Article of interest
Tell USDA to Leave Leafy Greens Alone!
Corporate agribusiness wants to force everyone to follow their so-called �food safety� standards for leafy green vegetables (spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and more). The USDA is supporting their plan, which, if accepted, will allow a committee of industry representatives, lobbyists and bureaucrats to write standards for the entire leafy green market.
If the USDA adopts the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (NLGMA), the retailers, processors, or distributors that sign on to it will require every farmer they buy from to follow a uniform set of standards that will be written with large-scale, monoculture farming methods in mind. Farmers won�t have the choice whether to sign the agreement or not, because they won�t be asked -- the major institutional buyers (brokers, distributors and supermarket chains) will make the decision. The farmers will be faced with either following these rules or being shut out of the wholesale markets.
The NLGMA won�t apply to food sold directly from the farmer to the consumer, but it will apply even if the farmer is selling only a small portion of their leafy greens to stores or wholesale markets that have signed on to the NLGMA. That means that our small, diversified farmers will be locked out of these marketing options.
The NLGMA threatens to swamp farmers with multiple layers of requirements. Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA is directed to adopt standards on how high-risk crops are grown. It makes no sense for the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service � an agency with no food safety expertise or authority -- to take this action after passage of the FSMA. What this means is that USDA would be adopting rules that govern the same issues that FDA is supposed to, creating a second and potentially conflicting layer of requirements and audits.
Tell the USDA -- which does not have the legal authority to supervise vegetable safety -- to withdraw the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement proposal immediately.
HR2256 - Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2011 - A bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act to ensure that all dogs and cats used by research facilities are obtained legally.
Referred to House Agriculture Committee
STATES - in alphabetical order
Trumann - (07/12/11) city council voted in favor of an ordinance to amend Ordinance #499 regarding vicious or dangerous animals. Among the changes in the ordinance include the banning of specific breeds. According to language in the ordinance, all American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and other specific breeds will be banned from the city limits. Other animal limitations include animal fighting or attack training. Under Section D of the ordinance, all owners of banned dogs have 60 days to remove the animal from the city limits. If the animal is not taken out of the city within the time frame, the ordinance gives the Trumann Animal Control officer authority to take the animal into custody. After 11 days of impoundment, the city will be allowed to euthanize the dog similar as a stray. Section I of the ordinance permits owners to "grandfather" their pit bull pets into the city if they register the animal with the Trumann Animal Control Office within 60 days. Under Section I, owners must provide proof of rabies vaccination, proof the animal has been neutered, pay a $100 licensing fee and provide proof of liability insurance on the animal in the amount of more than $100,000. The ordinance also discusses how dogs should be kept. According to the document, all pit bulls should be kept in a kennel unless it is secured with a leash no longer than six feet. The dog should also only be on a leash if a human being is in control. The leash may not be attached to an inanimate object. Furthermore, the animal should not be allowed in an area where it can get out of the house and onto public property on its own.
Los Angeles - new amendment to existing dog regulations, animal control officers the right to declare a dog vicious, a designation that can potentially lead to the animal being euthanized. The new measure is more stringent and less tolerant of so-called dangerous dogs and re-defines what is considered an aggressive dog. Enhanced ordinance gives dog owners the right to contest Animal Control's findings in court, but the owner must act within five days. The ordinance must return to the board for a final administrative vote.
San Diego - proposal that would require cat owners in San Diego to vaccinate their feline companions for rabies and pay the city a one-time licensing fee a plan critics have dubbed a “cat tax” is on its way to the City Council for consideration. The requirement was one of 10 recommendations stemming from a report by City Auditor Eduardo Luna that found several problems with the contract the city has with the county to provide animal services. The most glaring finding is that city residents are essentially subsidizing the animal service costs in other county jurisdictions by roughly $630,000 annually because costs are distributed based on population rather than actual usage. The recommendation to require cats to be registered and vaccinated at an average cost of about $25 was based on public safety concerns. It would have generated about $500,000 in additional revenue above costs for the city if it had been in place during the past three years, assuming about 5 percent of San Diego’s estimated 373,000 cats were licensed annually.
Marion County - (07/05/11) County Commission on Tuesday took some of the bite out of its controversial dangerous-dog law, acting after a brief low-key public debate that lacked the highly emotional debate that accompanied past discussions of the ordinance. The board unanimously approved changes to the law that loosen some of the bounds on dogs that could be considered threats to public safety. Commissioners did so in response to changes in state laws, past court decisions and ongoing litigation.
