2021 Legislative Priorities

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Minnesota’s 2021 legislative session and 92nd Legislature began January 5, 2021. Each of the following Animal Humane Society legislative priorities will be reintroduced this year.

Companion Animal Board

HF 208 and SF 73

Representatives: Freiberg, Becker-Finn, Frazier, and Elkins

House Committee: State Government Finance and Elections

Senators: Ruud, Housley, Tomassoni, Duckworth, and Dziedzic

Senate Committee: Agriculture and Rural Development Finance and Policy

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.

Humane Pet Store

HF 858 and SF 370

Representatives: Kotyza-Witthuhn, Berg, Freiberg, Vang, Lee, Hornstein, Bierman, Pryor, and Long 

House Committee: Commerce Finance and Policy

Senators: Bigham, Marty, Isaacson, Klein, and Fateh

Senate Committee: Agriculture and Rural Development Finance and Policy

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.
  • Three states (MD, CA, ME) and over 370 local jurisdictions across the US including Roseville, Eden Prairie, Carver, and St. Paul, MN have passed similar pet store laws.

Gas Chamber

HF 1852 and SF 335

Representatives: Bierman, Pinto, and Hornstein

House Committee: Agriculture Finance and Policy

Senators: Dibble, Nelson, Draheim, Marty, and Eken

Senate Committee: Agriculture and Rural Development Finance and Policy

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.
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Animal Cruelty

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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