Gov. Tomblin has finally signed the Puppy Mill Bill! Five long years for this bill and the Spay Neuter Bill to get through the Legislature. Both have been tweaked but they still passed. We will provide more of an update on exactly what each bill means for the animals of WV soon. For now, let's just enjoy our measure of success! Thanks to all of you who made calls, sent emails and went to Charleston. You truly were the voice for these animals!
FOHO WV Legislative Action position papers now available on the following topics:
Spay Neuter Funding for West Virginia - why we need it! (PDF)
Breed Specific Bans : why they do not work and good alternatives to them - (PDF)
Jo Staats, FOHO WV Legislative Action board member is working with Bluefield citizens to halt a proposed ban on specific breeds of dogs....Read more about it below in the article "Zero tolerance on breed specific bans
Puppy Mills or Large Commercial Breeding Facilities - why this cruelty needs to be regulated! (PDF)
The information in these position papers is provided for your use in arguing for these issues. Help us to be the voice for the animals of West Virginia. Please distribute this information to your legislators to support our efforts. Help us to help the animals of WV!
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 00:56
The Legislative Session ended 4/11/09. SB 501 to ban gas chambers in WV was the only animal bill passed that FOHO supported. However, it was not signed by the Gov. and was sent to special session where it finally passed and will become effective law on August 27, 2009.
We posted daily activity affecting animal legislation here. Pending animals bills and also the bill status was available. Committee contact information was listed at the left menu under WV Legislature 2009. We hope that information was helpful to you. First thanks to Sen. Kessler and Sen. Prezioso for sponsoring SB 501. Thanks to Sylvia Shafer for her expertise at the Capitol on behalf of WV Animals combined with her daily updates in keeping us informed. Also thanks to Rob Casto, a lobbyist for HSUS for his assistance. HSUS also had Ann Church working on Humane Rally Day and Best Friends had Claudine Wilkins working on the Puppy Mill Legislation. We thank both of those groups for their efforts at the state level for us. Although the puppy mill bill did not pass it is one that will be back next year. Thanks to Jeanne Guise for her assistance with bill tracking, pdf files and committee contacts. We appreciate those who spoke before the legislative committee hearings. There were several of you and our fear is that we would overlook someone in our attempt to thank you individually. That level of support is critical to our effort in improving the climate for animals throughout WV. Most of all, thanks to all of you in 55 counties in West Virginia who cared enough to make phone calls for the animals! We are improving in our legislative activity each year. The gas chamber bill passed unanously in the legislature with only 1 nay vote. Those details are below. FOHO
6/9/09 - Here is a link to the final SB 501 which passed the special session and will go into effect August 27th, 2009 -pdf file
3/6/09 SB 501 (pdf)
'prohibit gas chamber bill' was introduced today. The bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee. This bill prohibits euthanizing animals by means of the gas chamber. This bill adds one line into current law. The term "humanely destroyed" does not include euthanizing an animal by means of a gas chamber. As we all know, many feel that the chamber is inhumane and death by injection is humane. If you support or oppose this bill email the senate judiciary committee. I support the bill. Sylvia
4/10/09 - SB 501 (gas chamber bill) passed the Senate today. Thanks to ALL of you who called on behalf of this bill. To save even one animal from the gas chamber would make this worth it. But in fact many will be saved! Hopefully those counties currently using the chamber will eventually transition to the preferred lethal injection. These voting details are as follows in the regular session vote:
Senate vote was unanimous with yeas 34 and nays 0 with noone absent.
House of Delegates vote on 4/9/09 was 96 yeas and nays 1 & 3 passed
Nays - 1 was J. Miller
3 passed - Moore, Shook, Stephens Submitted by FOHO since Sylvia is out of town for a couple of days.
4/9/09 - you must contact your Senator today - there is no time left!
SB 501 (gas chamber bill) has passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 96-1. It now must go to the Senate for them to concur the changes made in the house and pass the bill. Please tell your Senator to concur with the house changes and vote FOR SB 501. Thank them for voting for it before and ask them to make sure this gets passed. When the bill was before the Senate a few weeks ago it was passed overwhelmingly with only two votes opposing. You need to go to the state legislative site to find your Senator. There are just too many to list here. Go to www.legis.state.wv.us. (and by the way, those two opposing Senate votes simply did not like the grandfather clause - well neither do we but we would rather have it passed even with the grandfather clause to keep other counties from using chambers and to provide much needed oversight.)
