Arizona Animal Legislative Updateby Karyn Zoldan on Apr. 29, 2013, under Animal News
Although Arizona’s legislative session is not over, animal issues have been pretty well wrapped up. Several animal protection bills were introduced, but none made it out alive. Some of the bills that were introduced, but failed:
–Upgrade the animal cruelty statute.
–Expand the ban on street-side animal sales to full state (currently illegal in Maricopa & Pima).
–Ban ownership of animals for a minimum of two years for those convicted of the most serious animal cruelty.
–Ban the give-away of live animals as carnival prizes.
One animal-related bill passed that would change the definition of “service animal,” limiting it to dogs and miniature horses. Other species will no longer be accepted as service animals – which brings our state in line with the ADA (Americans for Disability Act) guidelines.
There are several bills which could negatively impact the citizens’ initiative process in AZ that could still pass before the legislative session ends. Arizonans have a great tradition of supporting animal protection through the initiative process and we need to ensure that tool is not taken away from us. Stay tuned for more updates.
It is important for people who work on animal issues to establish relationships with your legislators and the summer is a great time to do that. Legislators need to hear from their constituents on these issues. Take some time this summer to get to know your legislators while they are away from the Capitol. Contact Kari Nienstedt to learn more.
Have you heard about the ag-gag bills? These anti-whistle-blower bills cropping up around the country would essentially ban exposés of animal cruelty. In recent years, whistle blowing employees have repeatedly exposed animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on industrial farms. The agriculture industry’s response has not been to prevent the abuses, but to try to prevent the American people from finding out about the abuses in the first place.
A growing list of civil liberties, public health, food safety, environmental, food justice, animal welfare, legal, workers’ rights, journalism, and First Amendment organizations and individuals strongly oppose these bills – including Carrie Underwood, Ellen, and the ACLU.
If you know anyone in Tennessee, please urge them to contact their Governor and ask him to veto the ag-gag bill. And, the very best way to counter these attacks is by sharing the undercover videos that they want to keep hidden!
The above info in part was provided via email from Kari Nienstedt, Arizona State Director, Humane Society, email: email@example.com