The 2023 Oregon Legislature is in full swing with several significant bills up this week, including a bill to prohibit the sale of cosmetics tested on animals and a bill to ban traveling animal acts. Keep reading for information on how to comment on these proposals and for other highlights of the legislative session so far.
First, there is already cause for celebration. House Concurrent Resolution 8 has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate, making rescued shelter dogs and cats "the official pet of the State of Oregon." The resolution will help promote adoption of dogs and cats from shelters and honor the hard-working staff and volunteers of Oregon's shelters and rescues as well as all the compassionate people who give shelter dogs and cats a home. While it should have been an easy resolution to pass, it took years of trying. Special thanks to Representative Gomberg and Senator Sollman for their persistence in promoting this concept and for being chief sponsors of the resolution this year. Thanks also to everyone to submitted comments in support of the resolution.
House Bill 3213 would generally prohibit the sale in Oregon of cosmetics tested on animals. Animal testing is both cruel and unnecessary for most cosmetics and their ingredients. Oregon would be following the good examples of nearly 30 countries and 10 states in prohibiting the sale of those products. This bill has a public hearing at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 16. Please submit written comments in support of this bill by clicking on the link in the bill number above and then clicking on the "Submit Testimony" tab. You have until 48 hours after the hearing starts but it's best to submit your comments in advance if you can. Your comments do not need to be long or detailed. It's helpful even if you submit just a sentence or two to say you support the bill to help reduce animal cruelty in testing for cosmetics. Thanks to Representative Neron and Senators Thatcher and Gorsek for sponsoring this bill.
House Bill 3214 also has a public hearing at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 16. It would ban the use of specified animals, including animals such as elephants, big cats and crocodiles, in traveling animal acts such as circuses. Traveling animal acts are inhumane because they subject animals meant to live in the wild to extreme confinement, stressful travel and abusive trainings. Please submit written comments in support of this bill by clicking on the link in the bill number above and then clicking on the "Submit Testimony" tab. You have until 48 hours after the hearing starts but it's best to submit your comments in advance if you can. Your comments do not need to be long or detailed. It's helpful even if you submit just a sentence or two to say you support the bill to help reduce inhumane treatment of animals for human entertainment. Thanks to Representative Hudson for sponsoring this bill.
Another cause for optimism is House Bill 2915, which would shrink the market for puppy mills and other mass breeding operations by prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats at retail pet stores. This bill is heading to the full House of Representatives for a vote March 14 after passing out of committee last week. Thanks to Representative Gomberg, Representative Fahey and Representative Neron for sponsoring this bill, and thanks to everyone who submitted comments in support of this bill.
House Bill 2904 would require facilities experimenting on primates to provide regular reports to the State Veterinarian on how they use the animals and what happens to them. This bill had a public hearing last week and awaits further action. Thanks to Representative Gomberg and Representative Scharf for sponsoring this bill, and thanks to everyone who submitted comments last week in support of the bill.
Senate Bill 85, with proposed amendments, would prevent new confined animal feeding operations above a certain size (CAFOs) from opening in Oregon. These intensive feeding operations are bad for the environment and harmful to farm animals. SB 85 had a robust public hearing last week and today and awaits further action. Thanks to Representative Hudson, Senator Dembrow, and Senator Golden for promoting this bill, and thanks to everyone who testified and provided comments.
For a full list of the most significant bills we are tracking this session (out of total of more than 80 related in some way to animal welfare), click here. To see the full text of a bill, along with its history, scheduled events, and other information, 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. The more they hear about animal welfare they more they will pay attention to it. 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!