A new Florida Senate bill would make it illegal to let a dog be in a driver’s lap or stick its head out of a window of a moving car, according to News 6 partner WJXT-TV.
The bill — Senate Bill 932 — would also ban the declawing of cats.
News4JAX on Tuesday spoke with Dr. Christian Broadhurst, a veterinarian at the Clay County Humane Society, about the legislation, which is called the Animal Welfare bill.
Broadhurst says the part of the proposal that he applauds the most is the declawing of cats, Broadhurst says declawing has no benefits to cats but is usually done to protect the owner’s furniture.
“For me, the declawing is something that’s much more — when reading that bill, I was actually very impressed by that,” Broadhurst said. “Declawing is something where I believe we’re the only western country that declaws cats or allows it in some places.”
As far as dogs, Broadhurst says the issue of dogs in drivers’ laps is a driver safety issue. He says dogs with their heads out car windows could stir more debate, but he says it does cause risks.
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“There are potential hazards with letting your dogs hang their heads out the window just like your children, run the risk of debris and stick in the eyes,” Broadhurst said. “And it is concerning. If your head can fit out, it’s not impossible for dogs to fit the rest of their bodies out, as well. We get numerous dogs each year that fall out of vehicles.”
The legislation would also create a registry of animal abusers.
In addition, the bill proposes prohibiting the sale of rabbits “in specified locations and during specified months.”
It would also limit when and how animals can be tethered outside.
There’s also a companion bill in the Florida House, HB 381, but that legislation covers animal testing in the cosmetics industry.
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