Humane Oregon has been busy in the current session of the Oregon Legislature. Here is some of what we’ve been up to:
On February 12, we participated in the Humane Lobby Day organized by the Humane Society of the United States. We urged our legislators to: ban trade in ivory and rhino horn; extend Oregon’s “puppy mill” regulations to businesses that lease pets; prevent landlords from requiring debarking of dogs or declawing of cats; ban greyhound racing; oppose creating a new Constitutional right to hunt, trap and fish; oppose taking authority from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to regulate lead ammunition; and preserve Oregon’s voter-approved ban on hunting cougars with packs of dogs.
On February 19, we testified before the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources against the bill aimed at taking authority to regulate lead ammunition from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bill, House Bill 2503, would prohibit any local or state agency from regulating ammunition or fishing tackle except as “expressly authorized” by the Legislature. At last check, this bill was still waiting for a vote by the House committee (which could refer it to the full House of Representatives).
Also on February 19, we participated in a “work group” crafting a bill to increase penalties for poaching, and particularly for poaching with intent to trade in animal parts. This bill, House Bill 2537, was introduced by Representative Ken Helm, one of the candidates we endorsed, in response to increasing reports that certain animals, such as bear, cougar and sturgeon, are being poached simply for a few small parts of their bodies considered to have medicinal or other value. House Bill 2537 continues to await action by the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
On March 4, we testified before Senate Committee on Judiciary in support of two bills. The first, Senate Bill 614, would make clear that police officers may enter a private motor vehicle, as well as other private property, to aid an abused or neglected animal, such as a dog being kept in a vehicle on a hot day. The second bill, Senate Bill 175, would extend stringent penalties for certain categories of egregious wildlife crimes, such as repeated intentional poaching. Both of these bills have been passed by the Senate committee, passed by the full Senate, and referred to the House of Representatives for committee action there.