LOCAL NEWS

Rally planned against bill to erase local laws governing animal use including puppy mills

Mar 2, 2022, 8:26 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2022, 11:56 am

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  Milly, a 13-week-old kitten waits with her brother Charlie (L) to b...

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Milly, a 13-week-old kitten waits with her brother Charlie (L) to be re-homed at The Society for Abandoned Animals Sanctuary in Sale, Manchester which is facing an urgent cash crisis and possible closure on July 27, 2010 in Manchester, England. The Society for Abandoned Animals exists entirely on public support and unless it can raise GBP 50,000 in the next couple of months it will have to close down. The registered charity started in 1967 and in the last five years alone the charity has rescued and found homes for more than 1,000 cats, 290 rabbits and 262 dogs. The rescue centre is one of the many who are suffering a downfall in donations due to the economic recession. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are pushing a bill that would erase city and county animal ordinances and laws in Utah.

HB476, sponsored by Joel Ferry, R-Brigham City, is short and to the point, reading:

A political subdivision may not adopt or enforce an ordinance or other regulation that prohibits or effectively prohibits the operation of an animal enterprise or the use of a working animal.

The broad language would not allow counties, cities or metro townships to license or regulate animal enterprises.

“This is such a broad sweeping bill that it is going to have intended and unintended consequences that are going to impact animals throughout the state,” Elizabeth Oreck with Best Friends Animal Society said in an interview with KSL TV. “There really just isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to animal issues throughout the state. Cities and counties need to be able to be trusted to evaluate their own issues and enact their own laws that work for them.”

One of the consequences, according to Oreck, will be the puppy and kitten mills that will flourish without regulation, including in the 12 cities and counties in Utah that have enacted retail pet sale ordinances when those laws are wiped out.

The Human Society of Utah is planning a rally in opposition to the bill where they say they will be joined by animal welfare leaders and municipal animal control officials.

Ferry said ultimately the state should enact regulations, not local jurisdictions. He compared animal use to licensing of doctors and clean water and air standards that are set by the state. Ferry cited fears of a city or county outlawing castrating cattle and he cited concerns of “activist groups” that will try to control “how we manage our commercial animal enterprises.”

The proposed law would not apply to land use. Ferry cited as an example local ordinances would still govern how many chickens would be allowed on property. He also cited concerns of groups that want to enact local laws for rodeo animal treatment. Efforts to pass rodeo laws in Los Angeles were cited as a reason for the bill by a supporter.

“We are not saying ‘anything goes’ we are saying we need to have a standard that is broader than local jurisdictions,” Ferry said.

Ferry did agree with the Humane Society and Best Friends Animal Society that the bill would erase current laws and ordinances against stores sourcing pets, including cats and dogs, from wherever they choose. Several others in the committee hearing spoke in favor of it for animal husbandry practices.

“The store would have the decision, ultimately, if they sell what they want to sell,” Ferry said.

“The speed with which this bill has been pushed through the legislature should alarm anyone who values participation in our political process,” the Humane Society said in a release. “Further, by excluding almost all stakeholders from any discussion in the drafting of this bill, many far-reaching implications clearly have not been considered. Most notable is the exclusion of animal control officers in any drafting discussions. As the people who are charged with enforcing our laws against cruelty, their views are perhaps the most valuable when it comes to how workable this legislation will actually be.”

The rally is planned for noon Thursday on the south steps of the Utah Capitol.

Her organization, based in Utah, has a goal of completely stopping the killing of cats and dogs in shelters by 2025 and the group is alarmed by the bill.

“Utah has made amazing progress for animals throughout the years and this bill could undo decades of progress made for animals.”

The bill defines animal enterprises that “includes an animal competition, aquarium, circus, exposition, fair, farm, feedlot, furrier, retail pet store, ranch, rodeo, zoo or an event intended to exhibit or advance agricultural arts and sciences.”

The bill had its first reading on Feb. 24, passed committee Feb. 28 and was approved by the House 43-28 on March 1 and sent to the senate.

“We’ve never seen a bill this broad before that regulates animals uses in entertainment, transportation, education, exhibition, for-profit, food, fiber production, agriculture, research, testing,” Oreck said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE: The sun is seen in full eclipse over a park on Aug. 21, 2017, in Hiawatha, Kansas. Millions o...

Josh Ellis

Utahns will have to travel to catch the best part of April’s total solar eclipse

2023's eclipse gave thousands of Utahns a chance to see its "ring of fire," but the 2024 total solar eclipse will require some travel to get the full experience.

4 minutes ago

Several police SUVs parked in a parking lot as Salt Lake City Police investigate a workplace shooti...

Eliza Pace

Victim, gunman in SLC workplace shooting identified by police

Two men involved in a workplace shooting on Sunday in Salt Lake City were identified by police. 

3 hours ago

Elder Mack Jared Chappell, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Sa...

Mark Jones

Church missionary dies from unknown medical condition

A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died, according to the church.

19 hours ago

The family of a teenager who died following a crash in Lehi last Saturday said his legacy is living...

Brianna Chavez

Family of 17-year-old who died after Lehi motorcycle crash say he saved lives by donating organs

The family of a teenager who died following a crash in Lehi last Saturday said his legacy is living on after his organs were donated to several people.

20 hours ago

Salt Lake City police say two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon. (Salt Lake...

Shelby Lofton and Mark Jones

Two people dead in a workplace shooting, Salt Lake City police say

Salt Lake City police said two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon.

21 hours ago

...

Mark Jones

A Code Blue alert issued in Salt Lake County for Sunday night

A Code Blue alert has been issued for Salt Lake County for Sunday night as temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Rally planned against bill to erase local laws governing animal use including puppy mills