Texas Legislature Adjourns Without Passing Major Animal Protection Bills

By isak, June 12, 2009

The Texas legislature adjourned at midnight on June 1, 2009 after a session full of tough fights on several animal protection issues. Progress was made on important measures, although several bills died in the waning hours of the session.

Horse Slaughter Ban Survives
The HSUS remained on guard throughout the session to monitor attempts to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption. Fortunately, the current ban will remain, which is a victory for horses in the U.S.

Animal Fighting
The Texas legislature had an opportunity to consider two bills to strengthen the animal fighting laws in Texas. Fortunately, the legislature passed [slider title=”S.B. 554″]Dogfighting Paraphernalia
Bill Number: TX H.B. 1147 & S.B. 554
Bill Status: On Governor’s Desk
HSUS Position: Support
Bill Sponsor(s): Rep. Stephen Frost
Sen. John Whitmire
Legislature Status: Adjourned

Makes it illegal to own or possess dog-fighting equipment with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for dog fighting.[/slider] which prohibits possession of dogfighting paraphernalia. However, legislation to strengthen the state’s cockfighting law wasn’t as successful. Although cockfighting is a felony offense in Texas, it is legal to possess birds for fighting and attend cockfights, making it hard for law enforcement to crack down on cockfighting. [slider title=”H.B. 1320″]Cockfighting
Bill Number: TX H.B. 1320

Bill Status: Failed
HSUS Position: Support
Bill Sponsor(s): Rep. Wayne Christian (9)
Legislature Status: Adjourned

Makes it illegal to own or operate a facility for cockfighting; own cockfighting equipment; train a rooster to fight; or attend a cockfight.

>>> Click here to learn what happened to this bill. [/slider] would have closed these loopholes, and it passed both the House and the Senate, only to get stuck in a conference committee on the last day of the session. This was a setback for animal advocates, but we will continue our fight to strengthen the Texas cockfighting law.

Puppy Mills
Animal advocates waged a tough battle this session for legislation to crack down on puppy mills in Texas. Legislation — [slider title=”H.B. 3180″]Puppy Mills
Bill Number: TX H.B. 3180 & S.B. 1910
Bill Status: Passed House
HSUS Position: Support
Bill Sponsor(s): Rep. Senfronia Thompson (41)
Sen. John Whitmire (15)
Legislature Status: In Session

Licensing and regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders and the regulation of dog and cat dealers.

>>Click here to learn what happened to this bill.

>>Read a letter from Willie Nelson in support of cracking down on puppy mills[/slider] — to license and regulate puppy mills passed the House but failed to make it through the senate before the legislature adjourned. Similar language was amended on to another bill, but was removed before final passage. This was another incomplete outcome, but we will continue to fight to crack down on puppy mill cruelty next session.

Other Animal Protection Measures Considered
In addition to these major issues, the Texas legislature considered several other important animal protection bills. Legislation — [slider title=”H.B. 853″]
Pet Protection Order
Bill Number:
TX H.B. 853 & S.B. 1840
Bill Status: Failed
HSUS Position: Support
Bill Sponsor(s): Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (D. 89)
Sen. Carlos Uresti (D, 19)
Legislature Status: Adjourned

Include pets in protection orders in cases of domestic abuse.[/slider] — to allow the inclusion of pets in protective orders came close to passing, and the legislature also considered a measure — [slider title=”S.B. 634″]
Bill Number:
TX S.B. 634
Bill Status: Died
HSUS Position: Support
Bill Sponsor(s): Sen. Kel Seliger (R, 31)
Legislature Status: Adjourned

Prohibits cruel tethering of a dog. [/slider] — to prohibit cruel tethering of dogs.

It was a challenging year for animals in the Texas legislature, but we are committed to continuing to fight for these issues during the next legislative session. To learn how to take your passion for protecting animals even further, please join The Humane Society of the United States and other leading national animal protection organizations this July 24-27 at the Taking Action for Animals 2009 conference in Washington, D.C. Register before June 19 to secure your special rate.

Mike Markarian
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
The Humane Society of the United States
reprinted from the Texas Humane Alert email, HSUS
June 12, 2009


  1. Thomas Lee Trevino says:

    I wonder has any other Organization [tried] to make an attempt to expose Representive Sue Wallis. That her state of Wy is home of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. [Where] Just Recently Steve Hindi Exposed Abuse and neglect of all animals there. Not to mention that Frontier Days have stipulated a new rule that Camaras and Cell phones are NOT to be allowed during Rodeos. All devices are to be left outside or taken up by secruity. Wow now wouldn’t you call that taking Americans’ rights away as Charlie Stenholms mentions to support slaughter which is promoted by abuse and neglect.. for more info visit www.Sharkonline.org Seems Sue Wallis only favors what pocket book interests are..

    • isak says:

      This is more than I knew about. Thanks for posting your websites.

      No cameras or cell phones at an event where you want the public to come. Hmmm, that smacks of suspicion by itself. I visited your websites and am constantly reminded that just when you think you have seen it all in the world of animal abuse, that is just a wish; there is so much more. We watch animals killing animals out in the jungle on PBS and wonder why the camera man didn’t stop it. But they do it to survive. PEOPLE do it just because they can… no reason. Wherever there are people, there is animal abuse… and nowhere else. It is not a natural course. It is deviant behavior that has been more than tolerated… it has been allowed. It IS time to amend our errors.

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