HSU APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF POUND SEIZURE LEGISLATION
The Humane Society of Utah applauds the Utah Senate’s passage of House Bill 107 sponsored by Rep. Jennifer M. Selig. This legislation addresses the issue of mandatory pound seizure in our state, giving publicly funded animal shelters the option of not releasing pound animals to research laboratories. Formerly, Utah law state stated animals must be surrendered upon demand by government operated facilities.
“We’re pleased this bill passed, and commend Rep. Selig for sponsoring this historic piece of legislation,” says Humane Society of Utah Executive Director Gene Baierschmidt. “While it doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of pound seizure, it is a huge step forward. Companion animals depend upon humans for their safety and well-being. Tragically, this dependency is betrayed when shelters allow former pets to be taken by dealers for resale to research facilities. When this happens, both the credibility and purpose of animal shelters are greatly compromised.”
It also lets pet owners who must turn their animals in to a shelter to sign a waiver preventing the animal from being turned over for research.
Executive Director Baierschmidt stresses the Humane Society of Utah is a privately funded shelter and has never been subject to the mandatory pound seizure law, nor has the HSU ever given up an animal for research. “We hope someday to see the practice of pound seizure completely eliminated,” says Baierschmidt, adding, “but for now we’re happy that no shelter will be required to surrender its animals to laboratories. Most shelters, if given the choice, do not choose to give up their animals up for research...and now, they have a choice!”