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ACTION ALERT: Nevada AB 361

REMINDER: Be civil and professional at all times when contacting legislators! Acting otherwise hurts us!

UPDATE: Update (4/4/15): Thanks to opposition being heard, this bill has been removed from the agenda but it may be added again on Monday. Stay vigilant!

Nevada AB 361 was introduced and has now been assigned a committee and hearing date. This is a "wild animal" bill encouraging county commissioners to adopt ordinances regulating the importation, possession, sale, transfer or breeding of "captive wild animals," along with other regulations. It also gives counties more power regarding these ordinances. View the bill at www.usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/NV-AB361-2015.pdf.

Nevada has a strong and experienced team to fight legislation. Dedicated members of the herp and exotic animal communities have already engaged legislators, including personal meetings. They need the support of all Nevada exotic animal and pet owners

This bill is unnecessary and is being pushed by animal rights (AR) groups. Nevada counties already hold authority to regulate exotic animals. In fact, 14 of 17 counties currently have regulations. This bill declares that there is a need for counties to write new and/or stricter regulations. AR activists and their supportive legislators are waiting for this bill to pass so they can heavily regulate certain counties.

If allowed to pass, this bill could easily lead to bans or heavy regulations on ferrets, hedgehogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, tropical fish, all herps, parrots and any other common exotic pets. This is why all exotic pet keepers, and even traditional pet owners, should unite and protect each other. AR groups often attempt to slide in seemingly harmless legislation that that can have serious repercussions for us. Stand up now or cry later.

Nevada residents should recognize and thank those who have been working to fight this and previous anti-exotic legislation, including the following: John Potash, Ken Foose, Joel Blakeslee (ZAA lobbyist), Bill Maggiora, Tim Stoeffel, Jimmie Martin of Sierra Safari Zoo, Nevada Animal Owners Alliance, and REXANO.

Legislator contacts (Additional contact information at bottom of page):

The first four emails are bill sponsors with the remaining being Government Affairs Committee members and the default address. Copy and paste these emails. It is best to send individual emails, or you may copy them all.

Heidi.Swank@asm.state.nv.usJames.Ohrenschall@asm.state.nv.usRobin.Titus@asm.state.nv.usMark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.usJohn.Ellison@asm.state.nv.usJohn.Moore@asm.state.nv.usVicki.Dooling@asm.state.nv.usShelly.Shelton@asm.state.nv.usLynn.Stewart@asm.state.nv.usStephen.Silberkraus@asm.state.nv.usJim.Wheeler@asm.state.nv.usMelissa.Woodbury@asm.state.nv.usRichard.Carrillo@asm.state.nv.usEdgar.Flores@asm.state.nv.usAmber.Joiner@asm.state.nv.usHarvey.Munford@asm.state.nv.usDina.Neal@asm.state.nv.usEllen.Spiegel@asm.state.nv.us

Important and quick Step:

You should also select "Votes Against" and write a short comment at www.leg.state.nv.us/AppCF/Opinion/78th2015/vwComments.cfm?drpMenu=807. Remember to be civil and professional!

Copy/paste one of these subject lines (or write similar):

  1. Vote NO on AB 361
  2. NO to AB 361
  3. Please Oppose AB 361
  4. NV Says NO to AB 361
  5. AB 361 = NO
  6. Opposition to AB 361

Talking Points (these should be used to strengthen emails, phone calls and testimonies)

  1. Most local governments aren't qualified to set humane care standards.
  2. If this bill passes, "captive wild animal" will have 17 different interpretations in Nevada. This can easily lead to overreaching and unjust regulations.
  3. Under overbearing county control, new and stricter ordinances can over-regulate any species of animal they choose to list as "captive wild animal," including very common and widely-held household pets.
  4. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and Nevada Department of Agriculture do not see the purpose or understand the full intent of this bill.
  5. The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners took an official position opposing this bill as written.
  6. The Nevada Department of Agriculture is concerned it will conflict with existing statutes and blur the line of who actually holds authority.
  7. The Department of Agriculture and NDOW have veterinarians, biologists and access to experts. All of these are qualified to address these issues, while most county commissioners lack the knowledge to adequately write exotic animal ordinances.
  8. This is not a critical matter or looming public safety threat. This is legislation pushed by special interest groups who are completely against animal ownership and pets.
  9. Exotic animals must have suitable temperatures, humidity, habitat and prey items to live and Nevada does not provide this environment, so environmental distress is not of concern.
  10. 1 in 5 households have at least one pet other than a dog or cat.
  11. Non-traditional pets are becoming very mainstream as pet owners have less time at home, which now have smaller or no yards.
  12. There is already sufficient legislation in place.
  13. Over-regulation is unjust and severely damaging to Nevada’s economy.

Sample letter (be sure to personalize and/or insert talking points):

As a tax-paying Nevada resident and responsible pet owner, I am voicing my opposition to AB 361. This is an unnecessary bill that is wasting tax payers' money and your time as a legislator as Nevada counties already hold the authority to write exotic animal ordinances. Also, 14 counties already have regulations in place.

This bill is over-bearing unjust. I hope you’ll recognize concerns from those affected and not simply listen to the special interest groups pushing this legislation. I ask you to vote NO on AB 361! Thank you for your time and consideration on behalf of this voting Nevada resident and have a good day.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME and ADDRESS or Contact information

Date/Place (2 Locations)

Date/Time:

8:00 AM on Tuesday, April 7 (subject to change)

Live Hearing:

Room 4100
Legislative Building
401 S. Carson St.
Carson City, NV

Video-conference (You can watch live and submit testimony here, too.):

Room 4401
Grant Sawyer State Office Building
555 E. Washington Ave
Las Vegas, NV

Agenda for Committee on Government Affairs meeting on April 7:

A.B. 280 Revises provisions relating to relations between local governments and public employees. (BDR 23-858)

A.B. 361 Enacts provisions relating to captive wild animals. (BDR 20-776)

Click names at links below for full contact information

Government Affairs Committee Members' full contact information: www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/78th2015/Committee/62/Overview

AB 361 Sponsors' contact information: www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/78th2015/Bill/1959/Overview

Article written by USARK