TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill created to protect animals was the bark of the town after it was filed last week.
Sen. Lauren Book (D-Broward), the Florida minority leader, filed Senate Bill 932 to protect cats and dogs and other animal test subjects from harm. The bill also contained a provision about dogs and car travel, including a potential ban on letting pooches stick their heads out of the window while on rides.
After getting some feedback from the public, Book said she plans to amend the bill during the March legislative session, taking out that ban out while preserving the rest of the safety measures that were introduced.
“Our family has three dogs—two of which are almost 175 pounds each and love sticking their heads out the window—so I welcome and appreciate all public comment on this issue, which is only one piece of a complete proposed overhaul of the state’s animal welfare system as brought to me by veterinarians and advocates,” Book said in a statement. “We can easily amend this piece out of the bill while protecting the intent of the animal welfare community and vets who proposed the policy because of unintended injuries they’ve treated — and we will. In the meantime, let’s all invest in a good pair of ‘doggles’ to keep our furry friends safe.”
The bill would still make it illegal for cats to be declawed outside of medical necessity, as well as prohibit animal testing for cosmetics and other products meant for human use.
As previously reported, the bill would make it so product manufacturers cannot use their test products on any “live, nonhuman vertebrate” animals.
If the bill passes both chambers and gets approval from the governor, violators would face a $5,000 initial penalty, as well as additional $1,000 penalties for each day of a continued violation. Pursuit of enforcement and penalties would be carried out by the Attorney General, a state attorney, or municipal attorneys where the violation occurred, according to the bill text.
If it passes, the legislation would take effect Oct. 1.