2021 Legislation

We are their voice at the capitol

The Iowa Pet Alliance works with lawmakers to draft positive legislation, tracks bills through the legislative process, provides relevant documentation and data, testifies at committee meetings, and lobbies throughout the year on behalf of Iowa pets. We not only work extensively to create and support positive laws, we also oppose negative legislation or policies that would harm Iowa pets.

While Iowa’s legislative session takes place from January to May, IPA lobbies on behalf of the pets of Iowa throughout the year.

2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

COMMERCIAL DOG BREEDING BILL 

IPA is PREPARING this BILL language for 2022

The Commercial Dog Breeding Bill  will be focused on addressing the lack of oversight of puppy mills in Iowa.

Our 2020 version of this legislation received remarkable bipartisan support, particularly compared to previous years. The bill passed initial legislative hurdles and the House State Government Committee with broad bipartisan support but did not proceed.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship implemented regulatory changes that included several of the elements in this bill. These changes went into effect in 2020.

We have plans to reintroduce this bill will keep you posted on our progress with this legislation during the 2022 session.

VETERINARIAN IMMUNITY BILL 

IPA – SUPPORTS

Status: In 2021 the Iowa House of Representatives passed a version of this legislation unanimously. We expect the bill to come up again in 2022 and barring significant changes vs. the 2021 version, we expect to support it.

The 2021 bill sought to grant Iowa veterinarians immunity from administrative, civil, or criminal liability when reporting animal abuse or participating in animal cruelty investigations.

Legislative change is needed to protect the pets of Iowa as currently:

  1. Iowa veterinarians are often barred from reporting animal abuse. While a veterinarian’s ethical responsibility is to report animal abuse to law enforcement, current Iowa Administrative Rules bar a veterinarian from reporting a client suspected of abusing their pet to law enforcement as such a report would currently be breaking the Iowa Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). A veterinarian who breaks this VCPR is subject to administrative action by the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine, and is potentially jeopardizing their license and practice. Currently, the only exceptions to the VCPR in Iowa Administrative Rules are if the client gives consent (for their veterinarian to report them to law enforcement for suspected animal abuse), upon a court order, or a public health emergency.
  2. Iowa law enforcement officers are required to bring a veterinarian on animal cruelty investigations. While law enforcement officers are granted immunity from civil and criminal liability when conducting such investigations, veterinarians are not. This currently deters veterinarians from participating in such investigations, creates unnecessary hurdles for law enforcement officers wishing to address animal cruelty in their communities, and puts pets at risk.

We greatly appreciate the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association for working to bring this issue to light and leading the way on this critical legislation to protect the pets of Iowa.

PROHIBITING BREED-SPECIFIC BANS

IPA – SUPPORTS

SF143

Summary: This bill seeks to prohibit cities and counties from adopting or enforcing an ordinance that bans a person from owning a specific breed of dog based on  physical, behavioral, or genetic features. The bill did not progress during the 2021 session. We will likely support it when it is reintroduced in the future.

REDEFINING RABBITS AS LIVESTOCK

SF85

Sponsor: Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton)
Status: This bill was assigned to a subcommittee in the senate ag committee. It did not progress.

Summary: SF85 sought to move rabbits from under the protections afforded by 717B (Mistreatment of animals other than livestock) to 717 (Injury to livestock). Given that many rabbits are kept as pets, this is a step in the wrong direction. Grassroots efforts helped halt this terrible bill.