2016 Massachusettes Humane Lobby Day

Every spring, hundreds of supporters across the Commonwealth gather at the State House to ask their legislators to push for stronger animal-protection laws. Below is a list of bills in which the ARL supports and opposes:


S. 1103 – An Act to Protect Puppies and Kittens

This bill will protect puppies, kittens, their parents, and consumers by:

  1. Prohibiting the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age;
  2. Improving the Massachusetts “Puppy Lemon Law” to better protect and provide recourse for families who unknowingly purchase a sick puppy or kitten;
  3. Requiring the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources (MDAR) to promulgate rules and regulations for certain breeders;
  4. Ensuring that out-of-state breeders meet the same minimum care standards as will be required for in-state breeders.

Sponsors: Senator Spilka and Representative Bradley
Status: Reported favorably from the Municipalities & Regional Government Committee

S. 2069 – An Act Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices (Anti-Poaching)

This bill enacts long overdue reforms to protect our state’s wildlife, our citizens, and our economy while enhancing government efficiency.  The bill increases penalties for poaching which threatens the welfare and conservation of native species and enters the Commonwealth into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, a nationwide law enforcement network.

Sponsor: Senator Moore
Status: Unanimously passed by the Senate in February 2016

S. 1092 – An Act Relative to Tethering of Dogs

This bill seeks to protect dogs by:

  1. Prohibiting chaining and strengthening our tethering laws;
  2. Decreasing the amount of time dogs spend tethered and prohibiting tethering at night or during extreme weather;
  3. Increasing fines for repeat offenses.

Sponsor:Senator Montigny
Status: Reported favorably as amended by Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, March 2016


S. 415 – An Act Expanding the Powers of the Director of Fisheries and Wildlife (Sunday Hunting)

This bill would allow the hunting of deer by bow and arrow on Sundays during the last three months of the year.  Sunday is currently the only day when hunting cannot occur in the Commonwealth. Sunday hunting does not lessen human-wildlife conflicts and the use of bows and arrows causes unnecessary suffering for the wildlife.

H. 658 – An Act Relative to the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (Body-Gripping Traps)

This bill expands the use of body-gripping traps and removes important limits on the use of these traps that passed as part of the Wildlife Protection Act, a 1996 ballot question.  Expansion of the use of lethal traps puts pets and other animals at risk.  The traps cause unnecessary suffering and do not reduce human-animal conflict.

Click here to learn more about 2016 MA Humane Lobby Day .