Legislators can co-sponsor new legislation at the beginning of the session. This spreadsheet is meant to assist you in learning a bit about your state legislators, through their sponsorship or co-sponsorship on select animal-related bills and amendments this year. We will add votes and other information once more actions occur in the legislature. The chart and explanation should be helpful; however, it does have limitations. It doesn’t reflect past actions a legislator may have taken to help or harm animals. It also is only using measurement we can measure — such as sponsor/co-sponsorship — which won’t give a clear indication on where a legislator stands on many issues or other actions he or she has taken. We also were unable to include every helpful or harmful animal-related bill. Also, people in certain leadership positions rarely sponsor or co-sponsor bills. Therefore, as always, we encourage you to meet with your legislators (in either the State House or district office), write to them, and ask about positions on specific animal issues. If your legislators have been supportive of animal issues, please take a few minutes to thank them.
+ co-sponsored a bill for the animals
++ sponsored a bill for the animals
– co-sponsored a bill against the animals
– – sponsored a bill against the animals
blank the legislator did not cosponsor
Ivory/Rhino Horn Trafficking
Farm Animal Citations
Non-Animal Test Methods
Research Dog Adoption
Blue Hills Deer Hunt
Mass. Animal Fund
|Rep.||T. Calter, III||+||+||+||+||+||+||+|
|Rep.||P. Frost||+||+||+||+||– –|
|Rep.||T. Golden, Jr.||+||+|
|Rep.||B. Jones, Jr.||+||+||+|
|Rep.||S. Kulik||+||+||– –|
|Rep.||S. Whipps Lee|
|Rep.||D. Nangle||+||+||– –|
|Rep.||W. Straus||– –|
|Sen.||A. Gobi||++||– –|
|Sen.||D. Humason||+||+||+||+||+||+||+||– –||+|
|Sen.||K. O’Connor Ives||+||++||+|
EXPLANATION OF SCORECARD ACTIONS
EXPLANATION OF CO-SPONSORSHIP OF BILLS
Legislators can co-sponsor new legislation at the beginning of the session. If a bill is late-filed, they can also co-sponsor a bill at the time it is filed. The bills below were filed during the 2017-2018 session.
1. S. 2552 (formerly S. 450, H. 419): An Act preventing the trafficking in ivory and rhino horns
This bill will clamp down on illegal ivory and rhino horn sales by limiting the sale, trade and distribution of these products within our state. It will ensure the Commonwealth doesn’t play a role in the unprecedented global poaching crisis by bringing Massachusetts law in line with federal regulations limiting the trade in ivory and rhino horn. Elephants are being killed at an unsustainable rate; 35,000 African elephants were slaughtered in 2012 alone to satisfy the ivory market – an average of 96 per day. Sponsors: Senator Lewis, Representative Ehrlich. Read Senator Lewis’s comments during Senate passage. Senator Cyr filed harmful amendments that were not adopted, and both he and Senator Tarr had amendments that were adopted that were not necessary/ideal, but aren’t expected to be harmful.
2. S. 2331 (formerly S. 1155, H. 1080): An Act to protect puppies and kittens and S. 470: An Act banning the sale of cats and dogs in commercial pet shops
S. 2331 would prevent the sale of dogs or cats less than 8 weeks of age, provide a remedy for the sale of sick dogs and cats, regulate certain breeders, and ensure the sources pet shops receive puppies and kittens adhere to certain standards and don’t have multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Sponsors: Senator Spilka, Representative Benson. S. 470 Would require pet shops to provide puppies and kittens to the public only if they are obtaining those animals, and working with, shelters and rescues. Sponsor: Senator O’Connor. Read Senator Spilka and O’Connor’s comments on the Senate floor.
3. S. 2285 (formerly S. 1145, H. 416): An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals
This bill would permit animal control officers and humane law enforcement officers to write a citation when farm animals are kept in cruel conditions including filthy and dirty confinement, exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors, or dangerous objects that could injure or kill an animal. Sponsors: Senator Montigny, Representatives DuBois and Puppolo. Read Senator Montigny and Senator Rodrigues’ comments on the Senate floor.
4. S. 1127, H. 2426: An Act protecting abandoned animals in vacant properties
This bill would require owners of rented or foreclosed properties to check them for abandoned animals within 3 days after tenants move out; if abandoned animals are found, it must be reported to the local animal control officer or other authorities. Sponsors: Senator Eldridge, Representative D. Rogers. This bill passed as part of PAWS II.
