Need Veto Help on First in the Nation Statewide Dogowner Database Requirement
Provided by Bob Kane, President, Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association
Virginians need your help to defeat the nation's first statewide dog owner database. HB339 passed the Richmond General Assembly last week and awaits Governor Tim Kaine's approval or veto. The bill's patron acknowledges that its primary goal is to provide "inducements" for pet sterilization. Don't let HB339 become Virginia law. If it does, your state may shortly face similar legislation.
Public pressure stripped HB339 provisions which set a single higher licensing cost throughout most of Virginia, required universal intact v sterilized tag differential costs, special fines for intact dog owner leash law violations coupled with forced sterilization and the use of public monies for non-audited private spay-neuter programs. Despite these original elements, the bill is on the verge of becoming law and will serve as the cornerstone for future animal rightist lobbying.
HB339 still contains the requirement that veterinarian in the state who gives a rabies vaccination supply detailed pet owner and animal information to city and country treasurers for incorporation in a billing database. Such data "shall include at a minimum the signature of the veterinarian, the animal owner's name and address, the species of the animal, the sex, the age, the color, the primary breed, the secondary breed, whether or not the animal is spayed or neutered, the vaccination number, and expiration date." Species of animal is a residual from the introduced bill version's scope which included cats as well as dogs. Virginia requires cats be given rabies vaccinations and eleven jurisdiction license felines. Cats were removed from HB339's database late in the legislative process, but are very likely to be included next year, if the bill becomes law. The other very likely next step is mandatory microchipping of every dog receiving a rabies vaccination to "facilitate the identification of dog owners and the return of lost (sic) dogs."
What's the big problem with HB339?
Where do the Virginia veterinarians stand on HB339?
What VVMA appears to have missed is the fact that the new database is the perfect mechanism for one DVM to solicit another's clients. Sort by zip code, breed type, spayed, or unspayed and a ready solicitation list will drop out.
How valid are pet owners' privacy concerns?
Owners of pit bulls, Rotweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds and their crosses have a special concern. No insurance company doing business in this state, or in most others, will sell homeowner coverage to anyone that it knows owns certain "blacklisted" dogs. Those blacklisted dogs vary by company, but normally include, at a minimum, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and their mixes. HB339 requires, under the threat of fine, veterinary reporting of every dog rabies vaccinated, including the animal owner's name and address, the species of the animal, .... the primary breed, the secondary breed, whether or not the animal is spayed or neutered, [emphasis added]. Insurance companies have a significant financial incentive to identify owners of blacklisted dogs in their policy pools. Such owners are universally considered higher risks, regardless of the dog's true nature, and such coverage will be terminated at policy renewal, if not before. Identifying such current or applicant policyholders from the information contained in HB339's database would be a very simple matter.
Please help kill Virginia HB339!!
To email the governor, use the form at http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm Ask for a subject-specific response.
Letters and faxes should request the same, subject-specific response.
Telephone the governor's office at (804) 786-2211 between 8:30 AM -5:30 PM EST on weekdays. Interrupt the recorded message by pressing zero (0) and tell the operator you want Governor Kaine to **Veto HB339** and why.
If you have the time, do all three, email, write and telephone. Also write the Washington Post firstname.lastname@example.org and Richmond Times Dispatch newspapers, stating your opposition to HB339.
Please forward and cross post widely. HB339 has the potential to adversely effect every U.S. dog and cat owner. Thank you.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Sled Dog Central, all rights reserved.
Email Sled Dog Central