As the Vermont legislative session drew to a close, catastrophe for the states sportsmen and sporting dog owners was averted - at least in round one of a battle with the anti’s.
As the 2009 legislative session was in its final hours, Vermont sportsmen and sporting dog owners were ambushed by last minute amendments to unrelated legislation that would have devastated sporting dog kennels throughout the state.
In HB 136, and later in HB 313, the anti’s tried to slip in language that would have classified nearly all sporting dog owners, even those with as few as just one dog, as kennels and pet dealers. This even after the language attached to both bills was removed from a senate bill earlier this year, due to its controversial nature.
Thanks to the efforts of the many dog groups who came out opposed to these efforts, including the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Vermont Federation of Dog clubs, the last minute attack was defeated.
“The anti’s tried to stifle debate on these outrageous amendments and rush them through in the closing minutes of their session,” says USSA vice president for government relations Rob Sexton. “Thanks to the efforts of Vermont sportsmen, the anti’s were unable to avoid that debate and lost.”
Despite winning round one, Vermont sportsmen will undoubtedly be under attack again in the next legislative session. This means sportsmen will need to remain on guard for future bills seeking to restrict their rights to hunt with dogs.