Minnesota Legislature 2013-2014 Biennium
This was an exciting biennium for animal protection in Minnesota! The second year, 2014, two pro-animal pieces of legislation were signed into law: The Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Law and The Beagle Freedom Law.
Read about these and other legislative efforts to protect animals in Minnesota below. And stay tuned for our 2013-2014 Humane Scorecard to see how your elected state senator and representative voted on bills affecting animals…
Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation (SF 36/HF 84)
Great news- the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation bill is now officially law in the State of Minnesota! On May 20, 2014, Governor Dayton signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (H.F. 3172), which included the dog and cat breeder regulation bill. The new law requires commercial dog and cat breeders in MN to be licensed; it gives legal authority to the MN Board of Animal Health to inspect commercial dog and cat breeding facilities annually and enforce existing and new laws to ensure animal care standards are met; and it imposes civil, administrative and criminal penalties for those who violate the law. MVAP is a member of the Speak Up for MN Dogs and Cats Coalition supporting this bill. Read about other provisions included in the law and more about the multi-year effort to get it passed HERE.
Beagle Freedom Legislation (SF 2068/HF 3234 and SF 1164/HF 1370)
Championed by Senator Dibble, Representatives Huntley and Lesch, and advocacy organization Beagle Freedom Project, the original bill was rolled into an omnibus bill, H.F. 3172, and signed into law in 2014. The new law requires that any research institution that receives state funding must offer dogs and cats who have been used for testing purposes and who would otherwise be euthanized, if research does not require them being destroyed at the termination of the test, be offered for adoption through an animal rescue organization. We want to thank MVAP supporters who attended Humane Lobby Day who lobbied for this bill! Read more.
Protections for Wolves
During 2013-2014 there were four bills that dealt with wolves. None of these bills passed into law, but two provisions that protect wolves were included in the Game and Fish Bill, HF 2852, which was signed into law in 2014: required quarterly reporting of wolf deaths; and a doubling of the penalty for a repeat offense of wolf poaching. Wolf bills during this biennium include: SF 666/HF 1163, which places a five-year moratorium on wolf hunting; HF 3196 prohibits wolf trapping, baiting, and the overall taking of any wild animal with snares; SF 2256/HF2680 suspends the wolf hunt in order to study outcomes of the wolf hunt on the wolf population and to implement the wolf management plan, including a wolf census, development of best management practices (including non-lethal methods) for livestock producers, and annual review by a task force representing a diverse group of stakeholders; and finally, HF 2193 closes the wolf hunt on Indian reservations. Read more.
Dog- Safe Trapping Bill
Body-gripping traps are killing people’s dogs. They may legally be set in places that are frequented by people and their dogs—often leading to tragedy. People are surprised, and their dogs are killed, in ditches along roads, near trailhead parking lots, along trails and in recreational areas, even on neighboring land. Representative Ward introduced House File 456 and Senator Wiger introduced Senate File 452, which requires body-gripping traps be set in such a way as to protect dogs from being accidentally caught. This bill did not advance during the 2013-2014 legislative session. Read more.
Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Three bills were introduced during the 2013-2014 session addressing the problems inherent in continually feeding low doses of antibiotics to animals on factory farms, Senate File 1285/House File 1290 and Senate File 1638. These bills did not advance during the session. Routine administration of antibiotics in feed is used to keep animals on industrial farms in intense, crowded, and unnatural confinement as well as to promote their rate of growth. Many of the antibiotics given to these animals on are the same antibiotics used to treat diseases in humans. The use of antibiotics on factory farms contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance in disease-causing pathogens. The result is fewer effective antibiotics for medical doctors to use against human diseases. Nontherapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in animal feed contributes to potential harm for humans and suffering for animals on industrial farms. Read more.
Legislative reports by year
Legislative Wrap Up 2011-2012
Special Session 2011