HB1498 (2012) Detail

Repealing dog licensing requirements.


HB 1498-FN-LOCAL – AS INTRODUCED

2012 SESSION

12-2441

08/10

HOUSE BILL 1498-FN-LOCAL

AN ACT repealing dog licensing requirements.

SPONSORS: Rep. Cohn, Merr 6; Rep. DeLemus, Straf 1; Rep. S. Tremblay, Rock 3

COMMITTEE: Municipal and County Government

ANALYSIS

This bill repeals dog licensing requirements.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

12-2441

08/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve

AN ACT repealing dog licensing requirements.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraphs; Rabies Vaccination Required; Fee for Rabies Certificates. Amend RSA 436:100 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraphs:

III. The state veterinarian shall collect a $4 fee on each blank rabies certificate purchased by veterinarians. From the fees collected, $3.25 shall be distributed to the companion animal neutering fund established in RSA 437-A:4-a and $0.75 shall be distributed to fund the veterinary diagnostic laboratory established in RSA 436:92.

IV. Veterinarians shall report to the state veterinarian quarterly with a report containing the number of rabies vaccination certificates issued, the animal owner’s name and address, and the number of the rabies tag issued.

V. The state veterinarian shall compile aggregate statistics on the number of dogs, cats, ferrets and other animals vaccinated and shall publish such aggregate statistics to the department of agriculture, markets and food’s website on a quarterly basis.

2 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 6:12, I(b)(59) to read as follows:

(59) Moneys received under [RSA 466:4, I(c), RSA 466:6, III, and] RSA 436-100, III and RSA 437-A which shall be credited to the companion animal neutering fund, established in RSA 437-A:4-a.

3 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 436:105 to read as follows:

436:105 Impoundment of Dog Rabies Suspects.

I. Any dog displaying symptoms which indicate a likelihood that such dog is afflicted with rabies which has bitten a person and caused a puncture of the skin or which has caused a nonbite exposure shall be immediately euthanized and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for euthanizing the dog and for preparing the head for shipment to the public health laboratory. If the dog is a stray, the rabies control authority shall be responsible for the expense[, and such expense shall be paid from fees collected under RSA 466:4 and 466:6].

II. Any apparently healthy dog not vaccinated in accordance with RSA 436:100, or whose vaccination status is unknown which has bitten any person and caused a puncture of the skin or which has caused a nonbite exposure of such person, shall be seized and impounded under the supervision of the local authorities for a period of not less than 10 days. If, upon examination by a licensed veterinarian, the dog has no signs of rabies at the end of said impoundment, it may be released to the owner or, in the case of a stray, it shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable laws. Any illness in the dog during confinement or before release shall be evaluated by a licensed veterinarian. If signs suggestive of rabies develop, the dog shall be euthanized and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for the examination and for the impoundment of the dog. The owner shall also be responsible for any expense for euthanizing the dog and for preparing the head for shipment to the public health laboratory. If the dog is a stray, the rabies control authority shall be responsible for the expense[, and such expense shall be paid from fees collected under RSA 466:4 and 466:6].

III. Except as provided in RSA 436:105-b, any healthy dog vaccinated in accordance with RSA 436:100, which has bitten any person and caused a puncture of the skin or caused a nonbite exposure, shall be confined by the owner or other responsible person as required by local authorities for a period of 10 days, at which time the dog shall be examined by a licensed veterinarian. If no signs of rabies are observed by the veterinarian, the dog may be released from confinement. Any illness in the dog during confinement or before release shall be evaluated by a licensed veterinarian. If signs suggestive of rabies develop, the dog shall be euthanized and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for the examination and for the impoundment of the dog. The owner shall also be responsible for any expense for euthanizing the dog and for preparing the head for shipment to the public health laboratory. If the dog is a stray, the rabies control authority shall be responsible for the expense incurred[, and such expense shall be paid from fees collected under RSA 466:4 and RSA 466:6].

4 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 436:105-a to read as follows:

436:105-a Impoundment of Cat Rabies Suspects.

I. Any cat displaying symptoms which indicate a likelihood that such cat is afflicted with rabies which has bitten a person and caused a puncture of the skin or which has caused a nonbite exposure shall be immediately euthanized and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for euthanizing the cat and for preparing the head for shipment to the public health laboratory. If the owner of the cat is not known, the rabies control authority shall be responsible for the expense[, and such expense shall be paid from fees collected under RSA 466:4 and 466:6].

II. Any apparently healthy cat not vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown which has bitten any person and caused a puncture of the skin or which has caused a nonbite exposure of the person shall be seized and, if the owner consents, impounded under the supervision of the local authorities for a period of not less than 10 days. If, upon examination by a licensed veterinarian, the cat has no signs of rabies at the end of the impoundment, it may be released to the owner. Any illness in the cat during confinement or before release shall be evaluated by a licensed veterinarian. If signs suggestive of rabies develop, the cat shall be euthanized and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for the examination and for the impoundment of the cat. If the owner of the cat is not known or if the owner does not consent to impoundment, the cat shall be euthanized upon seizure and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for euthanizing the cat and for preparing the head for shipment to the public health laboratory. If the owner of the cat is not known, the rabies control authority shall be responsible for the expense [and such expense shall be paid from fees collected under RSA 466:4 and 466:6].

