What’s LOHV been up to?

From Peter Muller

Toni Lovoi (L) with NYS legislative aide

The League of Humane Voters started this quarter with its Fifth Annual Legislative Breakfast in Albany, New York on March 18th. We invited state legislators and representatives from the Governor’s office to attend a vegan breakfast with members of the New State Chapter and the affiliates of the LOHV. We went over our agenda for the legislative session of 2008 with the attendees.

We also scheduled meetings with the heads of the committees in which our bills will have to pass, and with the leadership of the two legislative chambers – the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate – as well as the Governor’s office and the Commissioner of the New York State DEC. The New York State DEC is the state agency hat regulates wildlife.

Senator Padavan (L) and Peter Muller (R) plot strategy

We had over forty legislators and/or their staff in attendance at the breakfast. Later we took up our bills with the leadership of the Senate, the Assembly and the Committee chairs:

1) In conference with the Senate leadership, LOHV negotiated a change to the Canned Hunt Bill (S00784 and A02612).  It had been opposed by the Farm Bureau. We agreed to some changes to address the concerns of the farmers and ensure the passage of the Bill. The bill had passed the Assembly and was out of the Encon Committee in the Senate. We were led to believe that it would be able to get to the Senate floor for a full vote before this session ends. Recently, after the legislative breakfast, – we were informed that several large national animal protection organizations were opposing the version of the bill that we had negotiated. A different version, one more likely to be opposed by the Farm Bureau is now pending.

2) Ban Shooting Contest Bill (S0156 and A02614). This bill has no opposition from the Legislative leadership; the head of the Senate Encon Committee (Carl Marcellino) who is its sponsor seems reluctant to schedule it for a committee hearing. His aide asked us to poll his committee members to see where they stand. We are asking him to confirm that he would schedule it for a hearing if the majority of his committee favors passage of the bill. Marcellino’s posturing and trying to send us off to do some busy-work-tasks seems to be a negative indicator.

We’ve taken an alternate path to bypass Marcellino and the NYS legislature – by going to the DEC and asking them to pass a regulation which would achieve the same effect as the stalled bill. Peter Grannis, the Commissioner of the DEC, expressed his willingness to check it out and make sure that such a regulation has no unforeseen consequences.

3) Dissection Notification Bill (S05408 and A00585). This bill also has no opposition from the Legislative leadership. The committee chairs of both chambers were unavailable for consultation on the day of our breakfast. We will schedule meetings with them in a week or thereabouts to help this bill get to the floor of both chambers for a vote.

4) Home Rule for Trapping Bill (S01461and A07991). This bill is also stuck in the Senate Encon Committee. Carl Marcellino seems totally determined to stop this bill- although neither he nor his staff can come up with an explanation of why home-rule should not be expanded into this area. It seems that we have to wait until Marcellino gets voted out or until the entire NY State Senate is no longer controlled by the Republican Party (very possibly January 2009).

5) Prohibit Foie Gras Production Bill (S01463 and A06277). This bill unfortunately has little chance of moving forward this session. The Farm Bureau is totally opposed to it. The Farm Bureau exercises a great deal of influence in the current Senate. The Farm Bureau argues that this would constitute limiting a “normal farm practice.” Force-feeding ducks is not a normal practice by any standard. The Farm Bureau is concerned with limiting any farm practice for humane reasons- in their view permitting any such law would lead to a “slippery slope” which would result in banning many farm practices which people with a humane perspective would find objectionable.

All in all the session was productive and advanced our position with the New York State Legislature.

Marianne Bessey, Esq. LOHV Greater Philadelphia, and Elisabeth Anderson, Marcia Gordon of the new Chester County affilate

In early April LOHV launched a new affiliate in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Chester County is close to Philadelphia and the new chapter will join with the Philadelphia chapter on many local issues.


Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561