We in New Hampshire have learned the harsh lesson that our state is not immune to animal cruelty. Our state's laws protecting animals have not been enhanced in years, leaving them outdated and weak, and leading to the unnecessary neglect, severe injury, and death of countless innocent lives. Not only have these incidents lacked appropriate justice, but could have been prevented if New Hampshire had commonsense laws ensuring the very basic standards of animal welfare in the first place.
Although recent animal cruelty cases have highlighted this issue, awareness alone will not solve the problem. As frustrated and disheartened as residents may be, if no actual changes are made, it will all be left in vain.
It is time for New Hampshire residents to unite and take action by demanding legislative solutions to address the animal welfare issues we face in our state.
If you're tired of reading New Hampshire headlines regarding animal cruelty and want to make a difference, this is your chance - Don't let it pass you by.
Yes - I Want To Help Animals! What Do I Do?
There are 3 basic steps towards legislatively safeguarding animals:
1. Become aware of the animal welfare issues we face
2. Learn about essential bills (proposed legislation) that will address those issues by strengthening our current laws.
3. Reach out to our legislators and urge their support of those bills.
Luckily for us, the Humane Society of the United States will be hosting an event that will help us do all 3 steps at the same time!
What is Humane Lobby Day?
A catered breakfast where residents can come together to learn about and discuss essential animal welfare bills with each other and also meet with their legislators to urge their support of those bills when they vote on them this season.
Last Day To Register Is March 23rd
Wednesday, March 28th
7:45am - 10:00am
NH State House Cafeteria (Basement)
107 North Main St.,
Concord, NH 03301
Don't let the big building intimidate you - The room will be full of those who care for animals just like you do!
This covers the cost of food and general event expenses. Similar events can cost up to $20 per person, so this $5 charge is relatively reasonable. If that cost causes hardship for you, there is contact information on the registration form (linked below) for whom you may reach out to regarding those concerns.
Registration - Dead Line: March 23rd
Registration is required to attend this event, which you can do via this link.
Two primary bills will be discussed at this year's Humane Lobby Day:
SB 569-FN, Relative to Animal Cruelty
SB 569 will strengthen regulations of those in the business of breeding, selling, or sheltering animals, to ensure they are providing the basic standards of care. The bill will also enhance animal cruelty laws so that egregious acts of cruelty are considered a felony, and will alleviate NH's law-abiding taxpayers from having to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of annual expenses for the cost to care for animals seized in cruelty cases. SB 569-FN was passed by the Senate with a majority voice vote on March 22nd.
SB 451, Relative to Wildlife Trafficking
Federal and NH law prohibits the importation of parts from endangered and threatened species, such as elephant tusks and rhino horns. However, the sale of those items within our state borders is not illegal; a loophole that prevents law enforcement and officials from enforcing anti-wildlife trafficking laws in our state. SB 451 would prohibit the sale of the parts of imperiled species, which will in-turn, ban wildlife trafficking in NH, and rectify that loophole. Wildlife trafficking is a major threat to our nations most valued and endangered species, and also has ties to terrorist groups including Sudan's Lord's Resistance Army and Somalia-based Al-Qaeda affiliate, Al-Shabaab. SB 451 was passed unanimously by the Senate on March 8th.
The Most Important Way To Make An Impact Is Attending The Event
Unfamiliar With Animal Welfare Laws or The Above Bills?
No worries. You don't have to be an animal cruelty or legal expert to be effective. The most important way to make an impact is attending the event; the rest will fall into place. There will also be Humane Lobby Day veterans/assistants readily available to answer questions that you may have or assist with your legislator meet and greets. If you prefer to simply introduce yourself to your legislator and then allow that assistant to do the talking, that is a-okay.
I Want To Talk To My Legislator, But I'm nervous
First, legislators are just people; they can’t breathe fire - there's nothing to fear. Second, they also have the responsibility to represent their constituents, which means they rely on feedback from us. Third, if they attend Humane Lobby Day, that is a sign that they’re interested in animal welfare which is a huge part of the battle. Here are examples of what you can say:
“Hello, my name is [name], from [town], New Hampshire. I came to this breakfast because animal welfare is important to me as a constituent. I appreciate you attending and hope that you consider supporting the bills discussed here today.”
"Hello, my name is [name], from [town], New Hampshire. I appreciate you attending today because I believe animal welfare is an important issue in NH. I hope that you will support SB 569-FN, which will address our state's direr need of animal cruelty prevention, and SB 451, which will prohibit wildlife trafficking and protect imperiled species."
Done! If you’re feeling extra daring, you can let them know that you will be checking back with them regarding those bills and how they vote. But when all else fails, a simple smile along with your name and town will go a long way!
I Can’t Attend - Now What?
StraightTwist will be providing lots of information and will keep you updated on the status of animal welfare bills, as well as ways that you can help whether it is at the state house, local events, or from home.
Feel free to contact StraightTwist with any questions you may have.