SB75 passes in House committee; Advances to full House!

On February 27, the South Dakota House Local Government Committee passed a bill in a 10-3 vote that would bar cities and counties from regulating specific breeds of dog within their borders.   Senate Bill 75  would prohibit ordinances that target specific breeds, but would not prevent cities from enacting ordinances that apply to all animals.  The bill also recommends ways for cities to deal with vicious animals by addressing owners and individual animals.

If you recall, in debating the bill in the Senate, even the South Dakota Municipal League, which offered testimony opposing SB75, admitted the League agrees with the proponents’ position on the bill and that dogs should be judged based on their behavior, not their breed.  Moreover, the League already discourages cities from enacting breed specific laws, instead urging them to focus on owners and individual dogs.  The League’s opposition to the bill relates to the loss of control on the part of individual municipalities, rather than the inability to regulate specific breeds.

In fact, it appears the only opposition to the bill relates to the  control of city officials to enact laws being given to the state.  This position seems quite odd, however, considering it is the job of every state legislature to enact bills on a multitude of issues that dictate what cities can and cannot do, and this bill should be no exception.

After passing in committee, SB75 now advances to the full House, inching ever so close to the finish line!

SOUTH DAKOTA RESIDENTS: Please reach out to your House Representatives and ask them to support SB 75. Let them know that laws that target dogs based on their appearance rather than their behavior creates communities that are more vulnerable to dangerous dogs, not less. The passage of SB 75 would mean cities and counties, in drafting animal control ordinances, would have to tackle the root cause of dangerous dogs, irresponsible and reckless dog owners, rather than pass a blanket law that regulates all members of specific breeds.

Please remember to keep all communications with legislators polite and respectful.  The manner in which we communicate with officials can and does make a difference.

Members of the South Dakota House:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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