Preston - city council plans to consider removing the portion of their existing law that singles out pit bulls. UPDATE (07/18/11) City Council voted 3-1 to leave the breed-specific portion of the bill intact while amending the law to require animals that had been declared to be vicious to be implanted with tracking chips so that police could better track them. Councilmembers Todd Thomas, Travis Kunz and Saundra Hubbard all supported keeping the pit bull-specific part of the law, while Neal Thomas spoke in favor of removing it.
Seward County - (07/05/11) Board of Commissioners considerating the following: Option A: an ordinance that allows, but regulates the ownership of, pit bulls; Option B: an ordinance addressing all vicious dogs, regardless of breed; and Option C: reinstatement of the a total ban of pit bulls. Board passed 2 resolutions: Option A – to allow pit bulls in the county but under strict regulations. In essence, reinstating BSL. The second resolution passed was Option B, an ordinance that would address all vicious dogs, regardless of breed. Obviously, Option B, which designates any dog as dangerous based on its behavior rather than its breed, would serve the community well on its own. Unfortunately, the Board felt the need to address “pit bulls” individually, thus implying, at least to me, that they have little faith in the ability of their animal control officers to effectively carry out the law.
Ouachita Parish - (0718/11) Parish Police Jury voted to adopt a ban on the roadside sale of animals. A bill in the state Legislature allowing the Police Jury to put the ban into place was recently signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal. Ordinance mirrors existing ordinances in East Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes. Those parish's ordinances prohibit the "sale, exchange, barter, trade, lease, rent, give away, display or transfer of any animal on any roadside, public right-of-way, parkway, median, park, playground, flea market, commercial or retail parking lot, or property adjacent to such locations, that is generally accessible to the public, regardless of whether such access is authorized or not." Police Jury attorney Jay Mitchell said the ordinance still allows the sidewalk sale of some animals such as rabbits and chicks at business establishments in the parish. The ordinance calls for a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail for violations.
Charles County - (07/26/11) officials are holding a work session focusing on revisions to the county animal regulations. Nestled among the 57 page proposal is a provision that would regulate the ownership of “pit bulls.” §230-12.5(J) defines “pit bull terrier type” dogs as: Staffordshire Bull Terriers; American Staffordshire terriers; American Pit Bull Terrier; American Bulldog; and any dog which has the appearance of being predominantly of the breeds of dogs named above. Predominantly, as used in this bill, means that “the dog exhibits the physical characteristics of a pit bull terrier type dog more than it exhibits the physical characteristics of any other breed of dog.”
Dartmouth - (07/12/11) Select Board officials appear to be moving toward a breed-neutral ordinance. The board did not take any action at its Monday meeting. Instead, it will wait for the officials to recommend alternative ways for dealing with dangerous dogs, such as adopting a leash law.
Bay County - (07/12/11) County Commissioners unanimously voted to make changes to the Animal Control Ordinance. Of all the changes to the ordinance, two seemed to be the most talked about. The first ordinance modification changes the way the county defines 'dangerous' or 'vicious' dogs. The current ordinance wording labels all Pitbull's as 'vicious.' Changes eliminate the wording and label any dog that shows aggression towards people or other domesticated animals or one who attacks as 'vicious.' Also being reworked are the owners' responsibilities. Currently, dog owners face civil infractions. The new rules will mean repeat offenders could be charged with a misdemeanor. That type of criminal charged could mean up to 90 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines. A date for when the ordinance changes go into effect was not discussed at the meeting.
Manchester - Village Council adopted new language that states a dangerous dog is one that bites or attacks a person or animal without being provoked; one that causes injury to a domestic animal; a dog known to have a dangerous reputation; chases pedestrians or bicyclists; charges a person, limiting their freedom of movement; consistently barks or growls at people passing by; or a dog deemed dangerous by a court of law. The ordinance also defines a kennel as being a place where three or more dogs are kept.
Ypsilanti - (07/20/11) Township Board of Trustees tabled the second reading of a “backyard breeders” ordinance while it gathers more information. Under the new ordinance: Residents would be limited to the whelping of one female dog annually. Residents would be required to fill out an application and pay a fee to obtain a permit. Dogs wouldn’t be permitted to be sold until they are at least 8 weeks old. Residents posting signs advertising puppy sales must display their permit number and provide that number to a buyer upon sale of a puppy. Building inspectors must inspect the home where the dogs are being bred to ensure it’s up to code. Breeding pit bulls would be banned
Greenville - city council has approved some changes to previous ordinances to toughen rules on how a pit bull is confined, the distance one can be walked around certain areas, registration of pit bulls, fines and impoundment fees.
