Legislation

POLICY PRIORITIES

The Iowa Pet Alliance is focused on the two most critical issues facing pets in Iowa:

  • The lack of adequate companion animal cruelty laws
  • The large puppy mill problem within Iowa’s commercial dog breeding industry

We work with representatives to draft positive legislation, track bills through the legislative process, provide relevant documentation and data, testify at committee meetings, and lobby 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, the IPA lobbies on behalf of pets throughout the year.

2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

COMMUNITY AND PET PROTECTION ACT (HF737)

IPA – SUPPORTS

The Community and Pet Protection Act (HF737) will strengthen and clarify Iowa’s companion animal cruelty laws, specifically addressing the crimes of animal abuse, animal neglect, and animal torture under Iowa Code Chapter 717B Injury to Animals Other Than Livestock.

During the 2019 legislative session HF737 garnered bipartisan support passing the Iowa House of Representatives UNANIMOUSLY! This is the most support such a bill has ever received.

The Iowa Pet Alliance led the way on this bill, working with Reps. Paustian (R-Walcott), Holt (R-Denison), and Kaufmann (R-Wilton) to get this bill introduced and through the House. IPA was the only organization registered in support of this bill during the committee process, and we are happy to report other organizations joined in support, particularly after the bill passed the House unanimously on March 28, 2019.

COMMERCIAL DOG BREEDING BILL (HF738)

IPA – SUPPORTS

The Commercial Dog Breeding Bill (HF738) is a robust bill focused on addressing the puppy mill problem within Iowa’s commercial dog breeding industry.

HF738 received remarkable support and progress compared to previous years, particularly considering that this was the first year such language was introduced. The bill passed initial legislative hurdles – a subcommittee and the full House State Government Committee – with broad bipartisan support.

Sponsor and Floor Manager: Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton)

HF311

IPA – OPPOSES

The original bill language removes all requirements for an individual to provide a proof of identification when applying for an animal welfare license to operate a commercial establishment (defined in Iowa code as: boarding kennels, animal shelters, commercial breeders, commercial kennels, dealers, pet shops, pounds, public auctions, and research facilities) in Iowa. This would also result in the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the agency tasked with issuing and overseeing such businesses, having no way to determine if each applicant has been previously convicted of “animal cruelty or neglect” and so barred from receiving such a license for at least five years, in accordance with Iowa Administrative Code.

Sponsor: Rep. Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids)
Floor Manager (House): Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson)
Floor Manager (Senate): Sen. Dan Zumbach (R-Ryan)

HF311 moved quickly through the House Agriculture Subcommittee and full House Agriculture Committee at the start of the session.

Fortunately, thanks to Iowa Pet Alliance supporters joining us in speaking in opposition to the bill, House representatives paused and reconsidered the possible negative consequences.

The Iowa Pet Alliance then worked with the bill’s floor manager, Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson) and Reps. Louie Zumbach (R-Coggon), Mary Wolfe (D-Clinton), and Rick Olson (D-Des Moines) to draft an appropriate amendment. A big thank you to each of these representatives!

The House then passed HF311 with Rep. Maxwell’s amendment, ensuring a proof of identification would still be required.

Once in the Senate, however, Sen. Dan Zumbach (R-Ryan) filed an amendment to remove Rep. Maxwell’s amendment language.

The bill stalled in the Senate.