 at 11:00a.m.

The substitute bill eliminates both the appointment of an expert in companion animal welfare as an at-large member and further expansion of the board.  Instead, it would require that at least one of the congressional district appointees is a veterinarian licensed and currently practicing in the Commonwealth.

Although the change does eliminate the at-large member employed by a releasing agency, it does not necessarily eliminate the potential for bias.  As such, it is AKC’s hope that any veterinarian appointed to the Board would be engaged in a private or animal husbandry/agriculture practice in the Commonwealth.

Currently, The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) which is charged in part with oversight of animals and animal shelters, is comprised of one member from each congressional district, at least eight of whom shall be currently practicing farmers, two at-large members, one of whom shall be a structural commercial applicator of pesticides and one of whom shall be engaged in the commercial sale or application of agricultural pesticides.  All members are appointed by the Governor.

What You Can Do:

Those wishing to comment on the bill are encouraged to do so by contacting the Virginia House ACNR Agriculture Subcommittee prior to its meeting on Wednesday, January 27, at 11am:

Del. Wendy Gooditis, Chair
Phone: (804) 698-1010
Email: DelWGooditis@house.virginia.gov

Del. Roslyn Tyler
Phone: (804) 698-1075
Email: DelRTyler@house.virginia.gov

Del. Mark Keam
Phone: (804) 698-1035
Email: DelMKeam@house.virginia.gov

Del. Joshua Cole
Phone: (804) 698-1028
Email: DelJCole@house.virginia.gov

Del. Sally Hudson
Phone: (804) 698-1057
Email: DelSHudson@house.virginia.gov

Del. Daniel Marshall III
Phone: (804) 698-1014
Email: DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov

Del. Charles Poindexter
Phone: (804) 698-1009
Email: DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov

Del. Tony Wilt
Phone: (804) 698-1026
Email: DelTWilt@house.virginia.gov

Del. Kenneth Plum
Phone: (804) 698-1036
Email: DelKPlum@house.virginia.gov

Should the bill gain approval by the Subcommittee, it will likely come before the full ACNR Committee during the full committee meeting, Wednesday, January 27 at 1:00pm.  As such, you are also encouraged to contact the members of the full ACNR Committee.

AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor the bill.  For questions or more information, email doglaw@akc.org.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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