SB 501 (gas chamber bill) is on 3rd reading tomorrow in the house on 4/9. If it passes it must go back to the Senate for them to concur with the changes made in the House. Sylvia
FOHO note: Make sure to check back here Thursday April 9th. If this bill passes the house and we think it will, it then goes back to the Senate since it has been amended. It then has to pass the Senate again so you will need to call your Senators, thank them for supporting it before and ask them to support it again and get it passed as is. The amendment provides needed oversight for gas chamber use and also offers authority for CAET's to use a sedative for calming uncontrollable animals. Again, we have only this week so make sure to check Thursday!
SB 501 Gas Chamber Bill : This bill is on first reading on the Special Calendar tomorrow. Now is the time to email or call your delegates and ask them to vote for this bill AS IS. You need to do this tonight or tomorrow morning. The 2nd reading is when it can be amended on the floor and that will be either tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning.
Thanks to all of you who called or emailed the Rules Committee to get this bill on the Special Calendar.
FOHO note: You need to go to the state site to find your individual legislators. There are just too many to list here. This is a general vote on the floor so they must hear from you that you support the passage of this bill. Please call or send them email that you want them to support SB 501. You have to do this tonight or tomorrow by 4/7. This is the last week of the session so there is little time left. www.legis.state.wv.us
Please help us to stop the gassing of animals in WV animal shelters!
SB 501 Gas Chamber Bill was heard and passed today in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill is greatly amended and is more acceptable now. Cats were removed so they would not have to be held five days. The Grandfather clause stayed in the bill. Use of sedative type drugs to be used on animals out of control was added to the bill. This is now a good bill and we need your help. This bill now goes to the Rules Committee. If your delegate serves on this Committee, please email or call them tonight or early tomorrow with this request. "PLEASE PLACE SB 501 ON THE HOUSE SPECIAL CALENDAR. You can also just call any members of the rules committee requesting this too. The more calls they get, the better it is. If the Rules Committee does this, it will then go to the full House where all of the delegates vote. If it passes out of the House, then it must go back to the Senate for them to concur. The session ends 4-11. The list of members of the Rules Committee can be found on our left menu bar - WV Legislature 2009/House Committees/House Rules Committee on this FOHO website. Thanks, Sylvia
FOHO note: We decided that it is preferable to pass the bill keeping any more counties from using a gas chamber. Yes, it does grandfather those 5-6 counties using the chamber but it places a number of restrictions upon the use of the gas chamber in those counties. Please make your contacts immediately or this bill will not get out of the rules committee and to the house. It has such a narrow window to pass. This is the last week of the session! Please help!
FOHO note: Make sure to check here often tomorrow since we will have to make quick contact with our Senators if this passes the house tomorrow.
Senate Vote on 4/10/09 on the passage of the bill, the yeas were 34.
The nays were: None. Absent: None.
House of Delegates Vote on 4/9/09 YEAS: 96 / NAYS: 1 / NOT VOTING: 3 PASSED
NAYS: 1 Miller, J / NOT VOTING: 3 Moore, Shook, Stephens
FOHO note- Gas Chamber Bill still alive: During the House Judiciary Committee Hearing, an agreement was reached to grandfather the 5-7 counties (number is not exactly known but the bill would require reporting) using gas chambers without a time limit. It was decided that it was preferable to pass the bill keeping any more counties from using a gas chamber. The language on cats will be removed. A number of restrictions will be imposed upon the use of the gas chamber. FOHO is supporting the passage of this bill. Sylvia will keep us informed of this progress and what to do to support the bill. Submitted by FOHO
Bad news, HB 2843 is dead. This is the puppy mill bill. It was never heard in House Judiciary committee as they ran out of time. The only bills alive are SB501 which is the gas chamber bill and two bills removing the sales tax on veterinarian medicine. They are SB 533 and HB 3079. One of these bills will be dropped as they are the same.
