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  • Writer's pictureSheri Sublett

Existing Bills (As of 3/12/2024)

Arizona

  • SB 1603Animal seizure; notification; bond; offense. Allows the seizing agency to contract with a person, agency, or shelter to house, care for, and provide necessary medical treatment for a seized and impounded animal. The owner is responsible for the cost of veterinary, impound, and board fees for the animal. ZAA OPPOSES.

  • SB 1237Working Animal Protection Act - Counties and municipalities are prohibited from enacting any ordinance, resolution, or policy that restricts the use of working animals in lawful commerce for an animal enterprise (defined as rodeo or agricultural operations) with exceptions for municipal zoning ordinances and laws related to public health, safety, noise, animal cruelty, and other animal care regulations. ZAA SUPPORTS. Passed by the Senate on February 19, 2024. Scheduled for House Committee hearing on March 11, 2024 .

  • SB 1204Animal seizure; notification; bond; offense (allows for warrantless search and entry upon suspicion of animal abuse/cruelty). ZAA OPPOSES.


California

  • SB 921This bill would amend existing cruelty provisions to make it a crime to otherwise abuse or subject a living animal to needless suffering and for a person to maliciously and intentionally mistreat any animal even if the mistreatment does not cause physical injury. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • CA AB 554 Would grant new legal powers to Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Under the bill SPCAs would be granted a private right of action to bring lawsuits to obtain an injunction “to prevent the violation of any law relating to or affecting animals. Committee voted in favor of bill on April 24, 2023 and is pending Floor action in the Assembly. ZAA has signed onto a letter of opposition with other industry groups. Ordered to inactive file at the request of Sponsor on May 25, 2023.  ZAA OPPOSES - ZAA signed onto a letter of opposition with other industry groups. This bill is now dead for the remainder of the session per the legislative rules.

  • CA AB 1008 Makes changes to existing law governing certain Fish and Game Commission permits for the entry, importation, possession, transportation, keeping, confinement, or release of wild animals. This bill would require that the permits be renewed at least every 5 years and that permit applicants show proof of current liability insurance and a surety bond. Amended to remove most of the original language. Now relates to conservation of the Western Joshua Tree. Passed the Assembly on 5/31/2023 and sent to the Senate.


Florida

  • FL HB 297

  • FL SB 272 Appointment of Courtroom Animal Advocates; Authorizes court to order separate advocate be appointed in interests of justice for certain criminal proceedings regarding cat or dog's welfare or custody; provides judge's decision denying appointment is not subject to appeal; authorizes appointed advocate to take certain actions involving proceedings; provides requirements for advocate. SB 272 was reported favorably by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which the sponsor is the Chair, on January 16, 2023, and is now with the Criminal Justice Committee.

  • HB 1033 Would expand the ban on green iguanas (Iguana iguana) as a Prohibited Species to include all iguana species. Appears to be aimed at limiting private possession (pets). Under current law zoos and certain other exhibitors can obtain permits to possess and breed Green iguanas for exhibition/education. Presumably under this bill, if enacted, the same would be true for other iguana species. The bill would also ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops.


Georgia

  • GA HB 1164Would establish the offense of criminal trespass involving a wild animal if a person enters a cage, enclosure, or other area where a wild animal is  housed or otherwise contained, into which the person knows he or she has no legal authority, license, or permission to enter, and harasses the wild animal or is attacked by  the wild animal, and such wild animal suffers an injury or death. ZAA SUPPORTS.


Idaho

  • ID S 1302Working Animal Protection. Prohibits local governments from restricting the use of working animals including but not limited to animals involved in entertainment, education, exhibition, agritourism ,ranching farming, or service. ZAA SUPPORTS.


Illinois

  • IL HB 4446Private ownership prohibition. Amends provisions of the Criminal Code prohibiting keeping of dangerous animals by adding the following species to the definition of "dangerous animal" by adding  serval, caracal, kangaroo, and wallaby and any hybrid, intergrade, or cross of a listed animal. Existing law includes exceptions for animals at a properly maintained zoological park, federally licensed exhibit, circus, college or university, scientific institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital, hound running area, or animal refuge in an escape-proof enclosure. Proposed amendment to the bill would change above to exempt "Federally licensed facility" defined as animal dealer, exhibitor, research facility, or animal transporter that is licensed and regulated by the United States Government. Scheduled for Committee hearing on March 12, 2024.


Maryland

  • HB 379Traveling animal act (circus ) ban. Would prohibit allowing for the participation of a bear, a cougar, an elephant, a jaguar, a leopard, excluding a clouded leopard, a lion, a nonhuman primate, a tiger, or a hybrid of any of these animals in a traveling animal act; and providing a civil penalty of $2,000 per violation. Scheduled for a Committee hearing on February 14, 2024. Passed the House. Pending in the Senate. Includes language that exempts permanent non-mobile facilities that is intended to exempt all zoos. ZAA has been in communication with the sponsor regarding concerns about the current language.

