Protect Ohio Animals: Ohio House Bill 55, 79 & More Legislative Update
House Bill 55:
– HB 55, known as the “Animal Cruelty and Pet Protection Bill” encourages judges to include pets in domestic-abuse protective orders. A protective order is a legal order issued by a court that requires one person to stop harming, stay away from and/or cease contact with another person or, in the case of HB 55, that person’s pets as well.
This critical bill also emphasizes the need to counsel convicted animal abusers and strengthens misdemeanor penalties for intentional torture of livestock and wildlife. The bill would help ensure that Ohio treats animal cruelty crimes seriously by making additional acts of torture to livestock and wildlife misdemeanors of the first degree (punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine). This very modest increase goes a long way toward making Ohio a more humane state.
HB 55 just passed the House Criminal Justice Committee. However, the lengthy summer legislative recess is quickly approaching. Now is the time to ask House Speaker Budish to put HB 55 on the House floor for a vote!
Learn more about this important bill.
Ohioans for Humane Farms (trying to get on November ballot):
– Ohioans for Humane Farms is spearheading a new, citizen-backed ballot initiative to prevent some of the cruelest factory farming practices in Ohio. The measure will require the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to adopt certain minimum standards that will:
* prevent animal cruelty
*improve health and food safety
*support family farms
*safeguard the environment throughout the state of Ohio
The ballot measure is backed by HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Ohio SPCA, the Toledo Area Humane Society, the Geauga Humane Society, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Medina County SPCA, Mercy For Animals, and a quickly growing list of other reputable organizations.
With more than 600,000 signatures needed to get on the November ballot, the group desperately needs volunteers. While the opposition will have big agribusiness contributors, we’re relying on you—our supporters—to help us get there. Please sign-up above to join the campaign. Thanks for all your help to protect farm animals.
Endorse the campaign: join the growing number of Ohioans endorsing our campaign. Print out one of the following pdf forms and mail or fax it in to our HQ:
Find the group on Facebook under “Ohioans for Humane Farms,” or, to find an event, click here.
Also, check out the HSUS article on this effort here.
House Bill 79:
Introduced last year by Rep. Barbara Sears of Sylvania, HB 79 will strike down breed bans, particularly those on our precious pit bulls. It would remove the longstanding BSL from state law. Late in 2009 the Bill moved to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. This bill needs all the support it can get.
The bill can be tracked here: http://lsc.state.oh.us/coderev/hou128.nsf/House%20Bill%20Number?SearchView&Query=HB%2079&start=1&count=10
Previous alert and more info on the bill: http://stopbsl.com/2009/03/18/ohio-hb-79-would-remove-bsl-from-state-law/
House Bill 70:
We all are familiar with this one – the Ohio Puppy Mill Bill. Sponsored by Rep. Gerberry it passed the House and is on its way to Senate. The “Puppy Mill Cruelty Bill” specifically prohibits cruel treatment of a companion animal by an owner of a kennel, including cruelty and depriving the animal of food, water or shelter, and makes it a felony of the fifth degree.
This Bill is ALL OVER the Internet: simply Google “Ohio Puppy Mill Bill” and a huge list of pet blog posts and animal welfare site articles will pop up with additional information and updates, as well as opinion pieces and petitions. For Ohio Puppy Mill Bill articles on ThoughtsFurPaws, type the same thing into the Search Bar on the bottom right of this page.
**This is perhaps the most FAVORED of all of Ohio’s animal welfare legislation right now. If you haven’t already, sign the petition here please.
There are a few other animal welfare issues up for debate in Ohio right now – most moving at a snail’s pace through the legislature. (What else is new?) Seems to me that most of Ohio’s designated Reps and Sens just don’t care enough about animals in general to put these Bills at the top of the priority list.
**For more information on Ohio Animal Welfare Legislation, visit the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s State Legislation Page, or click on the “Animal Welfare” Category tab to your right on this blog’s home page.