Monday, May 9, 2011

TX: Stop HB 1451 In the Senate!

HB 1451 passed the House on 4/27/11 and has been assigned to the Senate
Committee on Criminal Justice chaired by Sen. John Whitmire (D-15). It is
anticipated that Whitmire will be the bill's advocate in the Senate.

HB 1451 requires licensure and inspection of kennels for simply owning more than 10 intact female dogs even if breeding is occasional. The bill classifies these
owners as commercial if even a single litter a year is bred to be used as
hunting, working, security, herding and livestock guardian dogs, service dogs,
or family pets.
Sara Chisnell-Voigt, Legal Counsel United Kennel Club, writes, "UKC believes
that the health and well-being of dogs are of the utmost importance, and are
significant concerns. However, this bill will do more harm to the responsible
breeders than they will to protect the welfare of dogs. Defining a commercial
kennel by 11 or more intact adult female dogs is an unacceptable threshold."

Bill author, Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) and supporting animal rights
groups continually mislead the media claiming the bill is only designed to
ensure that breeders meet health and safety standards and that animals have food
and clean water. However, the Federal engineering standards required by HB 1451
are not compatible with home-based breeding programs. Compliance with Federal regulations would require small and mid-size sporting dog and hobby breeders to construct temperature, humidity, and diurnal lighting controlled kennel buildings costing tens of thousands of dollars. Labeling and registering
breeders as commercial businesses simply because of the number of intact dogs
owned will end many hunting and hobby kennels throughout the state.

Mary Beth Duerler, RPOA Texas Outreach and Responsible Pet Owners Alliance,
explained, "HB 1451 is not written to regulate dog and cat breeders in Texas. It
is written to eliminate them
. The Standards for Care; Confinement and
Transportation adopted must meet federal USDA regulations at a minimum. Bill
sponsors and proponents know they cannot be met in a home environment."

Following the House vote to pass HB 1451, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) posted
the following commentary on his blog, "It establishes a new licensing and
regulatory bureaucracy for breeders. I spoke and voted against the bill because
it increased state government by $2.6 million for the biennium and increased
state bureaucrats by 14. Moreover, I believe it will be ineffective. I doubt
that criminal and cruel breeders, who are already operating outside the law,
will submit themselves to be licensed and regulated and pay a $1300-$4300 fee
per year. It will certainly hinder responsible breeders though and probably
cause some to go out of business. The bill also violates the 4th Amendment by
authorizing inspectors to come unannounced and without the owner or licensee
onto a breeder's property and even into a breeder's home to access animals or
documents without a warrant."

HB 1451 is supported by a number of animal rights organizations, including Texas
Humane Legislation Network (THLN), HSUS, ALDF, and ASPCA. These groups
highlight kennels where hundreds of dogs are kept in poor conditions and, in
true activist style, vilify dog breeders across the board to promote the need
for restrictive legislation.

Texans pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the State's economy every year
hunting, exhibiting, training, and breeding dogs. Their dogs could not hunt,
track, herd, search, or compete in shows and trials if they were not well taken
care of.


Call, fax, and email your Senator and the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
and request they oppose HB 1451.

Committee Contacts:

Sen. John Whitmire (D-15)
(512) 463-0115 / Fax: (512) 475-3737

Sen. Joan Huffman (R-17)
(512) 463-0117 / Fax: (512) 463-0639


Sen. John Carona (R-16)
(512) 463-0116 / Fax: (512) 463-3135

Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-13)
(512) 463-0113 / Fax: (512) 463-0006

Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-18)
(512) 463-0118 / Fax: (512) 475-3736

Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-20)
(512) 463-0120 / Fax: (512) 463-0229

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)
(512) 463-0107 / Fax: (512) 463-8810

HB 1451 is opposed by: American Dog Breeders Association; American Kennel Club;
Animal Owners Association of Texas; Endangered Breeds Association; National
Animal Interest Alliance
; RPOA Texas Outreach and Responsible Pet Owners
; Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance; United Kennel Club;
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance; and many more local and national organizations.

Additional information can be found at the SAOVA website:

http:// at U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance: Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators
Visit SAOVA News

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