Bills to protect beagles in Virginia are in danger
Update: In a victory for dogs and cats bred for sale to laboratories, Virginia’s General Assembly has passed all five of these bills, which are heading to Governor Glenn Youngkin for his signature.
Every Senator and Delegate representing our region has voted for at least one of these bills, and we need to urge them to stay on that path!
Let’s focus right now on the Senate Agriculture membership, as their agenda tomorrow will include HB 1350, which is reported from the Companion Animal Subcommittee that is chaired by Senator Marsden. Three senators representing Central Virginia serve on this committee: Senators McClellan, Hashmi and Morrissey. If you are in one of their districts, (or that of any other senator on this committee) please contact them right away.
Visit Who is My Legislator? to find out who represents you in the Virginia Senate and how to contact them.
Elements to include:
- “I am your constituent, a registered voter at [address].”
- Express gratitude to the Senator for her or his YEA vote on SB 87.
- Like SB 87, the goal of HB 1350 is to apply the same standard to breeders producing dogs for experimental purposes as state code already applies to other dealers and breeders, which are prohibited from selling dogs or cats if they have received certain violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
- The federal AWA standards that are enforced by the USDA set bare minimal levels of care. Complying with the AWA is the least we should be asking of a $545-million Indiana-based corporation selling dogs for research in Virginia.
- Conforming HB 1350 to the Senate version (SB 87) will give the company until March 1, 2023 to correct the many egregious violations found in the USDA’s two most recent inspections.
- Respectfully ask your senator to please report HB 1350 to the Senate floor for a vote.
- Oppose any effort to weaken the bill or add a reenactment clause.
- Sign off by thanking your senator for serving the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Tabitha Treloar joined the Richmond SPCA in 2005 as an admissions counselor and has been our director of communications since 2010. She and her husband live in Richmond with four Richmond SPCA alumni – two cats and two dogs.