The Oregon Legislature's 2023 session started on January 17 and will continue through June. The legislature is considering a substantial number of proposed laws and resolutions related to animals in this session. We are already tracking more than 50 proposals with the potential to impact animal welfare. Highlights include the following:
HCR 8 would encourage adoption of pets from shelters and rescues by naming rescued shelter dogs and cats the official state pet of Oregon. Thanks to Representative Gomberg and Senator Sollman for sponsoring this resolution.
HB 2915 would shrink the market for puppy mills and other mass breeding operations by prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores. Thanks to Representative Gomberg, Representative Fahey and Representative Neron for sponsoring this bill.
Several bills would undermine existing prohibitions against using dogs to hunt cougars. HB 2252, HB 2559, and SB 472 would allow counties to opt out of this ban, HB 2897 would allow the practice on private property, and SB 733 would require the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to make special cougar tags available for hunting with dogs. We oppose all of these measures because hunting cougars with dogs is unsporting and inhumane, as voters decided in 1994 when they passed a ballot measure to ban the practice.
Another dog hunting bill, HB 2912, would prohibit using dogs to hunt lynx and bobcats. We support this bill for the same reason we oppose the bills to weaken the ban on hunting cougars with dogs. Thanks to Representative Gomberg for sponsoring this bill also.
HB 2185 would authorize special taxing districts to raise money for killing wildlife deemed a threat to private property, and HB 2547 would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to spend more money to kill "predatory" animals and animals deemed pests. We oppose both of these measures because they result in an overuse of lethal and cruel methods to address human-wildlife conflict. A better alternative is HB 2698, which would direct the State Department of Agriculture to establish a grant program for nonlethal approaches to deterring conflict between wildlife and agriculture. Thanks to Representative Hudson for sponsoring this bill.
HB 2904 would require facilities experimenting on primates to report additional information to the State Veterinarian. We support this measure to increase the transparency of these operations in light of several recent reports of animal mistreatment. Thanks to Representative Gomberg and Representative Scharf for sponsoring this bill.
HB 2667 would prevent new confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from opening in Oregon. These intensive feeding operations are bad for the environment and harmful to farm animals. Thanks to Representative Hudson, Senator Dembrow, and Senator Golden for sponsoring this bill.
For a full list of most of the bills we are tracking, our current positions, and the reasons for our positions, click here. To see the full text of a bill, along with its history, scheduled events, and other information about the bill, click on the bill number in our list.
We encourage you to contact your state legislators at any time about any of these bills. Click here to find out who your legislators are if you don't know (you have one senator and one representative). Click the link to their websites for contact information. We will also let you know strategic times to comment on the pending legislation we consider most important.
Thank you for helping us advocate for animals!