Advocacy organizations represent the views of like minded individuals when it comes to supporting or opposing bills but the most powerful voice still belongs to the individual constituent.
Your voice does matter in this process, and the only way to make a difference is by using it to advocate for the issues you care about.
Current OAA Action Alerts are found here. We encourage Ohio residents to review these Action Alerts and take the specific action(s) requested in each (contacting officials, sharing on social media, etc.). We have included recommended letters to make it easy to take action.
2021 Federal Legislation
- H.R. 335 US Greyhound Protection Act – please urge your federal representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3335. Public records reveal that greyhounds used for live commercial racing suffer serious injuries including broken backs and necks, paralysis, head trauma, seizures and electrocution. Recent exposés have revealed that many dogs may be drugged and also live-lure trained with rabbits in a misguided effort to fix races. It is time to prohibit the cruelty of dog racing in the United States.
- H.R. 263 & S. 1210 The Big Cat Public Safety Act – there are many big cats privately owned and kept illegally as pets in Ohio, and jeopardizing the safety of humans and animals alike. This necessary policy prohibits the ownership of big cats as pets without the proper USDA license and oversight, and addresses the problem of illegal trafficking via interstate commerce.
2021 State Legislation
- S.J.R. 3 Restriction of Science-Based Wildlife Management – Ohio S.J.R. 3 would remove Ohioans constitutional right to vote on wildlife issues, and prioritize hunting and trapping as the preferred method of managing wildlife populations. Protect Ohio’s democracy and the management of wildlife using science-based principles. Please urge your State Senator to oppose the passage of S.J.R. 3.
- S.B. 164 Enhance Felonies for Animal Cruelty – please urge your State Senator to support Ohio S.B. 164. Animal cruelty is a heinous act against some of the most vulnerable members of society, and is linked to other crimes including domestic violence, child maltreatment and child abuse. Family violence and animal abuse often overlap, but animal cruelty is often the first link in the chain of family violence. It is time to elevate the punishment for the torture and killing of innocent animals, and increase the chance of saving human lives.
- Wildlife Killing Contests – these contests are primitive and barbaric events, resulting in the senseless deaths of tens of thousands of wild animals. In Ohio, coyotes are targeted because the Ohio Division of Wildlife allows an open season on hunting them. Speak out for these innocent animals and demand a ban on wildlife killing contests.
- School advocacy for alternatives to dissection: tell your school or local school district about the Science Bank and encourage them to borrow humane science alternatives to replace animal dissection. It’s FREE to borrow – the only cost is for return shipping. Provide the following contact information to your school: thesciencebank.org
*Please note: new action alerts are added as laws are reintroduced in session throughout the current year. While we support 2021 humane legislation opportunities, the following outlines our 2020 successes thanks to the help of your “actions”.
- H.B. 33 was signed by the Governor in a virtual ceremony on January 6, 2021, after passing the Senate 31-0. This bill requires cross-reporting of animal and human violence. By requiring social service professionals in the course of a home visit to contact humane agents when there are signs of animal abuse, H.B. 33 may save an animal’s life and help prevent the escalation of violence in a family. This bill becomes law 90 days after bill signing.
- H.B. 67 passed out of the legislature and was signed by the Governor. It provides charitable spay-neuter services by veterinarians and is an innovative solution to advancing spay-neuter opportunities in Ohio by creating the Veterinarian Student Debt Assistance Program. The Program allows the State Veterinary Medical Licensing Board to repay all or part of an educational loan in return for performing charitable veterinarian services including free spay-neuter services that help accomplish the community goal of reducing the population of homeless animals in Ohio.
- H.B. 24 was passed with an amendment to make bestiality and cockfighting a crime throughout Ohio. In 2016, Ohio passed laws making bestiality a misdemeanor and cockfighting a felony but a legislative mistake and a court’s decision led to bestiality remaining legal and cockfighting remaining a misdemeanor in eight Northern Ohio counties. This bill makes sexual activity with animals a second-degree misdemeanor, and animal fighting a felony statewide.
- H.B. 553 was defeated. This was a reckless proposal that threatened to abolish the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s authority to regulate the hunting of coyotes. Science-based control of hunting, trapping and fishing in Ohio is crucial. Had this bill passed, it would have empowered politicians, rather than wildlife scientists at the Ohio DNR, to set the rules around hunting. Following strong push back, the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee tabled this bill. OAA and our constituents will remain vigilant if this bill reappears in the current legislative session.