Face-to-Face: ALDF Attends State Legislators SummitPosted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on August 9, 2010
Welcoming thousands of legislators and staff-members from around the country, Kentucky was the host state for this year’s National Summit of State Legislators. From July 25 – 28, state legislators gathered in Louisville to exchange ideas and educate themselves on current legislative trends. As in past years, ALDF was on site promoting the advancement of animal protection laws, with a particular emphasis this year on animal abuser registries.
Among the many legislators we spoke with, we were particularly glad to see Representative Walker Hines of Louisiana’s 95th District in attendance. Representative Hines sponsored an animal abuser registry bill in Louisiana this year, and ALDF has been proud to provide him with direct research assistance and support.
With state budgets continuing to be in crisis across the board, the cost-saving aspects of many of ALDF’s model laws engaged many of those in attendance, regardless of party affiliation. Examples of cost-saving measures proposed by ALDF include:
- Animal Abuser Registries – assisting law enforcement and community shelters toward preventing recidivism with high-risk convicted abusers
- First Strike and You’re Out – mandating court-ordered possession/ownership bans for convicted animal abusers
- Cost-of-Care Bonds – placing the financial burden for the care and rehabilitation of rescued animals on the abusers rather than on taxpayers
While the advancement of legal protections for animals is a long-term pursuit which faces many obstacles, we continue to be encouraged by the one-on-one interactions made possible by this event. This summit is an invaluable opportunity to get important face time with lawmakers from all over the country, and to better develop and foster those lines of communication that are so critical for advancing the interest and protection of animals.
Download a copy of our new legislative poster “Where are the Animal Abusers in Your Community?” that debuted at the Kentucky summit.