The North Carolina General Assembly has been in session for nearly a month. Already, animal rights groups are lobbying our legislators to take up SB 460. Tomorrow (June 2, 2010), the Humane Society of the United States will have a lobby day, in which they will work hard to convince our legislators to pass this bill.
To counteract this push, we are asking all North Carolina dog clubs, breeders, and responsible dog owners to also call and e-mail your state legislators this week and respectfully ask them to oppose Senate Bill 460 and to not allow it to move forward in any form.
The AKC has a number of concerns with Senate Bill 460 as currently written, including:
- Vague definition of “commercial breeder”. The bill defines “commercial breeder” as someone who owns 15 or more intact female dogs “of breeding age” and 30 or more puppies. It is not clear if this is a cumulative number owned over a lifetime, or the number on a property at one time. If the measure is intended to address commerce, this should be defined by the number of dogs sold, rather than by what an individual owns.
- North Carolina already has effective animal abuse laws. SB 460 will do nothing to protect the health or welfare of dogs in North Carolina. North Carolina's existing animal welfare statutes, if properly enforced, actually do a better job of protecting dogs than the provisions of SB 460 will, should the bill be enacted.
- Creation of a new, unfunded mandate for counties. SB 460 gives the state authority to initiate investigations on complaints against commercial breeders, but it makes county authorities responsible for conducting the investigations and follow-up work pursuant to the state's motion. It does not, however, provide funding for this.
- False and misleading legislative findings. The bill's legislative findings are based on unsubstantiated claims and state that the bill does not interfere with a person's right to participate in hunting and working activities with their dog. However, the bill only exempts those who board or train – not those who breed – dogs for show, hunting, working, etc.
Contact your legislators TODAY and politely ask them to oppose Senate Bill 460 and not allow it to move forward in any form. Visit the North Carolina General Assembly's web site and put your Zip Code in the “Who Represents Me?” box in the right-hand menu to find the names and contact information for your legislators.
For more information, contact the AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The North Carolina General Assembly has been in session for nearly a month. Already, animal rights…