Connecticut House Bill 5293 (HB5293) is another “traveling animal act” ban with broad-sweeping implications. HB5293 prohibits using most animals (see below) in mobile educational programs, which will include the outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. The stated purpose, “To prohibit the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses.” is hogwash and misleading as the consequences go well beyond circuses and the radical animal rights groups that write these bills know it.
This is a ban on educational programs in classrooms, public libraries, at Scout Troop meetings, and more. This is essentially a ban on taking non-domesticated animals anywhere besides the veterinarian.
BE AWARE: The stated list of animals does not matter! This program ban would cover ALL non-domesticated animals. Per the bill: “exotic or wild animal” includes any animal that is not domesticated, including, but not limited to… The animal act ban would cover not only the listed species but also ALL OTHER non-domesticated species because the phrase “but not limited to” is inserted.
Other definitions allow for broad interpretation (this is intentional). “Traveling animal act” covers any transportation of animals for a “performance.” Performance is defined to cover any exhibition, fair, display, etc. where an audience will be amused or entertained. People are entertained simply by seeing animals in person. “Mobile or traveling housing facility” is any form of transport vehicle, even cars. It does not matter if the programs are provided for free or charge a fee.
The only exemptions (and even those have limitations) are facilities with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), state-licensed permittees, specified falconers, and certain USDA-licensed academic/medical/research facilities. Please note that “environmental education programs” are only exempt if you qualify with an entity included in the above exemption list.
This bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of Connecticut tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.
NOTE: It does not matter what legislators state as the purpose of the bill. They have been misinformed by the animal rights groups and that is why you must voice your opposition and educate them. Laws are not enforced by legislators and the enforcement officers must enforce the law as written.
The bill sponsors are below. You can find full contact details (phone, email, fax, etc.) for the sponsors by clicking a name below and then clicking his/her picture.
Rep. David K. Labriola, 131st Dist., Rep. David Michel, 146th Dist., Rep. Anne M. Hughes, 135th Dist., Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria, 105th Dist., Sen. Derek Slap, 5th Dist., Sen. Will Haskell, 26th Dist., and Rep. Michael A. Winkler, 56th Dist.
Remember to be civil and professional at all times!
Email list: Christine.Cohen@cga.ct.gov, Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Christine.Palm@cga.ct.gov, Craig.Miner@cga.ct.gov, Stephen.Harding@housegop.ct.gov, email@example.com, Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Mike.Demicco@cga.ct.gov, Patricia.Dillon@cga.ct.gov, Doug.Dubitsky@housegop.ct.gov, Craig.Fishbein@housegop.ct.gov, Kenneth.Gucker@cga.ct.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Jack.Hennessy@cga.ct.gov, Maria.Horn@cga.ct.gov, Julie.Kushner@cga.ct.gov, David.Michel@cga.ct.gov, Mary.Mushinsky@cga.ct.gov, Tom.ODea@housegop.ct.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, John.Piscopo@housegop.ct.gov, Rosa.Rebimbas@housegop.ct.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kevin.Ryan@cga.ct.gov, email@example.com, David.Wilson@housegop.ct.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, David.Labriola@housegop.ct.gov, Anne.Hughes@cga.ct.gov, Nicole.Klarides-Ditria@cga.ct.gov, Michael.Winkler@cga.ct.gov
NO to HB5293
Joint Committee on Environment Members and HB5293 Sponsors,
As a dedicated advocate for animal welfare, I implore you to vote NO to House Bill 5293 (HB5293). Connecticut already has extensive animal cruelty and welfare. Enforce those current laws! HB5293 is yet another superfluous law that will not accomplish its stated purpose and is nothing more than a solution looking for a problem. Are you aware this bill makes someone a criminal for presenting an animal education program with a tortoise, parrot, frog, gecko, or almost any animal to a school class?
Among other overreaching measures, this bill bans animal outreach programs before not only school students, but also Scout troops, fair exhibitions, and more, classifying such beneficial programs as inherently cruel. Those who would travel with their animals to teach schoolchildren about biology, conservation, and animal physiology will be made into criminals!
It seems HB5293 lacks research. For example, the bill would ban educational programs involving any non-domesticated animal. The fact is that this legislation is unnecessary. Punish the “bad actors” and the criminals. No new law is needed to protect animals as Connecticut can already prosecute animal abusers.
Superfluous and redundant laws are becoming commonplace. Tax dollars and legislative resources are continually being wasted to propose duplicative laws. Even worse, collective punishment is becoming an accepted practice in our government. Instead of focusing on criminals, many new laws choose to punish good citizens.
This bill is far-reaching and rife with unintended consequences, including making criminals out of those dedicated individuals who responsibly conduct educational programs with animals. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Please realize that HB5293 is illogical and unjust. Have a good day.
What to do:
- Call legislators;
- Email legislators;
- Fax and mail letters;
- Attend hearings and voice opposition, if possible;
- SHARE this and encourage others to complete the Alert!!!