From United Poultry
Yesterday we posted an alert urging VA residents to urge their state legislators to oppose SB 610, a bill that sought to deprive animals defined as “agricultural” of all legal protection.
If this bill were signed into law, the VA Department of Agriculture would have sole legal control over all “agricultural” animals including birds, horses, “working” dogs – even cockfighting would be exempt from oversight by local humane societies and law enforcement.
SB 610 proposed that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services occupies the entire field of regulation of the care, control, and handling of agricultural animals and that no locality or humane society shall do so.
Fortunately Virginia residents rallied quickly against this bill, which is now dead. However, it could resurface in a form leaving the “dog” part out while retaining the millions of chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farmed animals that VA agribusiness wants to exclude from humane oversight. As Senator Black, who introduced SB 610, explained to complaining constituents, the bill “was originally introduced to aid the agriculture and farming community at their request.” He seemingly withdrew it only because it would “adversely affect the law regarding the care and protection of dogs.”
If a similar new bill is presented to the VA legislature, we’ll alert you immediately. Please be ready to bombard the VA General Assembly with opposition to any bills that seek to exclude farmed animals (any animals!) from legal protection in the state.
We thank everyone who told their Virginia legislators No to SB 610. Thank you!