Name: National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021; William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021
Bill Number: S. 4049/HR 6395
Recently, NAVS has been focusing on advocacy issues contained in bills passed each year by Congress appropriating funds for various federal agencies. Inclusion of animal-friendly provisions in federal appropriations bills is often the only mechanism for enacting these measures.
Currently, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have included in their appropriations bills one such measure, one that would prohibit breed discrimination against dogs in military housing. Each bill has already passed its sponsoring chamber; the Senate bill (S 4049) is awaiting consideration in the House and the House bill (HR 6395) is now before the Senate. The fact that both chambers approved this measure makes it hopeful that it will be included in final appropriations language, whatever the bill.
This issue was championed by the Animal Law Committee of the American Bar Association, which drafted the language and received an endorsement from the full ABA. The ABA worked with its lobbyists in Congress to turn the provision into law.
Passage of this legislation means that military personnel moving from base to base as part of their service will be able to take their family dogs with them, even if they move into an area of the country that has restrictions on the ownership of a particular breed of dog. Rather than impose a blanket discrimination against certain types of dogs, this legislation ensures that the behavior—not the breed—of any dog is considered in determining whether a particular animal presents a danger to the community.
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Please support an end to breed discrimination of dogs in military housing
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to ask your support for a measure contained in S 4049 and HR 6395, Department of Defense Authorizations Acts for 2021, concerning dogs living on military housing. Current military rules provide no protection for military personnel when they are posted to a new base to ensure that they can take their family dogs with them. Some communities prohibit the keeping of specific breeds of dogs. As a result, bases located in those areas may not permit a serviceperson to keep their dog at a new base. Passage of this legislation, which was proposed with the full endorsement of the American Bar Association, means that military personnel moving from base to base as part of their service will be able to take their family dogs with them.Both S 4040 and HR 6395 contain a dangerous dog provision the recognizes that the actions of an individual dog, not their breed, is the best way to distinguish a loving companion animal from an animal that poses a risk to the public. I hope that you will give your full support to inclusion of this measure in whichever appropriations bill receives final approval from both chambers. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]