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Tuesday, 25 September 2018

123rd Legislature MFOA Sponsored Legislation
Written by Robert Fisk   
Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Membership on the Committee  on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

For ten years MFOA has called for more balance on the membership make-up of the legislative committee that oversees wildlife issues. The issue has been that non-hunters should be considered for the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, especially considering that non-consumptive users of wildlife in Maine outnumber sportsmen two to one, yet  they have essentially no meaningful way  to get legislation passed if Maine’s inflexible hunting lobby opposes it.  MFOA lobbied the new leadership and some 50 animal-friendly legislators, and we are very pleased to report that for the first time it appears the hunting monopoly on the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been broken. The committee is still very unbalanced, but the change is welcome.



L.R. 2093   Joint Resolution Calling on the Government of Canada to End its Sanctioning of the Annual Seal Pup Hunt.

Sponsor: Rep. David D. Savage  (Falmouth)

See page 7 of the newsletter for information on how you can support this joint resolution before the 123rd Legislature.

L.R. 1896  “An Act to Protect Dogs Tied Outside”Sponsor: Rep. Peggy Pendleton  (Scarborough)

In 2005, MFOA successfully campaigned to pass legislation improving humane standards for dogs left outside on a continuous basis, first in the nation’s state legislation to do so.  The updated law requires greater consideration for ‘outside’ dogs concerning their shelter, collar, bedding, and tether attachment and length.  Through its current “Dogs Chained for Life” campaign, MFOA continues to increase public awareness about the dangers of tethering dogs (see public service announcement video on homepage of  The intent of the campaign is to educate and to present alternatives to tethering, and to enlist support for follow-up legislation in 2007 requiring further standards for dogs left outside, including time off the tether each day.

L.R. 2170 “An Act Concerning Recreational and Commercial Trapping”

Sponsor:  Rep. David D. Savage (Falmouth)

This bill prohibits the trapping of fur-bearing animals, except for mice and rats and except when authorized by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Padded leg-hold traps may be used on occasions of public safety and research. The bill also makes a variety of technical changes to the inland fisheries and wildlife laws to reflect the prohibition on trapping.

L.R. 1974 “An Act to Protect Household Pets and Other Animals from Poisoning”

Sponsor:  Rep. Emily Ann Cain (Orono)

To reduce the risk of poisoning of household pets and other small animals, this bill requires that engine coolant or antifreeze, that is sweet tasting, must include an aversive agent that makes it taste bitter so that it is rendered unpalatable. It requires the manufacturers of anti-freeze to add the bittering agent, which can be done for about four cents per gallon. MFOA submitted this bill to the last legislature and it was well received in the Committee on Natural Resources, but was tabled given that there was national legislation pending. That national legislation has been stalled so MFOA will look to become the fourth state to pass such legislation.

L.R. 1851 “An Act to Prevent Abuse ofv Pet Ownership”

Sponsor: Rep. Elaine Makas (Lewiston)

This legislation would repeal a section of Maine’s animal welfare laws that allows an owner to shoot his or her own dog or cat.  The existing law was added in the mid-1990’s with the knowledge that some pet owners shoot their animals as an alternative to euthanasia via injection. The Law requires that when using this practice, the animal must die instantaneously and not suffer.  However, MFOA believes that there is no way to assure instant death using this method.  Additionally, the law sends a misguided message that dogs and cats can be treated as disposable property.              

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