Legislative wrap up 2009-2010

The 2009-2010 biennium yielded some noticeable wins for the animals and a few losses as well. While this wrap up doesn’t include a report on all animal bills at the Minnesota State Legislature for the past two years, it highlights a few key ones.

Remember that Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection will be issuing a Humane Scorecard this year, to let you know how YOUR legislators voted on animal issues.

Thank you for your concern for the humane treatment of animals in MN. Your compassion is what drives improvements for the animals!

Wins for animals this legislative biennium

Pets in orders for protection- PASSED!

MVAP position- Support

The pets in orders for protection bill, SF 838/ HF 1396, enables the court to order protection for pets in restraining orders. Introduced by Senator Pappas, DFL-St. Paul and Representative Paymar, DFL- St. Paul, these bills were rolled into a domestic violence omnibus bill, SF 2437, which passed the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Pawlenty on May 10, 2010. In domestic violence situations, abusing pets is a way to control, intimidate and hurt other members of the family. Victims are often afraid to leave abusive situations because of concern for their pets or other animals. This law is a wonderful step forward for human and animal victims of domestic violence.

The votes taken on pets in orders for protection bills will be included in MVAP’s Humane Scorecard.

=====

Service animal and animal fighting bill- PASSED!

MVAP position- Support

Two bills rolled into one

The animal fighting bills, SF 800/HF 728 (introduced by Senator Foley, DFL-47, and Representative Mullery, DFL-58A) were combined with the service animal bills, SF 2990/HF 3312 (introduced by Senator Dibble, DFL-60, and Representative Greiling, DFL-54A) for two new protections in state law for animals. The animal fighting provision makes the possession of any device or substance that enhances an animal’s ability to fight illegal. It is difficult to catch animal fighting as it happens, so this law gives law enforcement another important tool to crack down on animal fighting. The service animal provision makes it a criminal penalty to intentionally render a service animal unable to perform its duties.

The votes taken on the animal fighting/service animals bills will be included in MVAP’s Humane Scorecard.

=====

Game and fish bill-VETOED!

MVAP position- Oppose

The Omnibus Game and Fish Bill, SF 2900/HF 3124 (introduced by Senator Chaudhary, DFL-50, and Representative Dill, DFL-6A), had numerous provisions that were problematic for animal protection: Sec 39 permitted bear baiting with a drum; Sec 41 allowed road authority to kill beavers associated with a lodge that has damaged a road, and allowed for the establishment with the Board of Water and Soil Resources/Wildlife Division a program including bounty on beavers; and Sec 51 permitted any county or town in Minnesota to issue a bounty on coyotes. (An interesting note- Representative Thao (DFL-65A) succeeded in amending this bill in the House to include allowing big game to be hunted by spear. This was removed during conference committee.) Governor Pawlenty vetoed this bill on May 25, 2010, according to the Star Tribune and MPR, in part due to concerns that the bill was legislatively overreaching and concerns around Senator Chaudhary’s insertion of language that would improve fishing on a lake where the senator owns a cabin.

=====

Horse slaughter- FAILED!

MVAP position- Oppose

The legislature considered a pro-horse slaughter resolution, SF 133/HF 840 (introduced by Senator Dille, R-18, and Representative Juhnke, DFL-13B) but the bill failed to become law. Though it passed the Senate in 2009, it failed to pass the House in 2010. The bill urged Congress to oppose the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act—legislation that would prohibit the transport and slaughter of American horses for human consumption.

The votes taken in the Senate on the pro-horse slaughter resolution will be included in MVAP’s Humane Scorecard.

====================================================

Losses for animals this legislative biennium

Dangerous dog- NO ACTION; DID NOT PROGRESS

MVAP position- Support

The dangerous dog bill, SF 309/HF 115, if passed, would have required dangerous dog owners to take responsible dog owner classes and pass certain tests. Introduced by Senator Anderson and Representative Lesch, the bill would have helped hold owners of dangerous dogs responsible for their dogs’ behavior. Animal control professionals generally agree that most dangerous dogs are created by irresponsible ownership.

====================================================

Mourning dove hunting- NO ACTION; DID NOT PROGRESS

MVAP position- Support

A bill prohibiting mourning dove hunting, SF 1710/HF 1321, introduced by Senator Dibble and Representative Clark, failed to pass out of committee this biennium.

====================================================

Puppy and kitten mill bill- FAILED

MVAP position- Support

The puppy and kitten mill bill, SF 7/HF 253, introduced by Senator Betzold and Representative Tillberry, was intended to regulate the commercial breeding of dogs and cats in Minnesota by requiring licensing, inspection, compliance with standards of care, and by imposing civil and criminal penalties. Although the House bill succeeded in passing the Public Safety and Civil Justice Committees, it did not receive the necessary hearing in the Agriculture Committee. The Senate bill failed to pass in the Agriculture Committee.

The votes taken in committee on the puppy/kitten mill bill will be included in MVAP’s Humane Scorecard.

====================================================

solvoters
solvoters

No Comments

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *