The following bills and causes represent Animal Humane Society's legislative priorities.
Companion Animal Board
Bill authors: Senator Ruud and Representative Freiberg
Objective: Establish the Minnesota Companion Animal Board.
- Establishes a Companion Animal Board (CAB) to provide expertise in and oversight of companion animal issues in Minnesota.
- Board members will reflect the purpose of the Board and specific expertise required; including veterinary science, nonprofit shelter management, public human health issues, companion animal rescue, animal breeding, animal control services, companion animal health and disease, and community issues.
- Companion animals assume a different role in the lives of Minnesotans and have needs specific to their species. Creation of a new board allows other state boards and agencies to focus on their core missions.
Bill status: The Companion Animal Board bill passed the House State Government Finance and Elections Committee. Since the bill did not receive a hearing in the House Agriculture and Finance Policy Committee before committee deadline, the bill will not advance further in 2022. AHS will continue working with coalition partners and stakeholders to build support for this important policy.
Humane Pet Store
Bill authors: Senator Bigham and Representative Kotyza-Witthuhn
Objective: Prevent the pet store sale of dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills.
- Prohibits the pet store sale of dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills while allowing stores to host adoption events with animal shelters and rescues.
- Four states in the US and over 390 localities across the country, including Roseville, Eden Prairie, St. Paul, Carver, and Cloquet, Minnesota, have passed humane pet store laws.
Bill authors: Senator Dibble and Representative Bierman
Objective: Prohibit the use of gas chambers for euthanasia of pet or companion animals in animal shelters.
- When euthanasia is necessary, it must be performed as humanely as possible. To qualify as euthanasia (meaning “good death”), an animal’s death must be free of pain, stress, and fear. The use of gas chambers does not meet this standard.
- Euthanasia by injection is more humane, safer for staff, less expensive, and widely used.
- Prohibiting gas chambers in animal shelters will set a humane standard, ensure all shelters consider appropriate alternatives, and increase public confidence in shelters.
- Currently, there are 27 states with bans on the use of gas chambers.
Objective: Increase criminal penalties for cruelty to pets or companion animals resulting in death or great bodily harm, which is a felony.
- Current punishment in Minnesota for felony level crimes against companion animals (great bodily harm or death) is up to two years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
- Increases the penalty for egregious acts of cruelty against companion animals up to eight years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.
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