III. Any healthy cat vaccinated in accordance with RSA 436:100, which has bitten any person and caused a puncture of the skin or which has caused a nonbite exposure, shall be confined by the owner or other responsible person as required by the local authorities for a period of 10 days, at which time the cat shall be examined by a licensed veterinarian. If no signs of rabies are observed by the veterinarian, the cat may be released from confinement. Any illness in the cat during confinement or before release shall be evaluated by a licensed veterinarian. If signs suggestive of rabies develop, the cat shall be euthanized and the head sent for examination to the public health laboratory, department of health and human services. It shall be the responsibility of the owner for any expense for the examination and the impoundment of the cat, for euthanizing the cat and for preparing the head for shipment to the public health laboratory. If the owner of the cat does not consent to the confinement or if the owner of the cat is not known, the rabies control authority shall be responsible for the expense [and such expense shall be paid from fees collected under RSA 466:4 and 466:6].

5 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 437:7 to read as follows:

437:7 Exception. The license provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to breeders of dogs [licensed under the provisions of RSA 466:6]; veterinarians; owners and operators of horse riding stables; and auctioneers, breeders or keepers of farm livestock.

6 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 437:10, III(c) to read as follows:

(c) All animal shelters shall comply with the provisions of RSA 437:13-a, IV [and RSA 466:6-a, IV].

7 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 437:18, IV(d) to read as follows:

(d) Any cat in the custody of the animal care center for at least 7 days which has a form of positive identification including, but not limited to a tattoo, collar, microchip, eartag, or any other form of identification approved by the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food [pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 466:13-a].

8 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 437:19 to read as follows:

437:19 Notice to Owner; Reclaiming of Animals. The operator of an animal care center having custody of an animal, the owner of which has refused or neglected to reclaim the animal for a period of 7 days, or has refused or neglected to pay the just fees and charges due for boarding, grooming, surgical, medical or other care of the animal for a period of 7 days, shall notify the owner by certified mail of the intention of the operator to treat the animal as an abandoned animal within the meaning of this subdivision if the owner does not reclaim the animal or pay the charges and fees within 7 days after the mailing of the notification. Any cat [not licensed in accordance with RSA 466:13-a and] which is reclaimed from an animal care center shall be released to the owner only upon proof of a current, valid rabies vaccination or upon being vaccinated against rabies in accordance with RSA 436.

9 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 437-A:4-a, I to read as follows:

I. There is hereby established the companion animal neutering fund. Any funds received by the commissioner under this chapter[, RSA 466:4, I(c), and RSA 466:6, III] shall be deposited in the fund and shall be used by the commissioner exclusively for implementation including veterinarian reimbursement, promotion, and other costs associated with the program. Moneys in the fund shall be continually appropriated to the commissioner. Interest earnings credited to the assets of the fund shall become part of the fund. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward to the fund for the next fiscal year.

10 Rabies; Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 466:1-a to read as follows:

466:1-a Vaccination Required.

I. [Before a license is issued under the provisions of this subdivision,] The owner or keeper of a dog shall furnish to the clerk verification from a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the provisions of RSA 436. [Persons applying for a group license under RSA 466:6 shall also furnish to the clerk verification from a licensed veterinarian that the dogs have been vaccinated against rabies in accordance with RSA 436.]

II. Notwithstanding paragraph I, if a valid rabies certificate is on file with the clerk in accordance with RSA 436:102, the owner shall not be required to produce such verification [at time of licensure].

11 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 466:39 to read as follows:

466:39 City or Town Bylaws. The local governing body may make such additional bylaws and regulations concerning the [licensing and] restraining of dogs as it deems reasonable, and may affix penalties not exceeding $50 for a breach thereof. Such bylaws and regulations shall relate only to dogs owned or kept in such city or town[, and the annual fee required for a license shall in no case be more than $1 in addition to the sum hereby required].

12 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 466:42-a to read as follows:

466:42-a Stealing Dogs, etc. Whoever wrongfully removes the collar from or steals a dog [licensed and] collared as aforesaid shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Whoever distributes or exposes a poisonous substance with intent that the same shall be eaten by any dog shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be liable to the dog’s owner for its value.

13 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 466:42-b to read as follows:

466:42-b Civil Recovery. Whoever wrongfully kills or maims, entices or carries away a [licensed] dog shall be liable to its owner for its value in a civil proceeding.

