UPDATE 1/26/21: HB3008 is assigned to the House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources. Please send your comments to Committee members even if you already contacted the sponsor! All contact details are below under the Sample Messaging section.
Oregon House Bill 3008 (HB3008) has been introduced by Representative Nosse. HB3008 prohibits using certain animals (list below and even includes tortoises and small monitors) in traveling animal acts, which will include the educational outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. It authorizes forfeiture of animals used in violations. Punishment is a maximum of six months’ imprisonment, a $2,500 fine, or both. HB3008 awaits committee assignment and we will add that information for sending opposition when assigned.
Regardless of what species are involved, this bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of Oregon tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.
The unintended consequences are many. It is a ban on taking a Greek tortoise into a classroom for an educational program about turtles and tortoises. It is a ban on taking a dwarf monitor lizard into a library or to a Scout troop meeting for an educational show discussing reptiles.
The bill is straightforward and simply states, “A person may not use an animal described in subsection (3) of this section in a traveling animal act.” That means any species below cannot be transported in any manner for any type of presentation. Essentially, animals could only leave your home for veterinary visits.
“Traveling animal act” means a performance of an animal to which the animal is transported to perform. This qualifies all outreach and educational programs that are not on-site where the animal is permanently housed. They would all be banned.
The only exemptions are facilities with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the World Association of Zoos, Aquariums (WAZA), or the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), state-licensed wildlife rehabilitation centers, certain academic/medical/research facilities, veterinarians, and falconers.
Please note that “education programs” are only exempt if you qualify with an entity included in the above exemption list. Also, while this a definition for “performance” that may seem to disqualify general educational outreach programs, there still remains much ambiguity and enforcement could certainly take place upon an unexempted person conducting a program.
Species included in the bill (we highlighted the reptile species):
(a) Any member of the family Canidae, except the species Canis familiaris (domestic dog);
(b) Any member of the family Cetartiodactyla, except the species Bison bison (American
bison), Bos taurus (domestic cow), Lama glama (domestic llama), Ovis aries (sheep), Rangifer
tarandus (reindeer) and Sus domesticus (domestic pig), and the subspecies Capra aegagrus
hircus (domestic goat);
(c) Any member of the order Crocodylia;
(d) Any member of the subclass Elasmobranchii;
(e) Any member of the family Elephantidae;
(f) Any member of the family Felidae, except the species Felis catus (domestic cat);
(g) Any member of the family Hyaenidae;
(h) Any member of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia;
(i) Any member of the family Mustelidae, except the subspecies Mustela putorius furo
(j) Any nonhuman primate;
(k) Any member of the order Perissodactyla, except the subspecies Equus ferus caballus
(domestic horse), the subspecies Equus africanus asinus (donkey), a pony and a mule;
(L) A member of the clade Pinnipedia;
(m) A member of the family Procyonidae;
(n) A member of the group ratite;
(o) A member of the family Spheniscidae;
(p) A member of the family Testudinidae;
(q) A member of the family Ursidae;
(r) A member of the family Varanidae;
(s) A member of the family Viverridae; and
(t) A member of the clade Xenarthra.
Remember to be civil and professional at all times!
Email list: Rep.RobNosse@oregonlegislature.gov, Rep.BradWitt@oregonlegislature.gov, email@example.com, Rep.ZachHudson@oregonlegislature.gov, Rep.JamiCate@oregonlegislature.gov, Rep.PamMarsh@oregonlegislature.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Rep.JeffReardon@oregonlegislature.gov, Rep.DavidBrockSmith@oregonlegislature.gov, Rep.AnnaWilliams@oregonlegislature.gov
Committee members and full contact information: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Committees/HAGNR/Overview
If this bill is assigned a hearing date, you should submit your comments through the legislature website here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Testimony/HAGNR
NO to HB3008
House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Members,
As a dedicated advocate for animal welfare, I implore you to vote NO to House Bill 3008. Oregon already has extensive animal cruelty and welfare laws including ORS Chapter 167. Enforce those current laws! HB3008 is yet another superfluous law that will not accomplish its stated purpose and is nothing more than a solution looking for a problem.
It seems HB3008 lacks research. For example, the bill would ban educational programs including any tortoise or monitor lizard. For both of these, some species weigh less than one pound as adults. Programs with the larger tortoises and monitor lizards provide education as to why certain species are not good pet choices for some people and families.
The fact is that this legislation is unnecessary. Punish the “bad actors” and the criminals. No new law is needed to protect animals as Oregon 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.
Among other overreaching measures, this bill bans many educational outreach programs before students and Scout troops, classifying such beneficial programs as inherently cruel. Those who would travel with their animals to teach school children about tortoises or certain lizards will be made into criminals!
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 HB3008 is illogical and unjust. Have a good day.
What to do:
- Call officials;
- Email officials;
- Fax and mail letters;
- Attend hearings and voice opposition, if possible;
- SHARE this and encourage others to complete the Alert!!!
You can find full contact details (phone, email, fax, etc.) for relevant legislators by clicking the links below.
Bill full details on Oregon Legislative website: HB3008 2021 Regular Session - Oregon Legislative Information System
Link to Committee members and contact information (to be posted after assignment):
Link to the sponsor’s info page: Representative Rob Nosse Home Page