New Hampshire Bill Prohibits Debarking, Tail Docking, Surgical Birth

Debarking, tail docking, surgical birth prohibited by New Hampshire bill.

Proposed legislation introduced in New Hampshire seeks to alter the standards of care and treatment of dogs within the state. Specifically, House Bill 1624 includes a ban on debarking, tail docking and surgical birth unless performed under general anesthesia by a licensed veterinarian.

Under the bill, set to be considered by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Thursday, Jan. 21, “debarking” means the cutting or procuring of the cutting of a dog’s vocal cords or the altering, causing or procuring the alteration of any part of a dog’s resonance chamber. In addition, the act defines “surgical birth” as birth by cutting through the abdomen and uterus in order to deliver the dog.

Violators would be found guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person or owner in violation of provisions in the bill may be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

The bill also includes the following prohibitions:

• Limits any person from having custody of more than 50 intact dogs over 4 months of age.
• Requires any person having more than 10 intact dogs over 4 months of age to provide regular exercise, proper caging and adequate rest between breeding cycles; and abide by existing state operation standards for pet shops and animal shelters.

If approved, HB 1624 takes effect Jan. 1, 2011. Click here to read the text of the bill.

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