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Oregon Legislature Wraps Up Short Session

Updated: Mar 26

Photo by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

The Oregon Legislature adjourned its 2024 "short session" on March 7. Some good bills for animals got passed, while others failed to make it through the process. Fortunately, few bad bills were introduced and none were passed.

Good Bills That Passed

  • House Bill (HB) 4043 toughens laws against animal abuse and neglect and makes it a crime to interfere with an investigation into a crime against an animal.

  • HB 4145 prohibits the creation, distribution and possession of visual recordings of aggravated animal abuse.

  • HB 4132 requires state agencies to develop an adaptive management and social monitoring program to support Oregon's marine reserves, which will help protect the animals living there.

Good Bills That Did Not Pass

  • HB 4148 was a multi-issue wildlife bill that would set have set up and funded a number of programs to support and enhance Oregon's wildlife, including a wildlife coexistence program to address human-wildlife conflicts with nonlethal solutions, and further measures to protect and restore wildlife migration corridors. The bill was approved by a House committee but did not make it out of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means, which must approve all bills that require significant state expenditures and was considering numerous competing priorities. We hope to work with others to get the wildlife coexistence program included in the next budget for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • HB 4014 would have helped private landowners pay for nonlethal measures to prevent property damage caused by beavers. That would have helped reduce the numbers of beavers being killed and allowed more of them to build dams that create habitat for other wildlife and fish. This bill also was passed by a House committee but failed to make it out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

  • HB 4051 would have prohibited betting on dog races through Oregon-regulated wagering services, regardless of where the bettor lives and regardless of where the race takes place. It would also have required veterinarians to report abuse and injury to horses used for horse racing. The bill was opposed by the betting and horse-racing industries, which receive a share of the revenue from Oregon-regulated betting systems, and died after a public hearing in the initial committee to which it was assigned. Dog racing is no longer allowed in Oregon, but people across the country where dog racing is not illegal can bet on dog races anywhere in the world through betting systems regulated by the Oregon Racing Commission.

For a complete list of the bills we were tracking, our positions, the reasons for our positions, and the results, go here. To see the full text of a bill, along with the legislators who sponsored it, the history of the bill, scheduled proceedings, and other information, click on the bill number in our list or on the bill number above.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact legislators on any of these bills during the legislative session! Your input is critical to the process and legislators are often most persuaded when they hear from their own constituents.

What You Can Still Do

Although the state Legislature is done for the year, you can still help us advocate for animals. Here are a few of the things you can do:

  • Click on the links in the bill numbers above to find out who sponsored a good bill and, if there was a vote, to see how legislators voted on the bill (under "Measure History"). If your legislators sponsored or voted for one of the good bills, thank them for that. If you don't already know who your state representative and senator are, click here and enter your address to find out and to get their contact information (you have one state representative and one state senator).

  • Stay in touch with your legislators between legislative sessions and let them know you care about animal welfare. Go to their official website - see the list of legislators and their contact information including websites here (under the "Senate" and "House" tabs) - and "e-Subscribe" to their newsletters (in the upper righthand corner of each website). Attend the constituent meetings they offer periodically and ask about animal welfare issues. Even a general question such as "what is happening in the legislature on animal welfare issues?" helps raise the profile of these issues.

Thank you for helping us advocate for animals!

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