OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5416

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A LIVESTOCK CARE STANDARDS ADVISORY COUNCIL.

SUMMARY:

This bill establishes a 15-member livestock care standards advisory council, for which the agriculture commissioner serves as chairperson. The council is located in the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes only.

Under the bill, the council must (1) review and evaluate state laws on the care and handling of livestock, (2) submit policy and legislative recommendations to the agriculture commissioner and Environment Committee, and (3) submit a recommendation to the Environment Committee on the need to regulate the tethering or confining of gestating sows by farmers. It may perform outreach and education activities on state laws about the care and handling of livestock.

When performing a review and evaluation of state laws, the council must consider:

1. the overall health and welfare of livestock,

2. agricultural best management practices,

3. biosecurity and disease prevention,

4. animal morbidity and mortality data,

5. food safety practices and the protection of local and affordable food supplies for state residents, and

6. humane transport and slaughter practices.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2014

LIVESTOCK CARE STANDARDS ADVISORY COUNCIL

Membership

Under the bill, the council consists of 15 members, including the agriculture commissioner, state veterinarian, and 13 members appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, as Table 1 shows.

Table 1: Advisory Council Appointees

Appointing Authority

Number

Qualifications

Governor

Four

One with knowledge of food safety and food safety regulation in Connecticut.

One from a statewide organization representing the beef industry.

One Connecticut-licensed livestock or poultry veterinarian.

One from UConn's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Senate President Pro Tempore

Two

One representative of the state slaughter industry.

One representative of a state livestock dealer, hauler, or the auction industry.

House Speaker

Two

One producer of a species other than cows or other bovidae.

One operator of a Department of Agriculture-licensed medium or large farm.

Senate majority leader

One

A professional in the care and management of equines (e.g., horses) or equine facilities.

Senate minority leader

One

An operator of a small Connecticut dairy farm.

House majority leader

One

A representative of a national, nonprofit animal welfare organization with farm animal expertise.

House minority leader

One

A person experienced in investigating animal cruelty charges, but who has not received compensation from a national humane society or organization for such work.

Environment Committee

chairpersons

One

A representative of the Future Farmers of America.

Terms

Each appointed member serves a three-year term from the date of his or her appointment. No one may serve more than two terms. Members serve without compensation.

Meetings

The council must meet when the agriculture commissioner, as chairperson, determines necessary, but at least once a year. The councils' first meeting must be held by December 30, 2014 (i.e., 90 days after October 1, 2014).

Quorum

The bill requires a quorum for the council to conduct business. Eight members constitute a quorum.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

27

Nay

0

(03/21/2014)