Fulton - council consider proposed revisions of the city’s animal ordinance. One of the biggest changes is the new requirement to register any dog, cat or ferret. The registration includes paying a $10 fee and mandatory rabies vaccinations. The ordinance also includes a dangerous animal clause, where extra steps like proof of liability insurance, have to be taken if animal control determines your pet to be a public hazard. Tethering an animal to a post all day and night will also be off limits. The ordinance does not include any breed specific restrictions.
Kearney - (07/18/11) Board of Aldermen took no action regarding its pit bull ban. The ordinance was on the agenda for discussion at the meeting, after a resident asked the local governing body to repeal its law banning the breed and breed types within the city limits. Alderman Tom Patterson made a motion to change the ordinance, but it failed for lack of a second motion for a vote. Aldermen Jeff Couchman and Dan Holt did not say anything during the discussion. Alderwoman Jenny Hayes was absent from the meeting.
St. Louis - bill, introduced by Central West End Alderman Lyda Krewson, comes as part of a citywide effort to reform animal control laws and crack down on the owners of thousands of city strays overwhelming the region's animal shelters. Several aldermen were skeptical that residents would follow a mandatory spay-neuter program. Bill will need at least two votes by the full Board of Aldermen before becoming law.
Springfield - City Council plans an aggressive push to address animal control issues and wants a citizen task force to help decide what to do with the city’s animal shelter.
Rochester - NW District Councilmember, Carla Palumbo is proposing a new code that would deem a dog dangerous at first bite. The amended law may also require pet owners to use leashes or muzzles for a deemed dangerous dog. If passed, the law would take effect September 1st.
Lee County - Commissioners unanimously approved a new animal control law. Law does not require pet owners to cage or tie up their animals, but it does prohibit animals from being "at large" anywhere other than their owner's property. It sets standards for enclosing or tying up animals. The law imposes a fee if an animal is impounded or put to sleep. Dogs would have to be on a leash in public places, such as parks and schools. The revised law exempts animals from the provision that an animal to be spayed or neutered if it was picked up twice if the owner reports them missing within three days.
Oakwood - city passed an ordinance on July 11, 2011 that incorporates a new section (§505.121) into the existing ordinance. Section 505.121 expands the definition of dangerous or vicious dog to include specific breeds of dogs, i.e., “pit bulls.” ordinance
Salem - proposal in a city ordinance which came before the Rules & Ordinances Committee of city council regarding limits to the number of dogs or cats permitted in one household, no more than five dogs or five cats. The exception would be a litter of dogs or cats, with the resident given six months to bring the number back down to the maximum allowed of five. Any resident who has more than the five now will be grandfathered. Planning & Zoning Officer Patrick Morrissey said he didn't think it was proper to have wild animals in a community, but in his proposal, he allowed for exceptions for a circus, an educational exhibit or veterinary facility or properly licensed retail pet store, provided the animals prohibited are not being offered for sale to be harbored in the city. He also exempted people transporting animals through the city, as long as they're properly restrained, and a disabled person who owns a "nonhuman primate that provides personal care assistance for that person." Animals excluded from the exotic or wild animal definition would include: nonvicious dogs, domestic cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, white rats and mice, goldfish, tropical fish, rabbits, parakeets, canaries, parrots and other birds commonly available for purchase in pet shops. Wild, exotic dangerous domesticated or undomesticated animals were defined as "an animal, mammal, reptile, fowl or other species whose natural habitat is the wilderness and which, when maintained in human society is usually confined to a zoological park or exotic animal farm." The proposed ordinance will be reviewed during the next Rules & Ordinances Committee meeting set for 6 p.m. Aug. 2.
Pottsville - considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of “certain breeds” of dogs, specifically pit bulls
Marinette - (07/13/11) city council is considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of pit bulls in the city limits. The proposed ordinance is currently before the Public Safety and Code Enforcement Committee. The committee unanimously voted to put the idea on hold and look into more research, before making a recommendation to the full city council. Under the proposed ordinance, current pit bull owners would be allowed to keep their dogs, but new ones would not be allowed.
Waukesha - Alderman Kathleen Cummings is working with the city attorney and police to draft an ordinance that would restrict “pit bulls and other dangerous breeds.”