I Support Pet Adoption

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SCIL - Social Compassion in Legislation No on AB1939

SCIL - Social Compassion in Legislation

SCIL Opposes AB 1939 (Pan) 
Bill Attempts to Dismantle Differential Licensing
and Creates a New Crime for Rescue Groups 

While many positive things are happening for pets in California, one negative change is on the horizon.

Since 1973, California has offered an incentive for dog owners to spay and neuter their pets, in the form of differential licensing. This program offers owners a 50% or greater discount on license fees for their dog if the animal is spayed or neutered. Because of this law, millions of pets have been spayed and neutered, and countless unintended litters have been prevented.

But now, a dog breeder group called Concerned Dog Owners of California (“CDOC”) is sponsoring legislation specifically designed to do away with differential licensing for dogs under 1 year of age. 
Why are they doing this? According to their website, CDOC believes that early spay and neuter is inappropriate. AB 1939 is their attempt to remove any incentive for early spay and neuter from California law. Under AB 1939, people who breed dogs for sale would no longer have to pay standard dog license fees for the unaltered dogs they produce. And for the general public, there would no longer be any incentive to spay and neuter animals under 1 year of age.

The result? A reduction in much-needed fees for local animal control agencies, anincrease in unaltered dogs in our state, and an increase in dogs entering our shelters due to additional, unwanted litters. 

CDOC has been fighting spay and neuter for years. They even (unsuccessfully) sued the City of Los Angeles in 2008 in an attempt to overturn their newly enacted spay and neuter ordinance. This group should not be guiding our state on spay and neuter policy. 

New Reporting Requirements for Rescue Groups

AB 1939 also puts in place new monthly reporting requirements for rescue groups who adopt animals out to the public. These groups will now be required to submit monthly reports to their local government, detailing their activities and providing the names and addresses of everyone they adopt to. If the rescue group does not provide this monthly report, they can be subject to a misdemeanor and a fine. 

Perhaps not coincidentally, these new reporting requirements do not affect small scale dog breeders, as long as they sell less than 20 dogs (and less than three litters) per year. We feel that if these new requirements are placed on people who adopt dogs to the public, the same requirements should also be placed on those who sell dogs to the public.

AB 1939 damages our licensing system and the rescue community. The language of the bill obscures the sponsor's true intentions, and as a result even some "animal protection" groups are currently supporting the bill. This is a bad bill and does not deserve the support of anyone in the animal welfare community.

AB 1939 will be voted on this week in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. If you feel strongly that California should not begin to dismantle our differential licensing system, and that rescue groups should not be subject to new monthly reporting under the threat of a misdemeanor, please contact the Appropriations Committee and tell them that you OPPOSE AB 1939.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.