5. S. 2347 (formerly S. 1159, H. 2419): Act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns (PAWS II)
This bill updates a number of provisions in Massachusetts animal cruelty laws to increase reporting, update penalties, and prohibit certain cruel acts. This bill builds upon changes to the state’s animal cruelty laws made with passage of the PAWS Act in 2014. Sponsors: Representative Kafka, Senator Montigny, and Senator Tarr. This bill was signed by the Governor on August 8, 2018. Read the transcript from the Senate floor debate, where Senator Jehlen filed an amendment to remove a portion of the bill and Senator Montigny and Tarr spoke in favor. Read the transcript from the House floor debate, where Representative Sanchez spoke in favor of the bill and Representatives Gentile and Frost tried to weaken the drowning provisions. Rep. Berthiaume filed a harmful amendment that was withdrawn. Rep. Barrows filed an amendment that led to the removal of the provision that would have prevented discrimination by insurance companies based on dog breed.
6. S. 1898, H. 418, S. 490: Circus Animals
While Ringling closed its doors, other MA circuses continue to use wild animals for entertainment. These bills would prevent elephants (H. 418 and S. 1898) and other wild animals (S. 490) from performing in traveling animal acts. Sponsors: Representative Lori Ehrlich; Senator O’Connor Ives, Senator O’Connor.
7. S. 533, H. 554: An Act concerning the use of certain insurance underwriting guidelines pertaining to dogs harbored upon the insured property
This bill would prohibit Massachusetts homeowners insurance companies from discriminating or charging higher premiums for coverage based on breeds of dog. Sponsor: Senator Gobi; Representative Lewis
8. S. 459, H. 2933: An Act concerning the use of animals in product testing
This bill would require the use of available test methods that avoid or reduce animal testing of products and ingredients. This important legislation compels manufacturers and their contract testing facilities to use test methods that replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals. Alternatives provide information of equivalent or superior quality and relevance to humans in comparison to animal tests. The bill applies to products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, and industrial chemicals, like those in paint; it does not apply to testing done for medical research, including testing of drugs or medical devices. Sponsors: Senator Montigny; Rep. Lewis
9. H. 2454: An Act relative to the adoption of animals used in research; H. 3232: An Act protecting research animals; S. 2624 (formerly 489): An Act protecting research animals
The legislation would facilitate a relationship between laboratories that use dogs and cats for research purposes and registered non-profit animal rescue organizations so that when the animals are no longer needed they can be placed up for public adoption. Sponsors: Rep. Dykema, Rep. Dubois; Senator Tarr. Read the transcript fro the Senate floor where Senators Tarr and Welch spoke in favor of the bill.
10. S. 464, H. 2918, H. 3021: An Act further regulating the enforcement of illegal hunting practices
This bill would deter poaching, which is the illegal harming or killing of wildlife, by increasing penalties to bring them in line with other states around the country. They would also create an elevated penalty for chronic poachers who repeatedly violate the law. Sponsors: Senator Moore; Representatives Ferrante, Ehrlich, and Atkins
11. H. 3562: An Act to study the health of the Blue Hills forest and ecology to inform long-term reservation management
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) blames deer populations for forest decline in the Blue Hills. In 2015, DCR allowed a four-day deer hunt to reduce deer populations, and a second hunt took place in 2016, with the addition of bow hunting and more hunters. This bill would support a study and scientific survey of the Blue Hills Reservation to determine why forest health is declining. Sponsor: Representative Driscoll
12. Harmful Wildlife bills (Trapping legislation: H. 442, H. 421, H. 456, H. 3563; Sunday hunting legislation: S. 445, S. 433, H. 469, H. 420)
A number of bills are filed each session that remove current restrictions on cruel body-gripping Conibear and leghold (sometimes called foot-hold traps) which are used to capture fur-bearing animals, such as beaver and coyote. These changes would effectively allow a return to the days of recreational trapping with these inhumane and indiscriminate devices, something that 64% of Massachusetts’ voters decried in 1996 when they voted in favor of a ballot initiative known as the Wildlife Protection Act. Sponsors: Reps. Kulik, Frost, Nangle, and Dykema. Co-sponsors include Reps. Gonzalez, Dooley, Provost and Stanley. (Note that Reps. Provost and Stanley said they co-sponsored in error)
A number of bills are filed each session that would allow for the removal of the statewide ban on Sunday hunting. 86% of Massachusetts’ residents want to maintain the ban on Sunday hunting while hunters represent just 1% of the Massachusetts population. Sunday hunting bills prioritize a small minority over an overwhelming majority of Massachusetts’ residents that do not hunt, yet enjoy non-consumptive uses of nature and wildlife. Sponsors: Sen. Humason, Sen. Gobi, Rep. Straus, Rep. Frost. Co-sponsors include: Reps. Gifford, Scibak, Orrall, Dooley, and Decoste; Senators Pacheco, Rodriques, and Fattman.
13. Mass Animal Fund
Amendment #604 to the 2018 House budget filed by Rep. Kafka and Rep. Galvin allocates $100,000 the state’s Mass. Animal Fund (massanimalfund.com). Amendment #840 was filed by Senator Rodrigues with similar language.
Other information (not scored above):
Click here to see which legislators signed on to a letter supporting H. 418 relating to circus elephants.
Click here to see which legislators signed on to a letter supporting An act further regulating the enforcement of illegal hunting practices.