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SARL Members and Alumni News

Changes to West Virginia agriculture rules to take effect

The Register Herald | Posted on April 10, 2018

The West Virginia Legislature approved seven rule changes related to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, most of which will go into effect April 29. House Bill 4079 adopted several rule changes involving animal disease control, state apiary law, fruit inspection, auctioneers, noxious weeds, inspection of meat and poultry, and inspection of nontraditional/domesticated animals.“Technology innovations and federal guidelines change on a yearly basis,” Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt said in a Monday news release. “This requires the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to update rules and regulations to modern standards. The department is here to help farmers and producers understand these changes."For animal disease control, the change allows people who own sheep and goats to submit certifications online or by mail. Certified flocks or herds can be approved for entry to fairs or festivals by the commissioner or through a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.

'Scruffles Law' proposed in NJ to offer animal justice

My Central Jersey | Posted on April 10, 2018

When Danielle DiNapoli's English bulldog, Scruffles, died last year after being groomed at the PetSmart in Flemington, she found no real legal recourse in the event of possible gross negligence or recklessness when pets are in the care of others. Her attorney, Daryl Kipnis, a Somerset attorney and Republican 12th District congressional candidate, is looking to change that by proposing an animal justice revision to New Jersey Civil Code that would allow pet owners to sue for damages, including statutory damages of $10,000.On Friday, Kipnis introduced "Scuffles Law" to be considered by the New Jersey State Legislature. His Somerset law office worked on writing the proposal. According to Kipnis, the proposed legislation recognizes the relationship that owners of domestic companion animals have with their pets and gives them powerful legal remedies against individuals who cause the injury or death of their pets through negligence, recklessness or animal cruelty.

Faking support animals can get you evicted from S.D. rentals beginning in July

Argus Leader | Posted on April 10, 2018

South Dakota tenants who lie about having a disability to keep a pet in their rental unit will be subject to eviction and fees beginning in July. The governor signed into law this month a proposal that would allow landlords to evict tenants who fake a disability or provide false documentation claiming they have a medical condition to keep an emotional support animal.Supporters said the law is crucial in preventing tenants from lying about their medical conditions to forego payments for pets. Under current law, landlords can't deny tenants from keeping service or emotional support animals.

MD bill to give research animals chance at adoption advances

WTOP | Posted on April 10, 2018

Maryland  state Senate has already approved the Beagle Freedom Bill, which includes both cats and dogs but is named for the most common type of research dog. A similar bill has failed for the past two years and was opposed by several research institutions including John Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Hopkins now supports the bill, which was amended to allow researchers to run adoption programs, among other changes.

Medicaid Work Debate Gets a Tennessee Twist

Roll Call | Posted on April 10, 2018

A growing number of mostly Republican-led states are itching to create work requirements for people on Medicaid, but finding a way to pay for it could prove challenging. In Tennessee, lawmakers want to add a Medicaid work mandate, but only if they can use federal — not state — dollars to make it happen. And they think there may be a way to do just that.Republicans have proposed taking money from a different government program that provides cash assistance to poor families and instead using it to cover the multimillion-dollar cost of creating and monitoring work requirements in its Medicaid program, known as TennCare

Kentucky Ag Commissioner hails industrial hemp research pilot program’s multi-million-dollar economic impact

Lane Report | Posted on April 5, 2018

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced that preliminary analysis of the 2017 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program reveals a multi-million-dollar economic impact for the state. According to early analysis of the 2017 processor production reports, Kentucky licensed processors paid Kentucky growers $7.5 million for harvested hemp. Additionally, Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program processor licensees reported $25.6 million in capital improvements and investments and $16.7 million in gross product sales.

Urban poultry needs more regulation to protect human and animal health

WTOP | Posted on April 5, 2018

Colorado has received a lot of attention recently as one of the first states to allow recreational marijuana, but it’s also legalizing other things. Denver, one of the nation’s hottest urban real estate markets, is surrounded by municipalities that allow backyard chicken flocks. This isn’t just happening in Colorado. Backyard chickens are cropping up everywhere. Nearly 1 percent of all U.S. households surveyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported owning backyard fowl in 2013, and 4 percent more planned to start in the next five years. That’s over 13 million Americans flocking to the backyard poultry scene. Ownership is spread evenly between rural, urban and suburban households and is similar across racial and ethnic groups. A 2015 review of 150 of the most-populated U.S. cities found that nearly all (93 percent) allowed backyard poultry flocks.

Rural Georgia wins big as session ends

Union Recorder | Posted on April 5, 2018

This legislative session gave rural Georgia micro hospitals, a new health care-focused think tank and a sizable down payment on economic development initiatives tailored for the state’s beleaguered small towns. But other proposals — including a plan to empower electric cooperatives to provide broadband — just ended up as fodder for the messy tradition that marks the end of every legislative session in Georgia.Some ideas — such as one offering a tax break to people who move to rural counties — never got off the ground.Most of the key measures designed to boost rural parts of the state succeeded, even if they squeaked by after a self-imposed midnight deadline.

Ex-governor: State’s appeal of culvert order incites ‘social unrest’

Capital Press | Posted on April 5, 2018

Former Washington Gov. Dan Evans accused the state in a court document Monday of stirring up social unrest by appealing an order to replace fish-blocking culverts. Seattle lawyer Joe Mentor Jr. submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the 92-year-old Evans. The brief supports 21 Western Washington Indian tribes that sued to remove the culverts and restore salmon habitat.

Missouri Attorney General defends states’ sovereign, economic interests

Farm Futures | Posted on April 5, 2018

In requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to accept its complaint in the California cage size case, Missouri’s Attorney General states, “Unless this Court acts, California will continue to impose new agricultural regulations on other states in violation of federal law and those States’ sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and economic interests…”. The Reply Brief filed on March 20, 2018, to the Supreme Court states, “California persistently ignores federal law in its regulation of extraterritorial agricultural production.” The brief also declares California’s effort to regulate the size of a cage for laying hens “…reflects one of several attempts by California to dictate the manner of agricultural production in other States…”   California passed a Proposition, then legislation and regulations, which mandate that California egg producers and egg products in other states spend large amounts of capital to put in new cage systems for laying hens. We reported on this last December. California’s creative standards are required on other states if those states’ producers wish to sell eggs in California.In a move which has infuriated the complaining states, California has the audacity of sending its enforcement officials into neighboring states to enforce its cage size statute and regulations.