NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) applauds Nevada legislators for passing nine animal-friendly bills during the 2013 legislative session. Among the new laws that increase protections for horses and companion animals are those banning the intentional tripping of horses, amending existing laws on the management of wild horses, and banning the sale of animals at swap meets. All nine of the animal welfare bills that passed have been signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
"Horses have been central to the ASPCA's work since our founding, and the passage of S.B. 72, one of these nine bills, marks a historic recognition of the cruelty inflicted upon horses when they are tripped intentionally," said Kevin O'Neill, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Western region. "We thank Nevada lawmakers for making the state safer for animals, and we applaud Governor Sandoval for swiftly signing these bills into law."
The Nevada Legislature passed the following humane measures in 2013:
- Senate Bill 72, sponsored by Sen. Mark Manendo (D-Las Vegas), bans the act of intentional horse tripping, a cruel practice that involves lassoing the fore or hind legs of a galloping horse, intentionally causing the horse to crash to the ground.
- Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Mark Manendo (D- Las Vegas), makes the name of a person reporting animal abuse confidential.
- Senate Bill 82, sponsored by the Senate Natural Resources Committee, urges the Nevada Wildlife Commission to engage in discussions on the proper management of black bears.
- Senate Bill 83, sponsored by the Senate Natural Resources Committee, increases penalties for engaging in or watching animal fighting.
- Senate Bill 213, sponsored by Sen. David Parks (D-Las Vegas), requires citizens to register traps with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
- Assembly Bill 110, sponsored by Assemblyman James Ohrenschall (D-Las Vegas), prohibits breed discrimination.
- Assembly Bill 115, sponsored by Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson (D-Reno), requires law enforcement to give domestic violence victims information on protective orders for companion animals.
- Assembly Bill 246, sponsored by Assemblywoman Heidi Swank (D-Las Vegas), bans the sale of live animals at swap meets. Animals sold at swap meets are typically raised in poor conditions, which drastically increase the likelihood that the animal is sick at the time of sale.
- Assembly Bill 264, sponsored by Rep. Tom Grady (R-Yerington) and Jim Wheeler (R-Minden), fixes a deficiency in the law that prohibited the government from working with non-profits to manage and preserve the wild horses.
"We applaud Nevada lawmakers for recognizing that citizens care about animal welfare and for taking bipartisan action to pass legislation to further protect animals, consumers and citizens throughout the state," added O'Neill.
Several local groups were instrumental in the passage of these bills including the Nevada Humane Society, Northern Nevada SPCA, TrailSafe Nevada, No Bear Hunt Nevada, and Hidden Valley Horse Rescue.
Additionally, lawmakers successfully voted down two bills that would have reduced protections for Nevada's wildlife population. SJR 7 would have established a constitutional right to hunt, and S.B. 333 would have allowed for canned hunts on fenced properties.
For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.