VT Bill H.371, important to all fish keepers!
Hi to everyone! I don't usually get involved in political issues, but this is one that everyone needs to know about and pass along to every other fish keeping friend you have. With the state of national politics what it is today, so many states playing the game of "follow the leader", if this bill passes as it is, it could affect the whole country.
H.371 is an amendment to the animal cruelty law in the state of Vermont, making it a felony to keep/own/possess more than 5 animals. I don't have to explain what this means not only for the fish keeping hobby, but for conservation efforts around the world with captive breeding programs, fish clubs/aquarium societies with breeding programs, etc.
Before "freaking out" about this bill, I took the time and emailed the state Rep who introduced it, asking how this will affect the fish keeping hobby. Her reply was pretty lame and didn't answer the question...
Thank you for your information The bill was introduced on behalf of a group of 12 graders as part of a class in political science/civic engagement.
Representative Ann Pugh
67 Bayberry Lane
South Burlington, VT 05403
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-5201
800-322-5616 (VT only)
This is the 2nd email reply I received from her. The first one came back telling me that, because she has NO STAFF, she cannot answer any emails without full contact information provided (name, address, phone number). I replied back with my contact information, telling her I hoped it was enough for her to answer my question. What I pasted in blue above was her reply. I have emailed her yet again, asking my question again... how will this bill affect the fish keeping hobby? I have not yet received another answer.
If this bill gets out there on the books anywhere, we all stand to suffer. The animals stand to suffer, as do conservation and captive breeding efforts around the country. Please, everyone, take 5 minutes from your busy schedules and make a call or drop an email her way. Every voice counts, especially if she has no staff. Bring your info back here as you make contact so this can remain somewhat a coordinated effort to force her to change it, kill it, or face public wrath. If she continues with her "non answers" I will be contacting the media in Vermont as well as around the country. Yes.. there's a lot going on in the media these days, but a good portion of it is political unrest around the world, this would just add more fuel to the media fires.
This needs to be a massive effort to set things right. Anyone who can put this information out there even further online, please feel free to copy paste this content and stick it on personal blogs, facebook pages, etc. The only way to beat this sort of thing is to stand up and be heard.
Good luck to us all!
hey so I looked up the bill... http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012...ntro/H-371.pdf
and according to it this bill has to do with creating criminal action to animal hoarding which it explains as 1) possession of five or more animals, 2) failure to provide for these animals, 3)keeps animals in a severely crowded environment AND 4)displays an inability to recognize or 1 understand the nature of or has a reckless disregard for the conditions under which the animals are living and the deleterious impact they have on the animalsí health and well-being....so it sounds like that all four of these categories have to be in effect to be considered animal hoarding which this bill is trying to prevent.
Thus I really don't see it as being a problem as look as you are taking care of your fish and have enough money to efficiently care for them and yourself.
As for the conservation effort and captive breeding programs...I'm not sure which ones your talking about. If your talking about like organized ones then they are usually funded by some granting agency so they have already been approved and looked over...if your talking about home or individual efforts then as long as the individual can/are providing adequate care for the animals and themselves everything should be fine...if not then something should be done about it (puppy mills for example)
but yea...this is what I have read anyway...so unless you have read something different I don't think you should worry...if you have read something different would you mind posting it here? :)
At the moment I am thinking about all the fish hobbyists who come here and to all of the other forums online for help. How many of them have criteria that fall into this category simply because they don't yet realize that their tanks are overstocked? How many still out there yet to learn because they haven't found the forums yet to teach them? How many falling victim to the misinformation from pet stores who advise overstocking of tanks just for their own profit? All of those people and more would be affected by this bill with its current wording. I am not wanting it scrapped, I understand the need to control animal hoarding, but it needs to be worded more specifically.
I was not sure if that was the correct way to interpret this bill or if it was any of the criteria by themselves applied, which is why I chose to write to the person who drafted/created it. I wanted to be sure, because a few words can make a world of difference.
If your interpretation is correct, I don't have an issue with it other than it should read more clearly to indicate all criteria must be met in an individual situation. The idea that she is avoiding answering my simple question raises a lot of red flags.
I don't think this person is intentionally avoiding your question...I think she probably has other things on her mind other then fish and she doesn't think she has time to deal with you or just doesn't want to think about having to rewrite the bill. Now I am not saying this is right or okay in any way...just maybe trying to get you to see this in a new point of view.
Now you have to think about how other people view fish...you know the one's who think that we are all crazy;-) I mean if you ask a person if they have pets the general response is "well I mean...I have fish I guess" in a tone that implies that fish are not pets..or think of the fact that fish most of the time are not considered meat. Fish for the most part are shoved into the category of...well fish. They are viewed more as a piece of furniture or a picture that occasionally needs a bit of maintenance rather then a living being. I mean have you ever been in a conversation where people are talking about the crazy things that their cats or dogs do and you try to join in with the crazy things that your fish do? The conversation quickly changed in my experience.
I guess what I am trying to say is I do not think that anyone is going to get into trouble over fish because the people who do care are the ones who are here and other forums and are the ones who are talking care of them...
I don't mean to be bashing you down or anything, by all means keep doing what your doing...I feel like I should help chill you out a bit?
I dunno...other opinions?
Assuming A, B, C, and D are all required, it sounds to me like you could have, say, 100 cats so long as you don't fail to provide for them, don't keep them in a severely overcrowded environment, and don't have a reckless disregard for their living conditions, health, or well being. I think fish keepers should be fine.
Why should we be left to assume? What happens if we assume this is how it is intended and then after its made law we find out differently? It is easier to change these things before they happen. I still find it odd that I asked a simple question and she still has not provided anything for an answer. Assumptions can be misleading and I try hard not to assume anything about anyone.
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