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MO Bill Would Remove Local Control Of Ordinances Regulating Work Animals

Baker County Tourism Travel Baker County/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

Agricultural tourism and education - like carriage ride businesses, safaris and wildlife field trip tours - are important industries in Missouri, and owners of working animals want to remove the possibility of local bans disrupting these animal enterprises.

A Missouri Senate committee heard a bill Monday afternoon that would ban cities and towns from creating local ordinances for working animals or animal enterprises in commerce. It would not remove current state and federal regulations or health and safety laws.

Supporters of the bill included owners of working animals and those in the animal commerce industry who say more regulations would make it difficult to run a business.

Laura Remenar is a wildlife biologist and educator who owns two farms in Missouri, and says additional regulations are “not needed.”

“We already have endless animal care requirements,” says Remenar.

Opponents of the bill had concerns about zoning, the carriage ride industry in St. Louis, and whether cities could proactively stop cruel or dangerous animal activity if this bill goes into effect.

This included Tom Dempsey, who says he wants St. Louis to be able to have similar local horse carriage regulations to Chicago and New Orleans.

“Loading and unloading are things that we’re concerned about, traffic during rush hour, those types of issues,” says Dempsey.