Oregon HB 4170 Passes Unanimously

Oregon HB 4170 Passes Unanimously

Oregon’s Democrats and Republicans Come Together for the Dogs!

By: Patti Strand  Date: 03/2/2012 Category: | Animal Legislation | Canine Issues |

AKC ACE Award winner Zadok at the Oregon Capitol Building

More than two years of hard work are beginning to pay off for NAIA, its sister group the NAIA Trust, and a host of other dedicated Oregon dog enthusiasts. In an impressive display of bipartisanship, the Oregon state Legislature has unanimously passed HB 4170, a bill that authorizes dog training and testing on exclusive farm use (EFU) zones. The bill passed 60-0 in the House, 29-0 in the Senate. All that is left now is for the state’s governor, John Kitzhaber, to sign it into law.

With this bill’s passage, once-prohibited dog activities, such as agility training will once again be permitted on EFU zones.

People outside of the state may have trouble imagining how restrictive some of Oregon’s land use laws have been. These laws were enacted in the 1970s with the best of intentions: to prevent Oregon’s farmland from being paved over with development as the state’s population grew. But the omission of dogs as a recognized species on EFU zones and forty years of additional legislation has made the status of dogs on farmland questionable. These unintended consequences have put dedicated dog trainers out of work and prevented dogs from doing what they love most. But with new clarity, the human-canine bond has once again been affirmed: the “farm dog,” an American fixture since George Washington’s day, is back in Oregon.

NAIA and the NAIA Trust have been working tirelessly toward these changes since 2010. Researching legislative history, court decisions, and drafting proposals while mobilizing Oregon’s canine enthusiasts, it has been a long and winding road, to be sure – but a great journey thanks to the fabulous group of advocates and legislators that have worked with us throughout the process.

Dog Day at the Capitol, April 2011: canine agiity on the Oregon Capitol Lawn, arranged and hosted by the NAIA

First and foremost, we thank Clackamas County Commission Chair Charlotte Lehan for her willingness to go to bat for a constituent whose dog training facility had been closed under the previous law. Without her support, this bill would not have been possible. Troy Rayburn, lobbyist for Clackamas County, was there every step of the way too, generously offering his time and expertise as well as moral support. 

We’d also like to thank Representatives Michael Schaufler and Jim Weidner, and Senators Rod Monroe and Ted Ferrioli for sponsoring this bill in the 2011 session. Special thanks to Representative Andy Olson, co-chair of the Oregon House Rules Committee, for working with us in the off-season to help perfect this bill, and to co-chair, Representative Tina Kotek who joined him later in the process. Another big round of applause goes to Representative Paul Holvey, who became an expert on the issue, speaking on our behalf on the floor.

Just as important are the countless canine advocates who helped move this forward. Just to name a few: Debbie Berkeley, a renowned dog trainer whose training establishment was shut down due to previous land use laws; Elaine Resner who relentlessly raised grass-roots support among the dog community and helped us in digging through the Oregon legislative archives; Jan Curry whose expertise in legislative language and willingness to review and edit the NAIA Trust’s draft proposals was invaluable; and finally, the NAIA Trust, for sending out alerts and raising the troops.

Thanks to them and the thousands of dog lovers who support HB 4170, Oregon's dogs and dog owners have taken a huge step forward. Next stop: the governor's desk.

About The Author

Patti Strand's photo
Patti Strand -

All Authors Of This Article: | Patti Strand |
Like this article?
Don’t forget to share, like or follow us



blog comments powered by Disqus