ACOANH News

January 2020 Proposed Bills from Julia Seeley with HSUS

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Dear fellow animal advocates,

The new year brings new opportunities for you to support animal protection legislation in New Hampshire. Tomorrow, January 8th, 424 state legislators will reconvene for the first day of the 2020 legislative session.

This year, we are working to pass a wide variety of bills that aim to protect domestic animals and wildlife in the Granite State, and we can’t do it without you! The advocacy of individual citizens is critical to the success of strong animal protection legislation, and we are grateful that you are with us to make it happen. Let’s get started!

Step One: Gather contact information for your legislators

The most effective action you can take is to reach out to your state Senator and state Representative(s). We developed a New Hampshire Legislator & State Agency Worksheet to help you organize your contacts so you are ready when we ask you to take action on a bill.

INSIDER TIP: As you identify your state legislators, make sure to note which committee they are in. Many of our future action alerts will ask you to contact a specific committee. If your state Senator or state Representative(s) is in that committee, you will reach out to them individually in addition to contacting the full committee.

Step Two: Contact your state Representative(s)

Call or email your state Representative(s) to introduce yourself and ask him/her to support the following bills. Let them know which town you live in, so they know you are a constituent, and that you will be asking them to support bills that help animals and oppose bills that harm them.

For example: My name is X from X (town), New Hampshire and I'm calling to ask you to support legislation that protects our state’s domestic animals and wildlife. Specifically, I hope you will support the following bills:

House Bill 1388: Prohibiting the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in retail stores. Sponsored by Representative Katherine Rogers (D-Concord) Assigned to the House Environment and Agriculture Committee

It is well-documented that puppy mills—inhumane commercial breeding facilities that disregard the wellbeing of dogs for profit—supply pet stores with puppies. This bill will stop the sale of puppy mill puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet stores and drive the pet market towards more humane sources like shelters, rescues, and responsible breeders. HB 1388 will benefit New Hampshire’s animals and people by reducing the demand for puppy mill puppies, protecting consumers from fraudulent pet store claims, and addressing risks to public health.

House Bill 1387: Prohibiting the declawing of cats. Sponsored by Representative Katherine Rogers (D-Concord) Assigned to the House Environment and Agriculture Committee

Declawing is a medical procedure with serious implications that involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be equivalent to cutting off each finger (and toe) at the last knuckle. It is an unnecessary surgery, most often performed to address convenience issues such as scratching of household furniture and it provides no medical benefit whatsoever to the cat. HB 1387 will end the practice of declawing cats in New Hampshire except in cases when necessary to address the physical condition of the cat.

House Bill 1606: Relative to cruelty to a wild animal, fish, or wild bird. Sponsored by Representative Ellen Read (D-Newmarket) Assigned to the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee

New Hampshire is one of only a handful of states (including Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas) that does not protect its free-roaming wild animals from cruelty. Under current law, a person who maliciously tortures, beats, or mutilates a non-captive wild animal cannot be charged with animal cruelty. If the same acts were committed against a pet, horse, farm animal, or other domestic or captive wild animal, the guilty person could be convicted of a felony. HB 1606 will update our laws to protect New Hampshire’s wildlife from intentional cruelty and make our communities safer while exempting lawful sportsman activities.

House Bill 1571: Relative to the qualifications for the members of the fish and game commission. Sponsored by Representative Ellen Read (D-Newmarket) Assigned to the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee

New Hampshire is the only state in the country that requires every member of the Fish & Game Commission—an 11-member body that sets all wildlife policies for the Fish & Game Department—hold a hunting, trapping, or fishing license in order to serve. This outdated policy limits our state’s ability to effectively address threats to wildlife and natural resources by prohibiting experts in biology, ecology, wildlife conservation and others from making crucial decisions simply because they don’t have a hunting, trapping, or fishing license. HB 1571 will strengthen the Fish and Game Commission by removing those license requirements and expanding its membership to represent a broader range of needs and expertise.

House Bill 1542: Relative to children, vulnerable adults, and animals in hot vehicles. Sponsored by Representative Cam Kenney (D-Durham) Assigned to the House Judiciary Committee

Every year, Granite Staters come across animals in need of rescue from parked cars on hot days. First responders on the scene to rescue animals left in hot cars around the country have given firsthand accounts of the suffering that an animal left in such conditions can endure. HB 1542 will ensure that Good Samaritans can intervene to save the life of an animal, child, or vulnerable adult who is at serious risk of bodily injury or death from being confined in a vehicle in extreme weather conditions.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Step Three: Encourage family and friends to advocate for animals

Since animals can’t speak for themselves, we need as many people as possible who will make calls, send emails, and submit testimony at hearings in support of animal protection legislation. We will alert you when these crucial policies are scheduled for a public hearing or an important vote so you can take action.

Please reach out to your family and friends and ask them to join us in helping New Hampshire become a safer and more humane place for animals. They can get involved by signing up for our email newsletter, following us on Facebook, or applying to become a District Leader Volunteer.

We also hope you will contribute to the work we do to effect change on the ground, at the capitol, and in communities across our state to improve the welfare of all animals.

Thank you for your advocacy!

Julia Seeley New Hampshire State Director

jseeley@humanesociety.org P 603-717-8854 humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s most effective animal protection organization, fighting for all animals for more than 60 years. To support our work, please make a monthly donation, give in another way or volunteer.

Copyright © 2020 The Humane Society of the United States, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: The Humane Society of the United States PO Box 3442 Concord, NH 03302

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©2024 By Animal Control Officers Association of New Hampshire