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Animal Protection Legislation to Co-Sponsor

The legislative work of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals builds upon our mission “to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society.” The following bills help to fulfill that mission.

We hope you will co-sponsor the following legislation. Please feel free to contact us or reach out to one of the sponsors’ offices to sign on.


PLEASE CO-SPONSOR:

HD 3564, SD 1947: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns
These bills have several provisions to protect consumers and animals from unsafe practices by: prohibiting the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age; ensuring regulations for certain kennels, such as boarding and breeding kennels; updating several laws about kennel licensing; and prohibiting the roadside sale of animals.

HD 148, SD 60: An Act relative to ivory and rhinoceros horn trafficking
These bills clamp down on illegal ivory and rhino horn sales by restricting the sale, trade, and distribution of ivory and rhino horn in Massachusetts, ensuring that the Commonwealth doesn’t contribute to the unprecedented global poaching crisis. Elephants are being killed at an unsustainable rate; 35,000 African elephants were slaughtered in 2012 alone to satisfy the ivory market, an average of 96 per day. The United States ivory market is among the top globally, and a recent report ranked Boston/Cambridge as the seventh largest U.S. market.

HD 2214, SD 1728: An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals  
These bills expand upon current law, found in Ch. 140 sec. 174E, that allows citations to be issued when dogs are kept in cruel conditions. This legislation extends this protection to all domestic animals and also updates language to ensure that dogs left outside and unattended are protected. Broadening the current statute’s scope in this way allows an effective response to problematic situations involving animals and prevents them from escalating. Note that SD 1729: An Act relative to improving enforcement for tethering violations contains the sections of this bill relating to dogs kept outside and unattended.

HD 576, SD 588: An Act relative to the use of elephants, big cats, primates, and bears in traveling exhibits and shows
These bills prohibit the use of elephants, big cats, primates, and bears in traveling shows in Massachusetts. These shows—using dangerous animals—are not only detrimental to animal welfare, but also present a public safety risk. These traveling shows subject highly intelligent, social animals to coercive and abusive treatment and a life on the road where they are deprived of exercise, and the ability to express their most basic, natural behaviors.

HD 1930, SD 976: An Act concerning the use of certain insurance underwriting guidelines pertaining to dogs harbored upon the insured property
These bills prevent insurance companies from denying or cancelling homeowners insurance based on the breed of dog owned, a practice that can separate dogs from their families. These decisions should be based on the behavior of the individual dog, not his or her appearance/suspected breed.

HD 3134, SD 1220: An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops
These bills prohibit the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet shops unless the animals come from shelters or rescue organizations. Typically, pet shops obtain animals from substandard breeding facilities, which results in consumers unknowingly purchasing sick or genetically-compromised pets. Massachusetts state records consistently document complaints from across the Commonwealth. State and federal records have also demonstrated that puppies from the worst “puppy mills” in the country have been sold to Massachusetts consumers via pet shops.

HD 3557, SD 1712: An Act further regulating the enforcement of illegal hunting practices
These bills modernize penalties for poaching—some of Massachusetts’ poaching penalties haven’t been updated in nearly a century—and enter Massachusetts into an interstate law enforcement network, ending our status as a poacher’s paradise. This legislation updates our penalties to bring them in line with those of other states and thus deters would-be poachers, while also protecting wildlife, tourism, and business in the Commonwealth.

HD 3040, SD 587: An Act protecting research animals
These bills facilitate a relationship between laboratories that use dogs and cats for research purposes and registered non-profit animal rescue organizations in order to make retired laboratory dogs and cats available for public adoption.

HD 3352, SD 1719: An Act relating to the remedy for the sale of sick puppies and kittens
These bills provide fair and reasonable recourse in the event that an “unfit” puppy or kitten is sold to a consumer by improving the puppy and kitten “Lemon Law.” Families who discover they have purchased a sick puppy from a pet shop or breeder regularly spend money on veterinary bills and often choose to retain the puppy rather than return to the seller—because they are attached to the animal and/or are concerned about what will happen if he or she is returned. These bills enhance consumer protection by requiring a better remedy, including the option for reimbursement of some medical expenses.

HD 1936: An Act to prohibit housing discrimination against responsible dog owners
This bill ensures that certain types of housing agreements (such as condo bylaws, some leases), as well as public housing authorities, cannot discriminate against, or include language that limits, a tenant or resident’s ability to live in that type of housing based on the size, weight, or perceived breed of a dog owned by a tenant/resident.

HD 115: An Act to study the health of the Blue Hills Forest and ecology to inform long-term reservation management
This bill implements a study and scientific survey conducted on the Blue Hills Reservation that would help to determine why the forest health is declining, and inform how best to ensure that holistic improvements occur.

HD 3713, SD 1745: An Act concerning the use of animals in product testing
These bills require the use of available test methods that avoid or reduce animal testing of products and ingredients. Alternatives provide information of equivalent or superior quality and relevance to humans in comparison to animal tests. The bill applies to products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, and industrial chemicals, like those in paint; it does not apply to testing done for medical research, including testing of drugs or medical devices.

We also ask that you consider not co-sponsoring any bills that would be harmful to animals, which would include laws weakening regulations relating to trapping fur-bearing mammals and repealing the law prohibiting Sunday hunting.

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