Humane Society of Utah supports transportation of dogs H.B. 386
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MURRAY, UT (Feb. 22, 2021) — This bill enacts provisions related to the transportation of dogs in truck beds on a highway
House bill 386 Transportation of Dogs sponsored by Rep. Ashlee Matthews (D) has been introduced to the House Rules Committee. Supported by the Humane Society of Utah, this bill outlines the safe transportation of a dog in a truck bed traveling faster than 40 miles per hour on a highway. Currently, it is legal for an animal to ride unrestrained on flatbed trucks or in the bed of a pickup truck in the state of Utah. Though not illegal, it is incredibly dangerous for the animal and other motorists. The Humane Society of Utah adamantly opposes this practice and urges drivers to find an alternative way to transport their animals, such as riding securely inside the vehicle. If they must be transported in the truck bed, they should be in a fully secured crate or cross tethered.
“We receive a lot of calls, especially in the summer, from drivers who are extremely concerned for the well-being of a dog they see riding in the back of a truck,” said Rachel Heatley, Utah Humane Society advocacy director. “We’ve received animals to our shelter who have fallen from a moving vehicle, and it is heartbreaking that the incident could’ve been prevented if the animal had been restrained properly.”
Improper transport of dogs, especially in truck beds, is distracting to drivers. In 2019 alone, nearly nine percent of fatal vehicle accidents were due to distracted driving. Roughly 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving riding in truck beds.
"This bill is long overdue,” said Heatley. “Several states have had this legislation in place for years. It's time for Utah to follow suit. This legislation is an easy and effective way to reduce distraction on Utah's high-speed roadways and save countless lives of humans and animals."
The Humane Society of Utah encourages the public to contact their state lawmaker and urge them to vote in favor of this bill.
An individual transporting a hunting dog or working farm dog is exempt from HB 386 for purposes of transporting the hunting dog or working farm dog.