  • MD SB 547Traveling animal act (circus ) ban. Would prohibit allowing for the participation of a bear, a cougar, an elephant, a jaguar, a leopard, excluding a clouded leopard, a lion, a nonhuman primate, a tiger, or a hybrid of any of these animals in a traveling animal act; and providing a civil penalty of $2,000 per violation. Same as HB 379. Scheduled for a Committee hearing on February 13, 2024. Passed the Senate. Pending in the House. Includes language that exempts permanent non-mobile facilities that is intended to exempt all zoos. ZAA has been in communication with the sponsor regarding concerns about the current language.


Massachusetts

  • MA HB 3245

  • MA SB 2197 (Sponsor Bruce Tarr)

  • MA SB 2189 Prohibit the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in traveling exhibits and shows. On July 24, 2023, all three bills were the subject of a hearing before the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN - ZAA submitted written testimony in opposition and Betsey Brewer of Southwick's Zoo testified in person. These three bills were all combined into HB 3245 which was then reported favorably by the Joint Committee. Now pending in the House Ways and Means Committee.

  • MA HB 1718

  • MA SB 1142 Relate to the humane protection of animals. Would establish a task force established to complete a systematic review of the laws pertaining to animal cruelty and protection including any legislative recommendation. The task force would include representatives from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Massachusetts Bar Association; and at least one veterinarian and one animal control officer. No zoological or agricultural members. Heard in Committee on April 4, 2023.

  • MA SB 1311 Relative to updating animal health inspections. Inserting "This section shall not apply to a publicly or privately owned zoological park, a research institution as defined in section 136A of chapter 140, or to horse or cattle auctions."


New Hampshire

  • NH HB 1325 Related to allowing private ownership of small tailed monkeys, raccoons, foxes, otters, skunks, and kangaroos. Scheduled for committee hearing and work session.


New Jersey*

  • NJ SB 581Establishes offense of reckless trespass involving wild animals; establishes penalties; establishes liability for resulting harm to wild animals. ZAA SUPPORTS

*The 2023 New Jersey legislative session ended on January 8, 2024, The new 2024 session began on January 9, 2024. Any bills that had not passed by the end of the 2023 session died though many have already been reintroduced.

New York

  • NY AB 4005 (= SB 4363) Prohibits the issuance of permits authorizing the use of wild animals in circuses or traveling animal acts; excepts a wildlife sanctuary and a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Amended to remove exemptions and to prohibit permits for “traveling animal acts'' involving any "Covered animal", i.e., Felidae (excluding domestic cats);Kangaroo; Non-human primate; Ursidae; and Wallaby (the Senate companion bill, SB 4363) has not been amended). Passed by the Environmental Conservation Committee on May 23, 2023 and referred to the Codes Committee. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • NY SB 4363 (= AB 4005) Prohibits the issuance of permits authorizing the use of wild animals in circuses or traveling animal acts; excepts a wildlife sanctuary and a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • NY SB 6211 (= AB 6836) Provides that "wild animal" means indigenous, non-domesticated animals native to the country in which they live and "exotic animal" means a wild animal with an origin of a different continent; adds certain wild or exotic animals to the list of non-companion animals including Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Tree-Kangaroos, to the list of wild and exotic animals that could not be owned as pets. Aimed at Suffolk County Sloth store. Amended to remove certain species (ostriches, emus, cassowaries). Passed by the Senate. Passed by the Senate. Pending passage in the House. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • NY AB 6836 (= SB 6211) Provides that "wild animal" means indigenous, non-domesticated animals native to the country in which they live and "exotic animal" means a wild animal with an origin of a different continent; adds certain wild or exotic animals to the list of non-companion animals. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • NY SB 6905 (=AB 7624) Prohibits the use of primates in entertainment acts. Includes an exemption for AZA accredited facilities as well as licensed sanctuaries. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • NY AB 7624 (= SB 6905) Prohibits the use of primates in entertainment acts. Includes an exemption for AZA accredited facilities as well as licensed sanctuaries. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • NY SB 3302 (= AB 584) Enacts the "Big Five African Trophies Act" relating to banning the importation, transportation and possession of certain African wildlife species and products. Passed by the Senate. Pending passage in the House.

  • NY AB 584 (= SB 3302) Enacts the "Big Five African Trophies Act" relating to banning the importation, transportation and possession of certain African wildlife species and products.

  • NY AB 111  Relates to the creation of a court appointed advocate for animals.

  • NY AB 506 Prohibits circuses from conducting shows or other performances in the state for two years where a circus has been found to be in violation or in non-compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act.

  • NY AB 518 Prohibits the possession and transport of certain animals and body parts thereof at airports and port facilities owned or operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; includes the big five African species, species determined to be endangered by the commissioner of the department of environmental conservation, those that appear on the list of nongame species or appear on any federal list of endangered or threatened species, or has been proposed to be included on any such list. ZAA OPPOSES (bill has seen no activity to date).

