Friday, March 27, 2009

WV- Oppose HB 2843- April 1st deadline

from Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance


There are 472 Bills pending in House Judiciary. Oppose HB 2843 and push this bill to the bottom of the list for consideration. The legislature has an April 1st deadline for moving bills out of committee and back to the floor for final vote.

HB 2843 defines a commercial breeder as any person who maintains twenty or more unsterilized dogs over the age of one year and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct or indirect sale or for exchange in return for consideration, except that any person who breeds only greyhound dogs is not considered a commercial dog breeder under this article. The bill establishes two kennel licenses: Class I-Maintain twenty to forty unsterilized dogs over the age of one year at any one time; Class II-Maintain more than forty unsterilized dogs over the age of one year at any time. Mandates record keeping, sales tracking, veterinary documentation, breeding requirements and certification, establishes fines and penalties up to $2500 for section violations; authorizes searches of premise and records.

HB 2843 text, status, summary


* HB 2843 has potential to raise fiscal costs by additional personnel needed for enforcement, and will create legal challenges.

* HB 2843 empowers officials to investigate giving them broad peace officer status and "warrantless search" power. This is a violation of due process and is unconstitutional. Such routine warrantless search cannot be justified under public safety, or health concerns. Any requirement for inspection must show probable cause, and should be clearly articulated, and limited in justification.

* It is wrong to use a numerical basis to begin excessive regulation of dog breeders; numbers do not correlate to quality of care. Laws for animal welfare and to prevent animal cruelty are already in place to protect all animals whether it is one dog or one hundred.

*The requirement for annual veterinary certification of suitable health for breeding is very vague. Certification to determine “suitable” could require anything from routine physical exam to an expensive panel of blood tests and x-rays. Maturity and breeding age is specific to both the individual and the particular breed and should not be broadly legislated. No other species has regulations in place for standards and/or limitations for breeding.

* HB 2843 duplicates provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act and the licensing provisions of the United States Department of Agriculture for wholesale breeder/sellers making the bills unnecessary.

* In these difficult financial times it would seem prudent for legislators to focus their time and energy on the needs of West Virginia families, employment, and avoiding excessive budget cuts rather than create unnecessary legislation.

* HB 2843 was not introduced to upgrade welfare for dogs in West Virginia. HB 2843 is one of two dozen bills with similar language being lobbied by HSUS and their activists across the country to place restrictions and burdens on those who breed dogs in any number and for any reason. HSUS has crusaded to end commercial breeding of dogs and all domestic animals for years. Please do not yield to their anti-animal use agenda.


To call Judiciary Committee members follow this link for contact info

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