The efforts to improve animal care standards in South Carolina began more than three years ago in the animal welfare community across South Carolina. The result ended with the passage of Senate Bill 105 today. The legislation now moves to the Governor for his signature to become law.
The legislation will improve the quality of life for companion animals in seven key ways:
Despite these improvements, animal advocates were forced to drop two key provisions in the bill in order to move forward with the bulk of the legislation
REACTION FROM ANIMAL ADVOCATES IS MIXED
“The passage of this important legislation is bittersweet because we had to sacrifice two of the key provisions, humane tethering and shelter standards,” said the Chair of the South Carolina Animal Legislative Coalition Denise Wilkinson. “However, we will live to fight another day for humane tethering and shelter standards in 2020.”
The Chair of House Agriculture Committee Rep. David Hiott objected to the tethering and shelter standards provisions. “We hope that future dialogue with him will help him understand why these sections are so crucial to protect our companion animals,” Wilkinson said.
The 2nd Vice Chairman of the House Ag Committee is Rep. Bill Hixon for Aiken and Edgefield counties. “I met at length with Bill and Chairman Hiott earlier in the session, and thought we had the tethering portion resolved. I am disappointed cruel tethering was lost from the bill. I am hoping that further talks with them will result in success during the next session,” said Barbara Nelson, CEO of the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare.
Many lawmakers were enthusiastic supporters of the new law. “We applaud Senate Agriculture Committee Chair, Sen. Paul Campbell, for championing this bill in the senate this year and last year,” said Charleston Animal Society President & CEO Joe Elmore. “We also received crucial support in the House from Judiciary Committee Chair, Rep. Peter McCoy and House Judiciary Subcommittee Chair, Rep. Christopher Murphy.”
SUPPORT FOR LAW IS WIDESPREAD
Here is a list of agencies and organizations that supported the passage of this legislation:
SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATIVE COALITION