SAOVA Update May
Provided by Bob Kane, Sportsmen's
and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Three years ago, the Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) distributed a national review of anti-hunter and anti-animal breeder efforts to attack our sport and past-time. This 2006 overview isn't as thorough or detailed as that earlier "Glass Half-Full" message, simply because it's important to bring a deteriorating situation to everyone's attention without waiting until the last votes are counted in every state legislature. The antis have achieved two milestone victories on each Coast and appear on the verge of a third in Sacramento.
Most anti-breeder inspired state laws and local ordinances take the form of confiscatory licensing fees for intact animals, breeder licensing or outright breeding bans. License tag costs for breedable dogs have been increased astronomically in some areas, with spay-neuter (altered) fees a fraction of that amount. Albuquerque, NM instituted a $150 intact fee and microchip requirement on May 22, 2006. Such economic penalty measures are universally unpopular and difficult to enforce, as are private breeder restrictions.
Los Angeles County has passed an ordinance that requires all dogs to be sterilized and microchipped, effective June 3, 2006. It applies only to those dogs kept in unincorporated areas, but cities such as Los Angeles are being urged to enact similar requirements. Should the cities follow suit, 10 million people will be soon be so regulated, more than the population in *forty-four* states. Dogs may be exempt from this requirement if they are registered with an approved registry and are either titled, entered in an approved competition annually, or owned by an individual belonging to a dog club with *enforced breeding restrictions*. Animal rightists are currently fighting to further tighten these exemptions' details. Required intact licenses for breedable dogs cost $60 per year; altered ones cost $20. Litters must be reported to the county, as must every puppy buyer's identity. Additional requirements and penalties of this sterilize and track program may be found at http://animalcontrol.co.la.ca.us/html/Main1.htm LA County says it's hiring additional animal control officers to go door to door to enforce this anti-breeder ordinance. A fringe group of AKC fanciers supported this rule, which passed without a dissenting vote.
The scope of these mandatory sterilization, ultra high cost licensing, breeder permitting, breed-specific, ownership limits, required microchipping and similar rules is hampered by a major data void - without more complete information, such rules are usually enforced very selectively and unevenly on just a few unlucky dog owners.
Virginia's HB339 fills that regulatory data void on dogs and their owners. HB339, the nation's first statewide dog owner database (Postmortem attachment above), requires every Virginia veterinarian to supply local governments with detailed dog and dog owner information on every canine given a rabies vaccination. That information is to be used for direct license invoicing and *MUST* be made publicly available. HB339's higher intact fees and a mandated sterilized differential were stripped from the bill before passage, but the Virginia Animal Control Association (VACA) vows to obtain these provisions next year. What's important to residents in other states is that VACA's principals are officers and directors in the National Animal Control Organization http://www.nacanet.org They are vigorous and vocal advocates of this Vet required animal owner data reporting program. Be forewarned. Your privacy and dogs are at extreme risk. AKC's recognized Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders supported this bill.
The pending measure which SAOVA considers devastating is the anti-hunters' California Assembly Bill AB2110. AB2110 makes competitive open field coursing by sight hounds a criminal offense. This represents an enormous precedent that threatens all dog hunting. Open field coursing is one of the oldest forms of sport. It's currently legal in California, requiring a hunting license. Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle is personally lobbying for this bill, as he did the 2003 CA anti-hunting bills. AB2110 has already passed its germane Assembly law committee. It's House vote on implementation costs is currently scheduled for the Appropriations Committee on *May 24, 2006*. Please contact that committee and urge them to reject AB2110 For more information on AB2110, sight hounds and coursing see and http://www.caninechronicle.com/Features/nelson_06/nelson_506.html There's a related, separate piece included on how to deal with hostile press that's well worth studying and saving.
These three horrific measures and scores of others across the country http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/state_legislation/ illustrate that animal rightists have gained considerable ground in the last three years. What's most disturbing in this regard is the degree to which AKC corporate and its related various state groups and splinter factions are aiding and abetting in the loss of animal owners' and sportsmen's rights. AKC's role in AB2110 has been totally indefensible. AKC's 2005-2006 collaboration with HSUS and DDAL on Rick Santorum's S1139 (PAWS) bill at the federal level appears to have triggered a new degree of cooperation between certain misguided dog owners and the animal rightists.
Please carefully examine your own priorities and recent events to determine whether your clubs are supporting or damaging your interests.
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