2014: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 703

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 703 Action Alert

Status: No longer active. This bill has died in committee.

Read below before using the quick ACTION ALERT form at www.usark.org/campaign/wisconsin-assembly-bill-703/.

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 703 was introduced January 31, 2014 and is currently in the Committee on Rules. View it at www.docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/proposals/ab703. This bill makes changes to the laws relating to the possession of certain wild animals. It impacts these reptile species immediately: Crocodylia: an alligator of any species, crocodile of any species, caiman of any species, or gharial.

Below you can find a sample letter and contact information for the committee members. Remember to always be professional and civil when addressing legislators and commenting publicly. Residents should contact other pet owners, herp societies, potentially affected businesses, etc. to organize and make an impact. This is being pushed by anti-pet groups and it will not stop at the species listed.

Fiscal Estimate can be viewed at docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/fe/ab703/ab703_DNR.pdf.

How to Help: Send emails and call the sponsors and Committee members below and express your concerns. It is by far best to send individual emails, but you can find the quick form at www.usark.org/campaign/wisconsin-assembly-bill-703/. A sample letter is provided below and on the quick form page.


Sample Letter

Dear Wisconsin Legislator,

I write today to oppose AB 703. While I understand your concerns over public safety, the exotic and reptile pet communities have evolved greatly and pet owners are much more responsible and educated.  This bill will punish responsible reptile and exotic animal keepers and is overreaching legislation pushed by anti-pet groups that use special interest propaganda filled with partial truths. While these special interest groups have hundreds of millions of dollars to push their agenda and lobby with legislators, the hardworking citizens of Wisconsin are busy earning money and paying taxes while their freedoms are removed.

This bill also places financial burdens upon municipalities by requiring them to administer and fund the new regulations without state assistance. Bills such as this only create problems that did not previously exist. States that have passed similar bills recently are now seeing the mistakes made and problems created to protect the public and environment when they were never really threatened. Responsible keepers that have had these pets for years are now being forced to follow overreaching legislation.

This legislation does not protect the citizens of Wisconsin but it does punish them. This type of legislation is pushed by anti-pet groups posing as animal welfare organizations. Animal cruelty should certainly be addressed, but banning and over-regulating pet ownership are not effective means to handle this concern. It’s a shame that the great state of Wisconsin would allow special interest groups to influence public policy and not protect the freedoms of its citizens.

With so many critical dilemmas in our country including poverty, failing education system, hunger, shortage of jobs and pollution, why are states focusing so many resources to “fix” problems that don’t even exist? State governments should be fixing real issues and not removing more freedoms from their hardworking and taxpaying citizens. Pet ownership is a matter of personal responsibility and not government action. I implore you to vote “No” on AB 703.


Your name, address, contact info, etc.


Sponsors and Committee on Rules Members contact information:

Contact Governor Walker: www.walker.wi.gov/content/contact-us

Office addresses for Committee members can be found at www.legis.wisconsin.gov/pages/comm-info.aspx?c=1176.

Email/Phone for Sponsors/Co-Sponsors:

Senator Fred Risser: Sen.Risser@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-1627
Rep. Robb Kahl: Rep.Kahl@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-8570
Rep. Alvin Ott: Rep.Ott@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-5831
Rep. Warren Petruk: Rep.Petryk@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-0660

Rep. Christime Sinicki: Rep.Sinicki@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-8588
Rep. Terese Berceau: Rep.Berceau@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-3784
Rep. Janet Bewley: Rep.Bewley@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-7690
Rep. Gary Bies: Rep.Bies@legis.wisconsin.gov & (608) 266-5350

Bill Kramer
(608) 266-8580

Robin Vos
(608) 266-9171

Tyler August
(608) 266-1190

Jim Steineke
(608) 266-2418

Joan Ballweg
(608) 266-8077

John Murtha
(608) 266-7683

Mary Williams
(608) 266-7506

Peter Barca
(608) 266-5504

Sandy Pasch
(608) 266-7671

Andy Jorgensen
(608) 266-3790

JoCasta Zamarripa
(608) 267-7669

Sondy Pope
(608) 266-3520

Article written by USARK