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Floor amendment threatens SB1390’s goals of expanding and improving Trap Neuter Return in Virginia

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021
TNR: community cat in trap covered by yellow towel

UPDATE: February 1, 2021

The anticipated floor amendment we told you about on Friday has failed. Senator Lewis’s bill, SB1390, advanced to its third constitutional reading. Tomorrow we can expect a floor vote on the regular calendar. If you have not yet been in communication with your Senator, please do so today, and urge him or her to vote YES on SB1390

Original post from Friday, January 29:

Today in Virginia’s General Assembly, Senate Bill 1390 was on second reading before the Senate, which is when floor amendments can be introduced. Senator Stuart (Westmoreland) wants to require that localities authorize the practice of TNR by ordinance. However, Senator Stuart was not present to introduce his amendment, so Senator Lewis asked that his bill go by for the day. That means we should expect it back on the regular calendar on Monday.

This delay gives us an opportunity to clearly communicate with our Senators over the weekend:  please vote YES on SB1390 and OPPOSE the floor amendment.

Find your Senator’s email address: https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

Why do we oppose it?  

  • Senator Stuart’s amendment will set Virginia back on TNR.
  • Requiring local governing bodies to pass an ordinance to authorize the practice of TNR will interfere with cats being sterilized. Many communities, including our own, already have successful TNR programs that have been operating for decades. In addition to reducing community cat numbers through sterilization, these programs serve to protect public health by vaccinating the cats against rabies.
  • Stuart’s proposed amendment places a burden on local boards and councils to take action affirming the legality of programs already serving the community.
  • SB1390 as introduced is permissive in nature. TNR is not being mandated.
  • Any locality has the option to pass an ordinance to further embrace or regulate TNR.

Please let us know if your Senator has any questions about SB1390 or TNR. Many inaccurate claims have been circulated to members this session, and we are among the TNR advocates working to counter those claims with facts about the only ethical, humane response to management of unowned community cat populations.

In good news, three other animal welfare bills we support – regarding cosmetics, pet store employees, and adoption of animal testing subjects – were all engrossed to move to third reading.

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Follow TNRVa on Facebook for updates on this bill.

Tabitha Treloar and Roux (dog)

Tabitha Treloar joined the Richmond SPCA in 2005 as an admissions counselor and has been our director of communications since 2010. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and PRSA Richmond.

Tabitha and her husband live in Richmond with five Richmond SPCA alumni – two cats and three dogs.

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