ACTION ALERT: New Hampshire HB688

UPDATE 2/27/19: HB688 has been "laid on table." The bill may be voted on someday, but for now, the bill has been set aside (or tabled). If the session ends and the bill has not been taken off the table, the bill dies.


Utterly irrational and completely overreaching! This is easily one of the greatest examples of nanny statism (overprotective government through overbearing laws) we have seen. A first hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 7 at 1:00.

While much of the language reads as though this bill applies only to dogs, cats, ferrets, and pet birds, the NH Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Industry informed us that the term "live animal" used in this bill refers to any animal which may be kept as a pet, including reptiles and amphibians.

Important note: Emails and phone calls will be helpful but oral testimony at the hearing and delivery of hard copy letters are crucial. Send your comments via email but also either mail your letters or, preferably, send to someone who is attending the hearing so that he/she can deliver a hard copy at the hearing. Be sure to write "Opposition to HB688" or similar on the envelope.

Summary:

Any person selling or transferring just one animal must be licensed by the State and will be labeled as a "hobby breeder;"

This means the person must:

  1. Register with the state;
  2. Allow inspection (warrantless searches) of their premises by the State, local officials, law enforcement, or health officials;
  3. Submit records to the above-mentioned parties or any member of the public;
  4. Personal information and every exchange will be included in a new statewide "Animal Transfer Database;"
  5. Each individual animal must have identification records;
  6. Maintain substantial paperwork and records.

Additionally, any person that transfers more than 30 animals per year will be a "pet vendor." This holds additional layers of regulation.

There is much more as this bill repeals a current "Sale of Pets" law (RSA 437:1-10) and replaces it with more than twice the amount of words.

Bill text: www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=89&txtFormat=pdf&v=current

Referred to the House Environment and Agriculture Committee. Contact information for Committee members can be found at www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/committeedetails.aspx?id=2.

All New Hampshire residents should contact their State Representatives (this is a House Bill) and oppose this far overreaching bill. You can find their contact information at www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx.

Hearing details:

Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM
Legislative Office Building 301-303
33 N State St.
Concord, NH 03301

Remember to be civil and professional when contacting legislators.

Mailing address:

House Environment and Agriculture Committee
107 North Main Street, LOB Room 303
Concord, NH 03301

Sample Messaging

Email list: Amanda.Gourgue@leg.state.nh.us , Peter.Bixby@leg.state.nh.us, Barbara.Comtois@leg.state.nh.us,
Jane.Beaulieu@leg.state.nh.us , donna.ellis@leg.state.nh.us, bethrichardsforward3@gmail.com,
catherine4Ward7@gmail.com, Andrew.Bouldin@leg.state.nh.us, Jackie.Chretien@leg.state.nh.us,
Sherry.Dutzy@leg.state.nh.us, Liz.McConnell@leg.state.nh.us, Megan.Murray@leg.state.nh.us,
john.o'connor@leg.state.nh.us, Howard.Pearl@leg.state.nh.us, kevin.verville@leg.state.nh.us,
Judy.Aron@leg.state.nh.us, Harry.Bean@leg.state.nh.us, Mike.Furbush@leg.state.nh.us,
Charlie.Melvin@leg.state.nh.us, Harry.Viens@leg.state.nh.us, HouseEnvironmentandAgricultureCommittee@leg.state.nh.us

Subject line (choose one):

  1. NO to HB688
  2. HB 688 and Animal Transfer Database are bad for NH
  3. Opposition to HB688

Sample Letter (Please edit or personalize.)

I oppose House Bill 688 as a New Hampshire resident and responsible animal owner. This bill is perhaps the greatest example of government overreach I have witnessed. Not only does every person who ever transfers an animal need to register with the State, but he also must surrender his 4th Amendment rights. Can you imagine being treated like a criminal by state inspectors or local law enforcement because you had a litter of puppies or you hatched a couple gecko eggs? Criminals have police going through their homes, not someone who breeds a couple parrots or hamsters.

There is absolutely no legitimate reason to regulate hobby breeders. The proposed Animal Transfer Database is nothing more than a tool to be used by radical animal rights groups to remove all animals from our lives. New Hampshire legislators have been misled and manipulated by extremists claiming to be animal welfare advocates. Those supporting this bill are feeding you made up statistics and erroneous hype.

HB688 will not solve any problems but it will create plenty, including making criminals out of everyday citizens who would never suspect they need to register with the state to sell a couple geckos or parakeets. New Hampshire already has animal welfare and cruelty laws. Enforce those!

Please do what is right for New Hampshire, the animals, and your constituents by stopping HB688 dead in its tracks. Thank you for your time and have a good day.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Talking Points
These can be incorporated into oral testimony or letters.

  1. Every person breeding or selling pet animals at any level must surrender all privacy rights, including 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to the State!
  2. Collective punishment (punishment of everyone due to the actions of one or a few) is never a good government practice.
  3. Radical animal rights groups will use the gathered information to advance their agenda of removing all animals from our lives as they will have easy access to every animal breeder and seller in the State.
  4. This Animal Transfer Database is completely irrational and unnecessary.
  5. This bill is yet another solution in search of a problem.
  6. New Hampshire already has sufficient animal cruelty and welfare laws. Those laws need to be enforced.
  7. This is but another law which will punish responsible citizens while criminals will go unpunished.
  8. Legislators are completely unaware of the expansiveness of this proposal, and quite simply impossible to complete.
  9. The bill will yield scores of unintended consequences.
  10. Any pet owner who breeds his geckos, parakeets, tortoises, dogs, rabbits, or any other animal would be a criminal if not following this unconstitutional law.
  11. The gross misuse of tax dollars and government resources is appalling!
  12. Why would someone who breeds his dogs one time or has a litter of rabbits or hatches a clutch of two leopard gecko eggs be expected to know about this law? Even worse, if he does not he will be a criminal!

Article written by USARK