Anti-Breeding Legislation Gains in Alabama
Animal rights groups teach activists to write anti-breeding laws
By: Norma Bennett Woolf Date: 01/11/2012 Category: | Animal Legislation | Animal Rights Extremism |
Several animal rights groups schedule conferences throughout the country to focus local activists on anti-breeding ordinances and to assist in drafting laws that provide police powers to animal control officials. Shortly after such a conference is held, anti-breeding laws begin to crop up as in Alabama. Not only did Kim Sturla of Fund for Animals present her program in that state in January, but Spay-USA held its so-called action conference in Birmingham in late April, 1994.
Both Fund for Animals and Spay-USA emphasize mandatory sterilization for all dogs unless the owner pays an exorbitant license fee to maintain an intact animal. Many of these bills authorize confiscation of animals if the owner violates the ordinance.
Sturla's workshop will be held this year in Florida, Missouri, Michigan, and New York. These workshops downplay the animal rights connection and concentrate instead on so-called solutions to dog and cat euthanasia.
The Rutgers Law School Animal Rights Law Center hosted "Animal Rights: New Strategies for the '90s, "a summer conference to discuss the "role of grassroots organizations in the animal rights movement."
Animal rights groups are well-organized in their approach to legislation. Fund for Animals and the Humane Society of the US both offer model ordinances that can be modified for each community and provide assistance with political strategies to get such ordinances passed.
Constitutional rights unravel in Alabama
By D.J. Farns
Kim Sturla came to Alabama on January 29, 1994 to present the Fund For Animals' legislation seminar to a group of humane society and animal control officials and started a chain reaction of animal ordinances in rural areas and small cities.
The ordinances are badly constructed and vague and are imminently susceptible to over-interpretation by animal control departments. Tuscumbia's new ordinance grants full police powers to a "humane officer" appointed by the mayor and requires police training and firearms certification. The humane officer can inspect any place where animals are kept for undefined "commercial purposes" at any time; if permission to inspect is refused, the officer may revoke any pet permit the owner has. Without this permit, the owner may be forced to "humanely dispose" of his animals within 10 days of notice.
The ordinance also requires an owner to notify the city clerk of the date and cause of death of any licensed animal within 15 days of the demise. Failure to notify can result in refusal of additional permits for other animals.
Tuscumbia's ill-conceived measure outlaws the existence of any guard dog training center within city limits and allows the humane officer to set a trap line to capture animals that violate the ordinance. The traps can be set in public thoroughfares; the officer is required to check each trap daily and remove captured animals to the control facility.
Both the Tuscumbia ordinance and one in Florence, Alabama, place restrictions on the maintenance and sale of traditional farm animals. Since farms are located within city limits in Alabama, these provisions give animal rights activists the opportunity to target these animals as well as domestic pets.
At the moment, several different American Kennel Club organizations in the state are working at cross purposes preparing their own state legislation. Alabamians must organize and learn how to stop the local city ordinances that are far more dangerous to the rights of citizens. Since the state legislature will not consider any new legislation for a considerable number of weeks, dog clubs should use the respite to organize-as Georgia has done-and safeguard local municipalities. NAIA of Alabama can provide information on ordinances already approved and those in the planning stages such as the one in the city of Birmingham. Please call 1-800-4AL-NAIA for assistance and information or to offer assistance. NAIA of Alabama is open for membership.
Tuscumbia, Alabama, law controls pet possession
By Norma Bennett Woolf
With a law replete with threats of impoundment of people's pets, Tuscumbia, Alabama, requires disposal of animals within 10 days if the owner's permits are revoked for any reason and licensing of all animals kept as pets except fish, amphibians, and small birds. The law further allows the city to inspect the premises of "any owner of animals kept for commercial purposes" and to revoke permits if inspection is denied. The ordinance does not define "animals kept for commercial purposes."
Part C, Section 5, of the ordinance requires that the death or disappearance of dogs and the cause of that death be reported to the city clerk within 15 days of the animal's demise or disappearance or the owner faces denial of permits for other dogs. If permits are denied, the animals can be confiscated.
Cats must be confined if they "habitually" damage property, but prosecution of a cat owner must be preceded by a sworn affidavit before a judge and issuance of a warrant.
The ordinance does describe "animal" as "any living creature, domestic or wild" and then requires a permit to own any animal over the age of three months except small caged birds or aquatic or amphibian animals kept as pets. It requires proof of rabies vaccination-one-year type- for each of those animals before a permit can be issued. In some sections "animal" and "dog" are used interchangeably, leaving some confusion as to just which animals must be licensed and inoculated.
There is a license differential for sterilized dogs and cats, and the fees are low-$5 for sterilized dogs and cats, $10 for intact dogs and cats. There are also $25 license fees for most businesses involving animals, including obedience schools, hobby breeders, stables, and animal exhibitors, and kennels (boarding, breeding, or selling); thus the pet owner with three intact pets pays a higher yearly fee than either a hobby breeder or a breeding kennel and a pet owner with five sterilized animals pays the same amount as a pet retail business
About The Author
All Authors Of This Article: | Norma Bennett Woolf |