14 Repeal of Dog Licenses; Cross Reference Removed. Amend RSA 466:25 to read as follows:

466:25 Orders, How Payable. All orders drawn and judgments rendered in favor of claimants under RSA 466:22-24 shall be paid by the town or city treasurer [out of the receipts from dog license fees and cat license fees, if the municipality licenses cats, and fines and forfeitures collected under RSA 466:13, 466:31, and 466:39 if the same are sufficient. In case these sources are insufficient, the balance shall be paid out of the general funds of the town or city].

15 Repeal. The following are repealed:

I. RSA 466:1, relative to mandatory dog licensing.

II. RSA 466:1-b, relative to rabies certificates.

III. RSA 466:1-c, relative to authorization to issue licenses.

IV. RSA 466:1-d, relative to lists of licensed dog owners.

V. RSA 466:2, relative to when dog licenses expire.

VI. RSA 466:3, relative to transfer of dog licenses.

VII. RSA 466:4, relative to fees for dog licenses.

VIII. RSA 466:5, relative to the disposal of fees for dog licenses.

IX. RSA 466:6, relative to licenses for groups of dogs.

X. RSA 466:7, relative to additional charges where payment of license fees are delayed.

XI. RSA 466:8, relative to exemptions from dog licensing.

XII. RSA 466:9, relative to payment of fees for dog licensing.

XIII. RSA 466:11, relative to town records of dog licenses.

XIV. RSA 466:12, relative to town accounts for dog license fees.

XV. RSA 466:13, relative to forfeiture of unlicensed dogs.

XVI. RSA 466:13-a, relative to the licensing of cats.

XVII. RSA 466:14, warrant proceedings of dog owners who have failed to license their dog.

XVIII. RSA 466:15, relative to fees for the seizure of unlicensed dogs.

XIX. RSA 466:16, relative to the return of previously unlicensed dogs.

XX. RSA 466:18-a, relative to unlicensed dogs in humane societies.

XXI. RSA 466:43, relative to a list of dog owners in a municipality.

XXII. RSA 466:46-54, relative to the registration of guard dogs.

16 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.

LBAO

12-2441

Revised 11/29/11

HB 1498-FN-LOCAL - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT repealing dog licensing requirements.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food states this bill will decrease local revenue, may increase state restricted revenue, and may increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. The Department states this bill will have an indeterminable fiscal impact on local expenditures in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will decrease local revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There is no fiscal impact on county revenue and expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food states this bill repeals dog licensing requirements and establishes a fee for rabies certificates. The Department states revenue to the state and municipalities will decrease as a result of this bill. The animal population control program revenue, the $2.00 fee collected with every dog license issued, will decrease by approximately $335,000. The Department estimates 167,500 dogs are licensed based on the annual revenue of $335,000. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory receives revenue of $.50 of every dog license fee, a loss of approximately $83,750 for the lab. License fees are $4.50 or $7.00 for sterilized and non-sterilized dogs respectively. The Department assumes, based on National Animal Interest Alliance research, that 87 percent of dogs are sterilized. Based on this, loss of revenue for sterilized dogs is estimated at $655,762 (87% * 167,500 licenses * $4.50 per license) and for non-sterilized dogs is estimated at $152,425 (13% * 167,500 * $7.00). Local revenue will decrease by approximately $724,437 ($808,187 license fee collected - $83,750 directed to Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory). The establishment of a $4.00 fee for rabies certificates, with $3.25 of the fee directed to the companion animal neutering fund and $.75 of the fee directed to the veterinary diagnostic laboratory fund, will help to offset any revenue losses to these funds resulting from the repeal of the dog licenses (a $335,000 decrease to the companion animal neutering fund and a $83,750 decrease to veterinary diagnostic laboratory fund). The Department estimates 77,000 dog rabies vaccinations, 71,600 cat rabies vaccinations, and 3,565 ferret rabies vaccinations. This will increase state restricted revenue by $608,660 ($4.00 fee * 152,165 rabies vaccinations), with $494,536 going to the companion animal neutering fund and $114,124 going to the veterinary diagnostic laboratory fund.

    Additionally, revenue would be lost by not licensing commercial kennels, not licensing guard dogs, or collecting a fee associated with the transfer of licenses. Municipalities may have a decrease in expenditures related to the purchase of licenses but may have continued expenditures associated with needing to maintain rabies certificates, therefore the impact on municipal expenditures is indeterminable. The State may have increased expenditures associated with the elimination of dog licenses. For example, if there is an incident involving a dog bite and there is no method to trace the animal back to their owner or town of origin to confirm rabies vaccination, the State would need to initiate post-exposure prophylaxis for any humans involved because rabies is a zero risk tolerance disease. The cost for each post-exposure prophylaxis is estimated at $4,000, which would be borne by the State.

    The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will decrease local revenue by an indeterminable amount by repealing dog licensing requirements.

Links

HB1498 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB1498 Revision: 21501 Date: Dec. 14, 2011, midnight

Docket