With the introduction of SB 460 by Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene), (Identical Bill HB 460 by Representatives Jeffus(D- Guilford); Dickson (D- Cumberland); Harrison (D- Guilford)) yet another branch of the extremist animal rights movement has surfaced in North Carolina.
While the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) may have a familiar sound to some, its legislative agenda is far from the mainstream. It is a large, wealthy and powerful “humane society” in name only. HSUS has accumulated $113 million in assets and built a recognizable name by capitalizing on the confusion its very name provokes.
Instead of helping local animal rescue organizations and shelters, HSUS spends millions on lobbying to cripple meat and dairy producers; eliminate the use of animal research labs; end pet breeding, rodeos, zoos and circus animal acts. They also want to demonize hunters as crazed lunatics.
While current statute already outlaws animal cruelty, SB 460 would have a huge impact on anyone who owns pets, hunts or breeds dogs by inserting the state into the breeding of dogs. The bill would add a new licensure regime and impose fees on breeders while also threatening them with a $1,000 fine.
While adding to the regulatory power of the state this bill will also increase the size of the state bureaucracy by adding more taxpayer funded positions. According to Fiscal Research, those positions and other estimated expenses will cost taxpayers almost $250,000 the first year and more than $400,000 a year after the first year.
The bill was passed in the Senate’s Finance Committee by a controversial voice vote whose outcome was disputed by several members. When members of the committee called for division (a process that requires an additional vote with a show of hands by members) Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe) adjourned the meeting.
During these times of deep financial problems and state budget shortfalls, is SB 460 the best use of scarce tax dollars and the Legislature’s time?