FOHO note: Our Humane Lobby Day presence is still needed. We have the gas chamber bill to get passed. Plus we need to make sure our legislators hear our concerns that bills like the ‘puppy mill bill’ and the commercial feed fee bill to fund spay neuter are bills that must be passed in West Virginia. So we are ramping up for next year. There are a lot of legislators that supported all of these measures but there was not time to get some of this to the floor. Many other important pieces of legislation died in committee so we are not alone. We need to thank those that supported us and get those that did not on board with us. We will get instructions on Thursday to assist us with this. See you on April 2nd to lobby for the animals!
FOHO note: Status of SB 292 tax deduction for spay neuter: This is the bill that Sylvia talked to Finance about and the problem is they are not able to estimate the tax loss to the state. There is a concern on this and it will not pass until the amount of monies involved is known. It was suggested that before next year someone figure how much revenue loss is involved. Sylvia talked to a local vet and they could not give an answer. It seems we would need to contact every vet in the state for amount of dollars charged to clients.
I missed a bill that was introduced on 3-23. It is SB 748 and is the same as HB 3079 that eliminates the sales tax on prescription drugs for animals. SB 748 went to Finance.
SB 501 (gas chamber bill) has been sent to House Judiciary. This bill has been much amended. It now grandfathers in existing gas chambers which means that the shelters that use the chamber can continue and creates a 5 day holding period for cats.The holding period for cats sounds great, but shelters cannot comply. Many county shelters in this state do not even take in cats and those that do, cannot hold for five days during warm weather. The House will not work on this bill until 4-2 so please hold your emails to the House until 4-2.
FOHO Note: Word is that the Agriculture Committee may not meet again this week which would make SB 745 (commercial food fee for spay neuter) dead in that committee. With so much legislation and work to do it is surprising that they would not meet so late in the session. But just in case, please send your emails as planned so the committee members get the message that WV needs this legislation. We realize that it often takes more than one year to pass a bill and these legislators will be back next year. We will make plans to talk to our legislators all year long to prepare for this bill to be introduced earlier in the session next year and have support early for passage. We have heard that the pet food industry lobby may gear up against us so we will need to be prepared.
SB 501(gas chamber bill) passed the senate today. I will let you know tomorrow which committees in the House that you should contact.
SB 745 the bill that places a fee on commercial food for the distributor does need help. Please go to www.fohowv.org
for whom you should call. All of this money goes to spay/neuter. We have a very short window to get this bill moving out of committee or it will be dead this year.
While I was gone HB 3112 (pdf file)was introduced. This bill is very interesting and has a goal to protect livestock in dire conditions. This bill is in the Agriculture Committee and then has a second reference to Judiciary.
SB 745 (pdf file) was introduced today. This bill establishes a commercial feed distributor permit fee to fund spay/neuter. This bill is in Agriculture and then to Finance.
FOHO Note: SB 745 is a very important bill to provide ongoing revenue at the state level which will fund spay/neuter programs throughout West Virginia. We have needed a resource to help with pet-overpopulation in the state and this can be part of our solution. Be clear that it will be a fee on the distributor of commercial pet food brands in the state & not on the consumer. They are already paying a brand fee and we will just take a tiny portion of it. They make a lot of money on pets in the state. And this way, they become part of our solution in assisting with our pet problem of overpopulation. It will be for ongoing funding for spay/neuter in WV. You really need to contact the Senate Agriculture Committee members and the Senate Finance Committee members and tell them how much we need this funding for spay neuter in West Virginia and for them to support the bill. Committee contact information is listed at the left menu under WV Legislature 2009.We do not have a lot of time to get this moving through the process of getting passed. Visit www.snapwv.org for more information on spay/neuter funding.
SB 501 (gas chamber bill – pdf below) has been amended and is on 3rd reading tomorrow.
HB 3079 (veterinarian medication bill - pdf below) is now in the Finance Committee. Today was the last day for bills to be introduced, although there are exceptions. Sylvia
3/20/09 submitted by Jeanne Guise:
The amended gas chamber bill, SB 501, had its first reading in the Senate today. The committee substitute version allows the continuation of gas chambers in those counties currently using them. The key wording is:
(2) The term "humanely destroyed" does not include euthanizing a dog by means of a gas chamber: Provided, That any county which has a gas chamber in operation as of the effective date of this section may continue to operate the gas chamber subject to the following: (1) The gas chamber shall be operated by an animal euthanasia technician certified pursuant to article ten-a, chapter thirty of this code; and (2) the gas chamber shall have been manufactured and installed by a person who regularly manufactures and installs gas chambers.