  • NY AB 575 Prohibits certain acts in rodeos.

  • NY SB 589 Prohibits the taking of non-native big game mammals in a fenced or other area from which there is no means for such mammals to escape. Expands restrictions on so-called “canned hunts.”

  • NY SB 1459 Relates to the provision of financial assistance to museums, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums and other cultural institutions located in low-income urban, suburban or rural communities, or that provide educational services to students from such communities.

  • NY SB 5898

  • NY AB 3545 Prohibits the administration of psychoactive drugs to an animal in a zoo in order to allow another animal to procreate with such an animal.


North Carolina

  • NC HB 540 Expands upon the offense of animal cruelty to also make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to deprive an animal of adequate shelter or adequate space or to cause any animal to be deprived of the same. Adds and defines the terms adequate shelter, extreme weather, and lawful hunt.

  • NC HB 744 Eva's Act. Cruelty to animals includes failure to provide adequate space.

  • NC SB 719 Concerning cruelty to animals, as follows. Expands upon the offense to also make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to deprive an animal of adequate shelter or adequate space or to cause any animal to be deprived of the same. Adds and defines the terms adequate shelter, adequate space, freedom of movement, extreme weather, and lawful hunt. Similar to NC HB 540.


Pennsylvania

  • PA HB 1451 Would prohibit direct public contact with most species, including Giraffes. Under existing law AZA zoos would be exempt. Reported out favorably by the Game and Fisheries Committee on June 28, 2023. Reported by the Rules and Appropriations Committees on 10/31/2023. Passed by House on November 13, 2023. Referred to the Senate Committee on Fish and Game. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN - ZAA HAS SUBMITTED OPPOSITION LETTERS TO BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES AND ALSO SPOKEN DIRECTLY WITH COMMITTEE STAFF. SEVERAL ZAA MEMBERS IN PA ARE ACTIVELY WORKING ON THE BILL.

  • PA SB 785 Would create an Animal Welfare Board to review existing laws and regulations related to the keeping and handling of animals and make recommendations for legislative and regulatory changes.

  • PA HB 1113 Revises requirements related to the issuance of special licenses and permits for exotic wildlife possession permits and for menagerie permits. Among other things would prohibit permits for traveling exhibitions and private ownership. Could impact educational exhibits. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • PA HB 1114 Creates new prohibitions and criminal offenses related to transporting traveling animal acts for purposes of performance. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN


Rhode Island

  • RI HB 7639Classifies animals as sentient beings, not property, for purposes of Rhode Island state law.


South Carolina

  • HB 4874Would set up a permitting process to regulate the importation, possession and breeding of captive wildlife. AZA accredited zoos would be exempt. However, so would zoos that do not possess native North American wildlife. Seems to be focused on North American fur bearing species. Approved in Committee. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN

  • SC SB 456

  • SC HB 3682 Relating to custody and care of animals after the arrest of the owner. Outlines hearing procedures for ordering the cost of care of seized animals. Would allow a court to order an animal owner to pay the costs of care for confiscated animals while animal cruelty charges are pending. The House bill has passed out of the House and both bills are now pending in the Senate. ZAA OPPOSES AS WRITTEN - ZAA SUBMITTED A LETTER OF OPPOSITION.


Tennessee

  • SB 2478 Prohibits the department of agriculture or any other state or local department or agency from entering private property without probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has occurred or is occurring, the consent of the property owner, a warrant, or a recognized warrant exception; requires a member of a society incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of the member's intent to make an arrest or interfere to prevent an act of cruelty and the circumstances justifying the action before doing so. 


Vermont

  • HB 597 Would authorize the Vermont Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife to regulate the sale or possession of reptiles and amphibians in the State. It would also amend existing provisions related to the sale of bear parts.

  • HB 626 This bill would establish the Division of Animal Welfare at the Department of Public Safety to develop, implement, and administer a centralized program for investigating and enforcing animal welfare requirements in the State. The bill would also amend or establish requirements for the importation or transportation of animals into the State. While it appears to be focused on domestic animals, primarily dogs, cats and horses, most of the provisions and authorities would extend to all animals. Hearing Scheduled For March 13 And 14, 2024.


Virginia

  • HB 579Pertains to Virginia Freedom of Information Act and records of federal animal welfare violations. Prohibits any public body in custody of records that pertain to or were generated as a result of a violation of federal animal welfare regulations, policies, or guidelines from charging more than $25 for the production of such records regarding any one incident or one animal testing facility. Subcommittee hearing scheduled for January 30, 2024. Matter laid on the table (put aside).

  • HB 1531Prohibits using devices such as a bullhook, axe handle, or block and tackle or engaging in certain practices in order to discipline, train, or control the behavior of an elephant. ZAA OPPOSES - ZAA submitted written testimony in opposition. Bill has passed both the House and Senate and is pending submission to the Governor.

  • VA SB 11 Cruelty to animals; possession and ownership of animals. Provides that any person convicted of felony cruelty to animals

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