2013 Oregon Legislative Session
OHS urges the public to let lawmakers know their opinions on bills currently being considered by Oregon legislators. Our positions on legislation relating to animal welfare issues are shown below.
We strongly support HB 2783, which would restrict the practice of tethering dogs and would also require that outdoor dogs have access to a shelter to protect them from the elements. We believe the practice of tethering, or chaining a dog, isolates the dog and results in increased aggression and other behavior problems.
Update 6/10/13: HB 2783 passed both branches of Oregon legislature and is now awaiting the Governor's signature. A coalition including Fences for Fido, Oregon Humane Society, Oregon Animal Control Council, Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), Multnomah County, Washington County, the City of Albany Police Department, and The Humane Society of the United States commends the Oregon legislature for passing HB 2783. Press release from HSUS.
OHS also is a strong advocate for the passage of SB 6, the Omnibus Animal Bill. This legislation addresses many issues, particularly those raised by the recent rescue of more than 100 dogs from a warehouse in Brooks. The bill would, for example, increase penalties for offenses involving ten or more animals and would require rescue groups to obtain licenses and maintain records. This bill goes to a Senate vote soon, and we urge your support.
For more information about the bills (full text, sponsoring lawmakers, status, etc.), click on the the "Bill Info" link that follows the description of each bill.
Bills Supported by OHS
HB 2058 Prohibits person convicted of certain crimes from owning, being employed by or providing services at animal grooming parlor or boarding kennel for specified period following conviction. Bill Info.
HB 2394* Animal Abuser registry. Requires person convicted of certain animal crimes to register with law enforcement agencies. Requires disclosure of registration information on request and authorizes disclosure via Internet. Imposes registration fee. Creates crime of failure to report as animal abuser. Bill Info.
HB 2745 Adds animal cause to the list of crimes subject to civil nuisance abatement actions. Bill Info.
HB 2783* OHS strongly supports this bill, which would make it illegal to tether dogs for extended periods and would require minimal outdoor shelter to protect dogs from the elements. Tethering dogs has been shown to increase dog aggression and harm the health of the animal. Bill Info, Testimony by OHS, Additional Testimony by OHS.
6/10/13: Bill has passed both legislative branches and awaits the Governor's signature. Press release from HSUS.
HB 2901 Creates offense of equine tripping. Makes violation subject to punishment by maximum of six months' imprisonment, $2,500 fine, or both. Bill Info.
SB 6* Omnibus Animal Bill. Strengthens animal neglect laws and increases penalties in cases involving repeat offenders and for neglect offenses involving 10 or more animals. Also requires animal rescue groups to obtain licenses and maintain records, and makes many other needed changes. Bill Info, Testimony by OHS, Executive Summary by OHS, Additional Full Testimony by OHS.
Bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/15/13. It will next go to the Senate floor, but no schedule yet.
SB 29 Revises definitions for purposes of fireworks laws. Bill Info.
SB 53* Modifies authority granted to peace officers to perform community caretaking functions. Bill Info.
SB 0698* Specifies that commission of animal neglect in first degree is punishable by five years' imprisonment, $125,000 fine, or both, if certain aggravating factors exist. Expands, for persons who commit certain offenses against animals, prohibition against possession of domestic animal to prohibition against possession of domestic animal, equine or animal of same genus against which offense was committed. Bill Info, Testimony by OHS.
SB 494* Prohibits, with some exceptions, use of body-gripping traps to trap animals. Requires that traps may not be set in area that extends 100 feet outside boundary of trails, campgrounds and picnic areas. Requires that person that sets trap must post certain signs. Bill Info.
SB 835* Creates offense of equine tripping. Makes violation subject to punishment by maximum of six months' imprisonment, $2,500 fine, or both. Bill Info.
Bills Opposed by OHS
HB 3395: Repeals Measure 18. Requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to recommend rules to State Fish and Wildlife Commission regarding creation of pilot program that allow persons to use dogs to hunt or pursue cougars. Bill Info.
SB 0428: Repeals Measure 18. Allows use of dogs to hunt cougars during final three months of general cougar hunting season if State Fish and Wildlife Commission determines that harvest quota for particular hunt zone might not be met. Bill Info.
* Bills warrant public's strongest support.