FOHO was instrumental in getting SB 501 submitted. We are concerned about the amended gas chamber bill allowing certain counties to continue to use the gas chamber indefinitely. A better option would include a reasonable timeline to discontinue the use of the gas chamber. FOHO believes lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the method of choice for humane euthanasia of dogs, cats, other small animals and horses.
In the House, HB 2843, the "puppy mill bill," has moved out of the Agriculture Committee with a recommendation of passage and is now referred to Judiciary.
HB 3079, which would eliminate the sales tax on medications dispensed by veterinarians, has moved out of the Health and Human Resources Committee with a recommendation of passage and is now referred to Finance.
3/12/09 HB 2533 (pdf)
regulating veterinary medicine, having passed the House, is now in the Senate Government Organization Committee. The pdf shows all the sections affecting CAETs. Submitted by Jeanne Guise.
3/11/09 HB 3079 (pdf)
was introduced today. This bill would remove the 6% sales tax that veterinarians must pay for prescription drugs for the animals they treat. This bill is in Health and Human Resource Committee and then Finance.You will not receive emails from me until 3-23. Jeanne Guise will be tracking and relaying to FOHO. Thanks, Sylvia
3/5/09 HB 2953 (pdf)
was introduced today. This bill is to provide for the issuance of "Animal Friendly" license plates. This bill has a FISCAL NOTE which means it will be harder to pass in this economy. If you decide to read the bill, go to page 43 and look at what is underscored. This is new language being inserted into a current law.The bill has been sent to Roads and Transportation Committee and then it is secondly referenced to Judiciary.The chair of Agriculture has committed to place HB 2843 on his agenda for 3-11 or 3-18. Sylvia
Senate bill 447 was introduced today. This is the same as the Puppy Mill bill, HB 2843. The legislature has decided to work on the HB, so you do not need to do anything concerning SB 447. We need you to email Delegate Sam Argento, the chairman of House Agriculture Committee, and ask him to please put HB 2843 on his committee agenda. His address is
. Then, if you have members of the House Agriculture Committee from your area, please email them and ask them to vote for HB 2843.
HB 2533 (primarily for state vet board) has passed the House with a Committee Sub bill. This bill is now listed on the website and is an amended version. This bill now goes to the Senate who will not consider until later in the session.
Two new bills were introduced today.
HB 2699 (pdf file)
"Aggressive or vicious dog breeding restrictions." This bill is double referenced, first to Agriculture and then to Judiciary Committees. My question about this bill is who declares the dog vicious or potentially dangerous? If HB 2721 passes, it could work with that bill.
HB 2721 (pdf file)
"Dangerous Dog Act." This bill is also double referenced, first to Agriculture and then Judiciary Committees. This bill has some very good language and is not all bad. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BILL. My concern is how we qualify that a dog is dangerous and who is determining that. If you are for or against you should contact the House Agriculture Committee.
A great bill was introduced today and it is SB 292 (pdf file)
which gives a tax deduction for dog and cat spay/neuter. This bill is in the Senate Finance Committee. Emails and calls need to be made asking that this bill be placed on the committee agenda. I believe that many people would s/n to get the write-off.
HB 2533 (pdf file on 3/12/09) has a section on Certified Animal Euthanasia Technician and should be reviewed by all shelters that euthanize animals. If you
see any problems, let me know. This bill updates the law governing the practice of veterinary medicine. THIS BILL HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED FOR PASSAGE AND IS AN INTERIM STUDY BILL. It is now in the committee on Government Org. and then will move to Judiciary.
Three animal bills were introduced today.
1. SB 6 (pdf file)- Care and management of feral cats. This bill allows TNR programs. There is not any funding in this bill and does not require TNR programs.
2. SB 83 (pdf file)is a bill that I asked for two years ago. It does not make tethering illegal, but it does set standards for humane tethering.
3. HB 2061 (pdf file) would prohibit abusive treatment of elephants. This would be in a traveling circus.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 April 2010 14:43