Member's Press Release

Release Date: 04/03/2013
Contact: Senate Majority Leader John Unger at 304-389-1866

Senator Unger

Animal Protection Bills Pass Unanimously

Charleston, WV - West Virginia Senate Majority Leader John Unger, (D-Berkeley), announced the unanimous passage by the Senate of two bills benefiting animals.

Senate Bill 437 will prohibit “puppy mills” by requiring a business license and annual permits for commercial dog breeders, by limiting the number of dogs which can be kept for breeding and by setting out humane and sanitary conditions which must be maintained.

“In essence, what we’re trying to do is make sure we protect what we have. Other states are cracking down on the puppy mills that are operating illegally. We want to make sure we strengthen our laws so that they’re not just finding this as a haven for that type of operation. That’s why this bill is critical. We need to step up and provide stronger laws to protect our animals as well,” said Senator Unger.

Senate Bill 490 provides that minimum care requirements for equine boarding facilities be established by the Livestock Care Board and requires the minimum terms and conditions for a written contract between the equine owner or responsible party and the boarding facility. The bill also authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture or the Livestock Care Board to propose legislative rules for purpose of implementing and monitoring these standards.

Senator Unger, lead sponsor of both bills, continues,“We've heard enough horror stories of hundreds of dogs packed into very confined spaces and the mistreatment of horses at boarding facilities. It's time to do something decisive, and these bills are a critical step forward.”

Both bills have been sent to the House of Delegates for consideration.

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