May 18, 2020

Massachusetts: Committee Drops “Outside and Unattended” from Restrictive Kennel Bill

Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Senior Coordinator

The issue of fighting excessively restrictive kennel legislation in Massachusetts has been an ongoing theme for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), as well as for other like-minded in-state and national organizations. On May 8, news broke out of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government that shined a bright light on these efforts, though much work still lies ahead.

The Committee reported out with a redrafted bill, which excluded certain language pertaining to the restrictive kennel conditions for dog owners, which was of special concern to CSF and the Bay State’s sportsmen and women. CSF submitted a letter of opposition, met with and held discussions with several members of the Massachusetts General Court, and partook in the American Kennel Club’s sign-on letter against House Bill 1822, which would have limited a dog owner’s ability to use a fenced-in yard or kennel for longer than 5 hours, while also prohibiting keeping the dog outside from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., deeming this to be “outside and unattended.” In the Committee’s redraft, such arbitrary language and conditions have been removed. However, early indications are that the revised draft will still contain many problematic sections that push forth the sentiments of animal rights interest groups.

Following the Committee’s action, the redraft will need to receive a new bill number. CSF will continue to protect and advance the ability of Massachusetts’ sportsmen and women to enjoy the time-honored tradition of hunting with dogs.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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