Las Vegas Sun

May 25, 2019

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Titus bill would safeguard animals in natural disasters

When natural disaster strikes, schools, hospitals and businesses have emergency plans to protect people and prevent the loss of life. But what about animals caught in the path of a tornado or flood?

Congresswoman Dina Titus announced a bill today requiring certain federally regulated commercial animal dealers, exhibitors and research facilities to develop emergency response plans to protect animals under their care in case of natural disaster.

“Whether a catastrophic event that impacts an entire region or a fire at a local breeding facility, when disaster strikes, commercial animal facilities should be prepared to protect the animals under their care,” Titus said in a statement. “It is only fair and reasonable to require some demonstration of readiness from those who earn a living from animal-related businesses.”

The Animal Emergency Planning Act would affect any business or entity regulated under the Animal Welfare Act, which includes breeders, exotic or wild animal dealers, zoos, circuses and university, pharmaceutical company or government animal research facilities. Some animals, such as birds, mice, rats, horses and other farm animals, are excluded under the act and wouldn’t be impacted by the bill.

The bill, introduced Thursday, is awaiting action from the House Agriculture Committee.

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