Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dog owners stop SB460 in Finance

SB#460 Commercial Dog Breeders stalled in House Finance on Monday, 8/10/09. The House is now adjourned and the bill cannot be heard until May 2010. The bill is stopped, although it is not dead. Committee Chair and bill supporter, Rep. Jennifer Weiss (D-Wake), called another bill to be heard out of order stalling in order to give proponents time to arrive. Although Sen. Davis stated to the press that “procedural problems” caused him to pull the bill from the committee calendar, the truth is that he, HSUS and bill supporters did not have the necessary votes to pass SB460.

The bill had been rapidly amended between Senate passage and committee hearing and a new Fiscal Note added. A major change was to relieve the state of responsibility and pass enforcement to county authorities. SB460 will not require AWS (Animal Welfare Services) to inspect commercial dog breeders; counties will have the sole responsibility to investigate violations related to commercial breeding operations and to take the appropriate enforcement actions authorized by law. It is expected that most investigations would come due to complaints about specific facilities.

Without including extreme budgets, such as Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Services with a budget of $4.7 million, the average county animal control functions on a budget of approximately $550,000 annually. To pass along an unfunded mandate to local animal control and counties who are already struggling with budgets is completely unreasonable.

SB460 can still return for consideration in May 2010. It is your responsibility to speak with your Representative and explain the many problems with this HSUS inspired legislation. This is the tip of the iceberg. The number of bills HSUS and animal rightist friends were able to introduce in this NCGA legislative session was nothing short of breathtaking. That is only a small part of the HSUS arsenal against dog owners and the animal agriculture industry.

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