Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5416

    February Session, 2014

 

*_____HB05416ENV___032414____*

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A LIVESTOCK CARE STANDARDS ADVISORY COUNCIL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) There is established a Livestock Care Standards Advisory Council that shall consist of the following members: (1) The Commissioner of Agriculture; (2) the state veterinarian; (3) four appointed by the Governor, as follows: (A) One who shall have knowledge of food safety and food safety regulation in the state, (B) one who shall be from a state-wide organization that represents the beef industry, (C) one who shall be licensed in the state as a livestock or poultry veterinarian, and (D) one who shall represent the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at The University of Connecticut; (4) two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, as follows: (A) One who shall be a representative of the state slaughter industry, and (B) one who shall be a representative of a state livestock dealer, a hauler or the auction industry; (5) two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, as follows: (A) One who shall be a producer of species other than bovidae, and (B) one who shall be an operator of a medium or large farm licensed by the Department of Agriculture; (6) one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate who shall be a professional in the care and management of equines and equine facilities; (7) one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate who shall be the operator of a small dairy farm in this state; (8) one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives who shall be a representative of a national, nonprofit animal welfare organization with farm animal expertise; (9) one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives who shall be experienced in investigating charges of animal cruelty involving livestock, provided such person has not received any compensation from any national humane society or organization for such investigatory work; and (10) one appointed by the cochairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment who shall be a representative of the Future Farmers of America. Each appointed member shall serve for a term of three years from the date of his or her appointment. No appointed member shall serve for more than two terms. No member shall receive compensation for his or her service on the advisory council.

(b) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall serve as the chairperson of the advisory council. The advisory council shall meet at such times as the chairperson determines is necessary, provided the advisory council meets not less than once per calendar year and the first meeting of the advisory council occurs not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section. A quorum shall be required for the advisory council to conduct business. Eight members of the advisory council shall constitute a quorum. The advisory council shall be located in the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes only.

(c) The advisory council shall have the following duties: (1) Conduct a review and evaluation of state laws applicable to the care and handling of livestock; (2) submit policy recommendations, including, but not limited to, legislative recommendations, to the Commissioner of Agriculture concerning the care and handling of livestock. In performing such review and evaluation, the advisory council shall consider the following: (A) The overall health and welfare of livestock species, (B) agricultural best management practices, (C) biosecurity and disease prevention, (D) animal morbidity and mortality data, (E) food safety practices, (F) the protection of local and affordable food supplies for state residents, and (G) humane transport and slaughter practices; and (3) submit a recommendation to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment concerning the need to regulate the tethering or confining of gestating sows by farm owners or operators. Concomitant with the submission of any recommendation to the Commissioner of Agriculture, the advisory council shall submit, pursuant to section 11-4a of the general statutes, such recommendation to the joint committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to agriculture. The advisory council may engage in outreach and education activities related to state laws concerning the care and handling of livestock.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2014

New section

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.