2021 LEGISLATIVE AND BALLOT INITIATIVE EFFORTS
Below is an overview of many of the introduced and/or passed bills and proposals within the Pacific Northwest 2021 legislative sessions that touch on animal rights issues.
SHB 1424 – Restricting the Sale of Dogs and Cats, sponsored by Walen, Ybarra, and Springer. This bill prohibits all new retail pet stores from selling dogs, though retail pet stores that sold dogs prior to the enactment of this bill may continue to do so. This bill also prohibits all retail pet stores from selling cats, regardless of past sales. The bill’s intent is to end the puppy mill to pet store pipeline. Passed and signed into law.
SSB 5381 – Addressing Fish Passage Project Permit Streamlining, sponsored by Hobbs, Fortunato, and King. This bill allows expedited permit processing to fish habitat enhancement and restoration projects sponsored by federal Indian tribes, as well as makes changes to other permitting processes involving fish passage projects. WSDOT may also receive expedited permitting processes for fish barrier corrections and WSDOT is required to work with the Department of Ecology, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and federal permitting agencies to provide for a more streamlined federal permitting process for fish passage barrier correction projects. Passed and signed into law.
Initiative Petition 13 (IP13) – A potential ballot initiative for Oregon’s 2022 general election. IP13 would remove some exemptions within Oregon’s animal cruelty laws that still allow animal abuse, animal neglect, and some sexual contact (including forced impregnation) of an animal. These prohibitions would extend to all non-human animals, including those used on farms and in research labs. The exemption for hunting, fishing, and trapping currently allowed within Oregon’s animal cruelty laws would be removed, and any intentional injury or killing of an animal would be criminalized. IP13 would still allow for the raising of and caring for animals, but would protect all animals from abuse, neglect, or sexual assault. Animals raised for meat would only be processed after dying from natural causes. IP13 would not ban any specific industries, programs, or recreational pursuits. IP13 is currently in circulation and collecting signatures to appear on the 2022 statewide ballot. For more information, visit YES on IP13.
HB 2924 – Relating to Industrial Dairies, sponsored by Nosse, Dexter, Hudson, Pham, and Reardon and an identical Senate bill, SB 583, sponsored by Dembore, Golden, Gelser, and Riley. Both bills would have prohibited the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon State Department of Agriculture from issuing or renewing licenses or permits for new constructions or operations of industrial dairy farms. They would also not have allowed the expansion of existing industrial dairy farms or allow other dairy farms to expand into industrial dairy farms. HB 2924 was left in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources upon adjournment and SB 583 was referred to the Committee on the Energy and Environment and received a public hearing, though was left in the Senate Committee upon adjournment.
S1211 – Relating to Wolves, sponsored by Lickley and Gibbs. This bill allows Idaho to kill up to 90% of the wolf population within Idaho in order to protect the interests of its livestock industry; the bill also removed wildlife management authority from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. The Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF), which does support big game management, claims that the bill is misguided in that it violates a ballot initiative enacted in 1938, which removed wildlife management authority from the hands of the legislature. IWF also believes that the law could conflict with Idaho’s endangered species delisting agreement with the federal government, which would remove Idaho’s ability to control its wolf population if too many wolves are killed within the state. See more from IWF here. Passed and signed into law.