January 21, 2012

SB 610, why it matters, and why Virginian dogs need our help.

Let me introduce SB 610. This bill's patron is Senator Richard Black (R) of Virginia's District 13. This is what worries me. 

Under the new legislation, hunting dogs, working dogs, and show dogs would be reclassified as livestock. By doing so, these animals would fall under the Department of Agriculture, and "The Department occupies the entire field of regulation of the care, control, and handling of agricultural animals. No political subdivision, locality, or humane society shall regulate the care and handling of agricultural animals. "

As innocent as this may seem, this bill opens up the entire animal rights debate, and particular to dogs exposes the constant struggle between animal rights groups and puppy mills, certain hunt clubs, on occasion the American Kennel Club, and others.

Let me begin by stating that supporters of this bill are already eyeing the potential ramifications of this legislation. They are also very well organized.

Dog overpopulation and the euthanasia of pets in shelters has become a nation wide epidemic. One of the principle architects of these problems are puppy mills. This bill would help to provide protections to a mass production of animal abuses.

Further, the inclusion of "Traditional Farm Practices" would potentially allow for dog mutilation for aesthetics and convenience. 

Ultimately, this bill decidedly hampers the ability of any intervention, and puts dogs in danger. From the groundwork of this bill will come a break down of the current limited protection of pets. 


A great job from everyone that contacted their officials. Here's the email sent from the Senator to his supporters.

From: Senator Dick Black
Date: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: Bill 610!

Thank you for your message regarding SB610. Senator Black appreciates
your message regarding this important bill. The agriculture group
that had originally requested the bill asked Senator Black to take out
the section regarding dog breeders because after meeting with
lawmakers it became clear that they could not pass the bill in its
original form. Because they could not get it passed with provisions
with the dogs, they requested that part be removed and to take this a
step at a time.

However, through this process it has become clear that there are some
changes that are needed in the current law and Senator Black would be
interested in hearing thoughts regarding possible legislation that
would be of help in this area. Hearing from you about the problems
you see would be a good start to crafting some possible legislation to
meet those needs.

Senator Black looks forward to hearing from you soon,


Michelle Staton
Senator Dick Black, 13th District

This is not just about the dogs. This will strip every locality within the Commonwealth of its ability to have it's citizens pass laws and ordinances that they want in regards to farm animals. They stripped them of every protection that they had last year with HB1541/SB1026 (Orrock/Puckett 2011)
Now want to make sure that no locality can do anything to protect them if they see fit. Please speak up for ALL animals.

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