Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On January 28, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) New England States Coordinator, Joseph Mullin, traveled back to Concord, NH to testify before the House Environment and Agriculture Committee in staunch opposition to House Bill 1389 (HB 1389) – legislation that requires a dog owner to construct a specific shelter if the dog is “outside and unattended” for more than 30 minutes. As was previously reported, the initial Committee hearing was postponed to this later date due to the vast crowd of opponents who came to testify.
Sportsmen and women from across the state traversed to the Capitol for their individual opportunity to assert the negative implications that HB 1389 would have on their livelihoods and recreational pursuits. CSF provided written and oral testimony in opposition to this bill, discussing the ramifications that would result through the passage of this bill
Despite having another amended version introduced at the hearing, HB 1389 still requires dog owners to construct specialized wind-proof and moister-proof kennels to their dogs when left “outside and unattended for more than 30 minutes,” regardless of consideration for individual cases or special circumstances. Therefore, sportsmen (and others alike) would be burdened with constructing special kennels, removing a dog owner’s autonomy over this decision and placing it in the hand of the State. Also, if the temperature were to dip below 32-degrees Fahrenheit – a scenario that’s within reasonable conditions under which a dog would be hunting – it would be prohibited to leave the dog “outside and unattended . . . for more than 15 minutes during any period.” Therefore, by limiting the dog’s time spent outdoors, its ability to acclimate its body to adverse weather conditions would be severely hindered, potentially jeopardizing its entire performance in the field.
Sportsmen are in the best position to observe the wants and needs of their dogs, and the restraints that owners would be subjected to under HB 1389 are beyond reasonable bounds. This bill is scheduled for an executive session on February 4. CSF will continue to work towards opposing this bill and will report on its changes in status.
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?