2019 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

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Many thanks to our generous donors for helping the Georgia Pet Coalition (GPC) promote animal protection laws during the 2019 General Assembly.  Please continue to support our lobbyist in 2020 so we can amplify OUR VOICE for animals at the GA Capitol!    

 

For the third year in a row, the pet store industry (led by Petland and armed with expensive lobbyists) was thwarted from introducing or passing state legislation that would have usurped authority from 10 local ordinances banning the retail sales of pets sourced from cruel pet mills.  Petland has deep pockets so they may return for another attempt in 2020 – but the tide is turning.  

 

A growing number of lawmakers are now aware that ethical breeders do not wholesale their litters to pet stores, thanks in large part to our dedicated team of professional lobbyists from animal welfare organizations led by the GPC as well as compassionate advocates like yourselves.  In addition, several large-scale puppy mill raids in 2018-2019 have revealed the truth to lawmakers and the public about the horrific consequences of reckless and mass breeding.  The GPC would also like to express appreciation to First Lady Marty Kemp for calling attention to pet overpopulation by hosting an adoption event at the Governor’s mansion in April!  

 

(The following list of bills was prepared by Debra Berger, Georgia State Director, Humane Society of the United States.)

 

POSITIVE legislation for animals that passed in 2019:

SB 31: PASSED "Hot Cars Bill"

(Sponsored by Senator Michael “Doc” Rhett) 

LINK TO BILL - SB 31

Law Enforcement Officers and Agencies; performing any duty at the scene of an emergency. Law enforcement officers shall not be liable. Law Enforcement Officers that damage property while saving people or pets will be immune from civil liability

LINK TO OFFICAL GEORGIA CODE 35-1-7

HARMFUL legislation for animals that did not succeed in 2019:

 

SB 45:

(Sponsored by Senator Brandon Beach and others)

LINK TO BILL - SB 45

Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act.

In actuality, this is a horseracing bill dressed up as a jobs bill.

 

Animal protection bills that were introduced and may appear in 2020:

SB 32:

(Sponsored by Senator Kirkpatrick)

LINK TO BILL - SB 32

Torts; conditions upon immunity from civil liability in instances of rendering emergency care; provide Passed many steps until defeated on the House floor. Look for an updated version in 2020.

SB 69:

(Sponsored by Senator Steve Henson)

LINK TO BILL - SB 69

Animal Protection; persons convicted of cruelty to animals after July 1, 2019 from obtaining pet animals; prohibit Excellent goal but needs to be re-written to be more enforceable.

HB 136:

(Sponsored by Representative Demetrious Douglas) 

LINK TO BILL - HB 136

Animal protection; provide for photographic notification and breed of impounded animals on an animal shelter's website. Well intentioned, but not realistic for many reasons.  Author will be researching best way to achieve the goal of reuniting people and their pets. 

HB 582:

(Sponsored by Representative Billy Mitchell) 

LINK TO BILL - HB 582

Domestic relations; pet animal care plan in marriage dissolution proceedings; Introduced late in session; watch for it next year. 

HB 268:

(Sponsored by Representative Billy Mitchell) 

LINK TO BILL - HB 268

Criminal procedure; record restriction for individuals convicted of certain felonies and misdemeanors under certain circumstances; Related to review of criminal history; does not allow animal cruelty history to be restricted on records. 

HB 66:

(Sponsored by Representative Carolyn Hugly) 

LINK TO BILL - HB 66

Special license plates; certain special plates for motorcycles; Could also include the Spay Neuter plate!

 

HB 371:

(Sponsored by Representative Karla Drenner) 

LINK TO BILL - HB 371

Uniform rules of the road; securing or containing of live animals in the back of motor vehicles operated on certain highways.

SB 76:

(Sponsored by Senator Ellis Black) 

LINK TO BILL - SB 76

Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians; veterinary technicians as veterinary nurses. Supported by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association 

 

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