It’s been awhile since I posted anything new. I know that’s frowned upon if you have a blog, my apologies. But, the General Assembly gets me back online, checking it out and working towards getting it all together and in your trucks and on your desks. We are a unique profession most don’t understand and we need unique knowledge without the time wasting chatter. So, warm weather is right around the corner and the Assembly is convened. So, back on the horse.
It’s that time again for the NC General Assembly to begin the lengthy process of introducing, voting, passing and abandoning legislative bills. This Session is already interesting for animal welfare professionals; animal related issues already introduced.
Thus far only 6 weeks in we find a bill making Driving a Vehicle with a Live Animal in the Operator’s Lap a crime with a fine of $100 and costs of court. I think allot of feel this one is overdue in making its’ way to the Statehouse. We have all seen it. If someone has to be that close to their pet all the time one would think they would at least make it safer for the pet, let alone everyone else on the road. They make seat belts for dogs now. Representative Pierce from Hoke, Scotland, Robeson and Richmond counties introduced a bill that makes common good sense, too bad some drivers have to have the taxpayers teach them a little.
The bobcat is introduced as our State Cat once again. Last it was introduced it just died in committee.
We might just have a State Spider if Senator Hise can rally the support for the Linville Caverns Spider. A little reading told me it is only found one place in the world, Humpback Mountain which houses Linville Caverns in western NC.
The Linville Caverns Spider may not have much support yet but an Official State Fried Chicken Festival sure does. Cumberland County Senator Floyd would like to see the city of Fayetteville host the Official Fried Chicken Festival and it looks like he is not alone.
The Puppy Mill bill is back and probably won’t go away until something passes that regulates the mills we all see, large and small. This bill draws the line at 10 intact females, over 6 months sold as pets. Of course, hunting and field dogs are again exempted. The bill specifies dogs have clean water, light, food and medical attention, including deworming; again, common sense. Some items go beyond the animal welfare act which is a good thing in my opinion.
It’s a start and we will still have to manage the dogs traded for drugs, pets sold that are sold via fringe advertising, etc. This bill also states local governments can supplement with their own codes, something the Limitations on standards of care for farm animals statute, passed during the last long session specifically denies. Is anyone seeing the pattern I am? It is OK to regulate and protect dogs, it is not OK to regulate and protect other species, especially those that bring in the big bucks. I was floored when that one passed and the counties who supported it. If you haven’t checked the votes on that for your representative in Raleigh, you might before you vote again. But we move on.
Reptiles are back in, buried in an agriculture and natural resources bill. Our violation of Chapter 14 concerning poisonous reptiles is up for amendment to allow the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences or Zoological Park to dispose of reptiles, speaks to court orders, etc.
There are a few more but lawmakers just got started. Should be an interesting year.