The Humane Society of the United States is supporting four Arizona bills this legislative session designed to protect animals.
Although the Humane Society generally gives Arizona good reviews for its animal-welfare laws, the organization's president and CEO Wayne Pacelle is in town today for a "Humane Lobby Day."
The Humane Society set up a bunch of appointments between Arizonans and their legislators to urge the lawmakers to support Humane Society-backed legislation.
That includes the following bills:
- House Bill 2022: Would prohibit convicted animal abusers from owning or otherwise caring for any animal. They would be able to have that right restored after a couple of years, unless they have multiple convictions.
- House Bill 2215/Senate Bill 1036: Would add cockfighting or other animal-fighting crimes to the list of racketeering crimes, if it's done for a financial gain.
- House Bill 2242: Would expand regulations for commercial dog breeders, mostly dealing with veterinarian examination requirements.
- House Bill 2020: Would prohibit the use of live animals as prizes in carnival games.
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The Humane Society's not behind all the proposed legislation dealing with animals, though. One such bill not backed by the organization is SB 1037, which mandates the creation of a registry for convicted animal abusers.
That law is supported by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The Humane Society's Pacelle wrote in 2010 that he doesn't support such a measure, saying that it "probably does nothing to help these people learn a new way of viewing and treating animals."
In addition to today's lobbying efforts, a Humane Society spokeswoman says Republican Representative John Kavanagh and Democratic Senator Steve Farley will be given "humane legislator awards" today, for their work in 2013. All of the aforementioned Humane Society-backed bills this year are sponsored by either Kavanagh or Farley.