ARL Beacon Hill Outreach Intensifies

ARL Advocacy testifies in numerous animal protection bills

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) advocacy department was busy last week on Beacon Hill, as ARL publicly supported several bills on the organization’s legislative agenda.

The Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources held a hearing on a number of ARL priority bills, including banning pet stores, regulating commercial boarding and training facilities, funding for animal welfare and safety programs and banning the sale of animals. new fur.

Legislative rules allow for each bill to have a public hearing, with the opportunity for lawmakers and the public to share their thoughts.

While testimony could previously only be provided in person, the Legislature is now holding all hearings in a hybrid manner, allowing people across the Commonwealth (and the world!) to testify without having to travel to Boston.

ARL priorities:

Introduced several sessions ago, the pet store bill this year reflects the immediate concerns of new pet stores in Massachusetts.

Law prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in new pet stores (H.826 sponsored by Representatives Natalie M. Higgins, Kimberly N. Ferguson; S.549 sponsored by Senator O’Connor) follows legislation passed in Maine in 2020, which would prohibit the opening of new pet stores in the Commonwealth.

With New York banning pet stores, Massachusetts could become a haven for pet stores.

ARL also provided testimony in support of Law prohibiting the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores (S.550 sponsored by Senator O’Connor).

Across Massachusetts, 13 municipalities have passed local bans on the sale of dogs and cats, and many municipalities have added additional animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Pet store animals often travel long distances to Massachusetts and can harbor and spread diseases that are dangerous to people and animals.

Small animals like rabbits are common in shelters and their sale in pet stores has contributed to the abandonment of many animals in recent years.

The ARL also continues to support bans at the local level.

ARL has supported efforts to protect animals in boarding and daycare settings by strengthening standards for boarding and training kennels.

Ranked again this session, Law Protecting Dogs in Kennel Boarding and Daycare Centers (H.385 sponsored by Rep. Hannah Kane; S.548 sponsored by Senator Patrick O’Connor) would enforce uniform state standards in these facilities, including staff-to-dog ratios, group sizes and supervision, and other important protections.

Currently, the only statewide standard for these facilities is that they be “sanitary and humane.”

Looking for information on how to vet a property before booking your pet’s vacation stay? Discover the ARLs Embark safely™ checklist to know what to look for and what questions to ask.

An Act providing additional funding for animal welfare and safety programs (S.533 sponsored by Senator Mark Montigny) would take fines for animal welfare violations and, instead of paying them to the General Fund, would pay them specifically into the Homeless Animal Fund, which provides funding for sterilization, care preventive measures and animal training. animal control officers.

For the second legislative session, the Massachusetts legislature considered banning all new furs sold in the state.

Law prohibiting the sale of fur products (H.849 Sponsored by Representatives Jack Patrick Lewis and Josh S. Cutler; S.590 sponsored by Senator John Velis).

In addition to the cruelty of mink farming, fur farming has contributed to the spread of diseases such as COVID-19, with outbreaks on mink farms leading to the culling of millions of mink animals. ‘animals.

Want to learn more about how to get involved in ARL’s advocacy efforts? Contact


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