The Minnesota Legislature convened on January 4, 2011. It adjourned on May 23, 2011, concluding the first year of a two-year biennium. In July 2011 Governor Dayton called a special legislative session to resolve the budget impasse.
There were numerous bills affecting animals introduced and passed at the Minnesota Legislature in 2011. Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection tracks all these bills, posts updated bill status on our website, and lets you know when crucial votes affecting animals will be taken, so you may contact your state legislators. Sign up for email alerts here.
Following is a partial list of bills affecting animals. For a complete list of updated bills, please check our website under Issues and Legislation: Current Legislation 2011-2012.
Please note: The Minnesota Legislature operates on a two-year cycle, called a biennium. Bills introduced in either year may be heard and voted into law any time the Legislature is in session during the biennium. This means bills introduced in 2011 may be taken up and considered for passage in 2012.
Here is a wrap up of what happened at the Minnesota State Capitol in 2011
- Undercover video ban bill (SF 1118/HF 1369)- Oppose
The bill banning undercover video taken at animal facilities did not pass this year. It is still able to be heard or amended onto other bills next year – 2012- when the Legislature reconvenes. More information on bill status and issue is here, as well as updates on how similar bills are doing in FL, IA and now NY.
- Coyote and beaver bounty bills (SF 440/ HF 621)- Oppose
Although these bills did not pass during the regular session, the Special Session Environment bill (Chapter 2), which was passed July 21, 2011, included provisions for bounties for both coyotes and beavers. Read the Special Session Report here. Previously, state law only permitted the removal of beaver dams and lodges by road authorities. Under the new law, the road authority may kill or arrange to have killed a beaver associated with a problematic lodge. The new law allows a county or town board to offer a bounty for the taking of coyotes. More information on bill status and issue is here.
- Pound seizure (SF 705/HF 1098)- Support
The Pound Seizure bill did not pass this year. It is still able to advance next year- 2012- when the Legislature reconvenes. More information on bill status and issue is here.
- Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation (SF 462/HF 702)- Support
The Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation bill did not advance this year. It is still able to be heard next year- 2012- when the Legislature reconvenes. More information on bill status and issue is here.
- Bills affecting wolves (SF 79/HF 154 and SF 943/HF 984)- Oppose
Although these bills did not pass during the regular session, the Special Session Environment bill (Chapter 2), which was passed July 21, 2011, included provisions which allow the Department of Natural Resources Commissioner to authorize a public hunt of gray wolves immediately after they are delisted from the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, new special session legislation includes the gray wolf in the definition of “small game” in the game and fish laws. During the regular session, wolves were also the focus of a Resolution urging Congress to delist the gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species Act. This Resolution did not pass this year. It is still able to advance next year- 2012- when the Legislature reconvenes. More information on bill status and issue is here.
- Animal control mandates (HF 7/SF 159 and HF 516 and HF 519)- Oppose
The amended HF 7 removes requirements for animal control/law enforcement to seize, impound, or restrain stray animals and to enforce dangerous dog provisions. HF 516 and HF 519 do the same as HF 7, and also remove requirement for local animal control authority to report what regulated animals (wild cats, bears, primates) are registered in their jurisdiction. The bills did not pass this year, but are still able to advance next year- 2012- when the Legislature reconvenes. More detailed status information is here.
- Public safety dogs (SF 121/ HF 141)- Support
This bill increases penalties for injuring public safety dogs and requires restitution be paid by the convicted person. The bill passed both the Minnesota House and Senate and was signed into law by the governor on 3/22/11. More information is here.
- Pet Lemon Law (HF 1635)- Oppose
This bill amends the current “Pet Lemon Law” by including nonprofit humane societies and rescue groups under this law and defining them as “pet dealers”. By including humane societies and rescue groups under this law, these organizations would have to follow the same requirements as for-profit pet dealers, such as conducting two veterinarian exams of each animal. Unlike for-profit businesses, nonprofits take in strays, owner surrendered, abused, neglected and seized animals, some of which already require substantial vet care. At the same time nonprofits are not often able to recoup the vet expenses put into the animals they receive, this bill would cause humane societies and rescue groups to incur additional expenses. The bill did not pass this year, but is still able to be heard next year- 2012- when the Legislature reconvenes. Read the bill here. Read the current Pet Lemon Law here.
- Feedlots (Special Session Environment bill)- Oppose
New language passed during the special session in July in the Environment bill has eased environmental regulations for factory farms in Minnesota. Until now, Minnesota has had higher standards than minimal federal Environment Protection Act standards for the largest factory farms. State law required that factory farms over 1,000 animal units get a Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The new language lowers state standards for factory farms over 1,000 animal units by removing our state’s requirement that they get a Clean Water Act discharge permit. Instead, the bill requires our state follow weaker federal standards that do not require this permit. Legislators also changed the definition of “pasture” to make fewer feedlots subject to pollution controls. See the Special Session Report here.