- This is forwarded from the CPR Exchange, and thanks to John Bachman for posting it:
ACTION ALERT - IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED HOUSE BILL 633
HB 633 will require all animal control officers in Texas to complete training courses and to be certified. Currently in Texas, anyone can be an animal control officer with no prior experience or training. This has lead to some unfortunate incidents which turned out bad both for animals and for their owners and for the animal control officers themselves. Certainly someone handling animals and dealing with the public’s health and safety should have some degree of training.
HB 633 will require anyone performing animal control duties to have satisfactorily completed a twelve hour basic training class offered by the Texas Department of State Health Services and to maintain thirty hours of continuing education every three years.
HB 633 is scheduled for a hearing before the Government Reform Committee on March 5, 2007. Please contact the members of that committee and ask that they support HB 633. The contact information for those committee members is listed at the end of this alert.
The following are a few talking points that you can use when contacting the committee members.
1. Animal control officers in Texas perform a myriad of highly-skilled duties, including:
Handling controlled substances.
Enforcing state and local animal laws and writing citations to violators.
Determination of dangerous animals and enforcement of those protocols.
Investigating the public’s potential exposures to rabies and other zoometric diseases.
Disease control and management of large and small animal sheltering facilities and rabies quarantine facilities.
Investigating animal fighting, animal cruelty, and animal neglect.
Disaster response and emergency animal sheltering.
Response to bioterrorism events.
Developing public outreach programs encouraging responsible pet ownership, bite prevention, humane care of pets, and others.
Humane care and treatment of the public’s companion animals.
2. HB 633 will:
Ensure that there is a standard minimum amount of training for personnel who are responsible for what is frequently an emotionally-charged activity.
Make sure that personnel use appropriate humane animal handling techniques when interacting with the public’s pets.
Increase the protection of Texas citizens from disease and injury caused by animals.
Provide an incentive for animal welfare professionals to continue their education.
Inspire public confidence in well-trained animal welfare professionals.
Contact for committee members:
The Mailing Address for all Representatives in Austin is:
P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78768-2910 FAX: (512) 463-5896
House email: firstname.lastname@...
William A. "Bill" Calamari (Chair), ph (512) 463-0528, fx (512) 463-7820
Jim Pitts (Vice Chair), ph (512) 463- 0516, fx (512) 463-1051
Leo Berman, ph (512) 463-0584, fx (512) 463-3217
David M. Leibowitz, ph (512) 463- 0269, fx (512) 320-0555
Borris L. Miles, ph (512) 463-0518), no fax
Eddie Rodriquez, ph (512) 463-0674, fx (512) 499-0694
Wayne Smith, ph (512) 463-0733, fx (512) 463-1323
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