On Tuesday, the 160 members of the Florida Legislature convened in Tallahassee to kick off the 2010 Legislative Session. For the next 60 days they’ll debate a number of important issues, including the following bills that would help animals in Florida:
- Senate Bill 104 and House Bill 1611 would prohibit sexual contact with animals. In recent years, there have been several disturbing cases of sexual abuse of animals in Florida. At its first committee hearing, S104 was unanimously approved. So far, so good!
- Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 709 would prohibit the possession, import, sale or breeding of several species of large reptiles, including the Burmese python, anaconda and Nile monitor. This legislation would benefit animal welfare, improve public safety and protect Florida’s environment. On Tuesday, HB 709 was reported favorably out of the Policy Council; S318 has also been approved by its first committee.
- Senate Bill 1708 and House Bill 765 would strengthen the State of Florida’s restrictions on the sale of horsemeat for human consumption, and increase the criminal penalties related to the unlawful slaughter of horses. On Wednesday, HB 765 was approved by the Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee with a unanimous vote.
- Senate Bill 2372 and House Bill 1221 would require county’s and municipalities in Florida to collect a surcharge for each violation of an ordinance relating to animal cruelty or control; the surcharge would be used to subsidize the costs of spaying or neutering dogs and cats.
You Can Help
Please contact your state senator and state representative and ask that they support the bills mentioned above.
To find your elected officials, visit myFloridaHouse.gov and click the “Find Your Representative” button.
Visit ARFF’s website for updates on animal-related legislation.