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Ag committee approves of bill ensuring right to use working animals


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Despite strong objections from Democrats, a bill prohibiting municipalities from regulating working animals was voted out of committee early Thursday morning.

The bill “takes control away from local government,” according Rep. Tracy McCreery. She voiced her frustration that it isn’t just “liberal” St. Louis that has regulations on working animals, but also “conservative cities.”

HB 1907, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Spencer, specifies the right to use working animals for the mutual benefit and welfare of the animals and those they serve, is guaranteed and no regulation may be enacted to terminate the job of working animals.

Some questioned if this was the most effective way to ensure the use of working animals. One representative indicated a better route may be to have an overseeing commissiong in the state or additional steps cities would have to go through to ban working animals.

Still, the House Agriculture Policy Committee approved of the bill with one amendment.

The committee also overwhelmingly approved of HB 1625 establishing the Senior Farmers’ Market Program and HB 2034 legalizing industrial hemp. HB 1828 and HB 1839 — both sponsored by Rep. Jay Houghton — passed but in 8-4 votes.