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There are a number of bills pending in Massachusetts that will affect animals either positively or negatively.

We ask you to contact you state representative and senator and voice your opinion. Whether a bill is a House or Senate bill, it will be voted on by both bodies so always contact both your senator and your representative.

Animals in Entertainment

SUPPORT: An Act Relating to the Treatment of Elephants S. 1626. This bill would prohibit any person who houses, possesses or travels with elephants utilized in traveling shows from using any implement that would result in physical harm or from keeping the elephants constantly restrained by chain or similar device. For example, the bullhook (or ankus) which is a club made of wood, metal, or other substantial material, with a sharp steel hook and metal poker at one end is commonly used to train an elephant. Sponsor: Senator Hedlund. The bill received a Study order from the Tourism Committee and is not expected to make further progess during this legislative session. Click here to see how Tourism Committee members voted on this legislation: http://www.malegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/24

Wildlife

SUPPORT: An Act Establishing a Wildlife Management Commission Senate Bill 397. This bill will create a commission to evaluate and recommend methods to wildlife managers and the public to successfully manage and co-exist with beaver, muskrat, coyote and moose. Sponsor: Senator Eldridge Status: Reported favorably by the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee; referred to Joint Committee on Rules.

SUPPORT: An Act Relative to Hunting or Trapping on Private Land House Bill 851. The burden is currently placed on property owners to post a sign if they do not want hunters to come on their property. This bill shifts the burden, so that hunters must get written permission before they engage in these activities on private property. Sponsor: Rep. Martin Walsh Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee

OPPOSE: An Act Relative to the Control of Coyotes House Bill 747. This bill expands the use of padded leghold traps for capturing coyote (pursuant to the health or safety exception) by allowing the Director of Fisheries and Wildlife to authorize this use (currently the state and federal departments of health can already do this). Sponsor: Rep. Greene Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Relative to property damage caused by beavers House Bill 745. This bill would allow a so-called "pilot program" that would allow the use of the body-gripping conibear trap in most counties in the Commonwealth for recreational trapping. Sponsor: Rep. Greene Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Relative to Beavers House Bill 3883. Would repeal all the restrictions on body-gripping traps. Deletes section 80A of Ch. 131. Sponsor: Rep. Frost. Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Expanding the Powers of the Director of Wildlife and Fisheries House Bill 729. This bill would give additional authority to the state's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and allow them to permit hunting on Sundays. Sponsor: Rep. Frost. Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Expanding the Powers of the Director of Wildlife and Fisheries House Bill 740. This bill would give additional authority to the state's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and allow them to permit hunting on Sundays. Sponsor: Rep. Gobi. Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act to Allow Hunting on Sunday Within the Commonwealth House Bill 2231. Would allow hunting on Sundays in December. Sponsor: Rep. Gobi. Status: Received a Study Order from the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.

OPPOSE: An Act Relative to the Moose Population in the Commonwealth House Bill 739. This bill would allow a moose hunting season to be established in Massachusetts. Sponsor: Rep. Gobi Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Relative to Deer Hunting House Bill 723. Instructs the director of the division of fisheries and wildlife to establish rules and regulations allowing for an annual 2 day deer hunt on the Saturday and Sunday immediately following Thanksgiving Day. Sponsor: Representative James H. Fagan. Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act providing for the statewide conservation of inland fisheries and wildlife, Senate Bill 373 & House Bill 737. Would give the state's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife exclusive authority over wildlife matters, prohibiting municipalities from restricting trapping/hunting regulations within their own borders without approval from the Division. Sponsors: Senator Brewer and Rep. Gobi. Status: Received Study Orders from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Concerning The Trapping Of Fur-Bearing Mammals House Bill 795. Requires fur trappers follow "best management practices" approved by the Association of Fish & Wildlife. Sponsor: Representative David M. Nangle. Status: Received a Study Order from the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.

OPPOSE: An Act Safeguarding our Natural Resources House Bill 736. Repeals the current trapping law and instead allows fur trappers to follow "best management practices" approved by the Association of Fish & Wildlife, which include the use of body-gripping traps and snares. Sponsors: Representative Gobi and Representative Peterson. Status: Amended to repeal a portion of the current law, re-numbered as H.4172, and favorably reported from the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee to House Committee on Ways and Means, which reported it out favorably as H.4943. H.4943 passed both the House and the Senate at the end of the formal legislative session, but was sent back to the legislature by the Governor with a suggested amendment.

OPPOSE: Proposal to Amend the Constitution Excluding All Matters Relating to Fisheries and Wildlife House Bill 742. Would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to prohibit the use of the initiative petition to permit, regulate, or prohibit the taking of, transportation of, or to prescribe seasons or methods for the taking of fish or wildlife. Sponsor: Representative Anne M. Gobi. Status: Reported "Ought Not to Pass" from the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee