Monday, March 16, 2009

TX- SB 3180

Among all the issues presented by SB 3180 - potentially granting HSUS the right to enter your property without a warrant, defining hobby breeders as being in the business of selling dogs, requiring criminal background checks for "commercial" breeders, setting requirements for which there is no scientific standard for establishing the standard, lack of differentiation of inspection and investigation activities and responsibilities, interfering with the veterinarian-client-patient relationship - two really stand out.

First, demonstrating that this is not about animal care is the fact that there is limit on the number of intact dogs a person may have but no limit on spayed or neutered dogs a person may have. If a person can adequately care for 50+ spayed/neutered animals, there is no reason a person couldn't adequately care for the same number of intact dogs.

Second, the law exempts itself from the requirements of Chapter 2110 of the Government Code which sets rules for Advisory Committees. One of those requirements is that a committee provide “a balanced representation between (a) the industry or occupation; and (b) consumers of services provided by the agency, industry or occupation.” Not only does the advisory committee contain no representatives of the regulated community, but there are only two consumer representatives. Some of the members, not consumers of the services provided, may actually represent interests antithetical to the interests of the regulated community and the consumers, however much "expertise" they may have.

Without getting into the politics if it, someone should ask the Republicans supporting this bill what happened to the strict construction and limited government they are always espousing, And the Democrats should be asked what happened to the democratic principles of inviting everyone to the table and ensuring the widest possible participation that they are always espousing.

Julian Prager
Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, Legislative Chair
Governor's Dog Law Advisory Board Member
National Animal Interest Alliance Legal Analyst & Legislative Coordinator

No comments: