One of the most discussed bills this year in the House of Delegates was HB 1900, the dog bill. Speaker of the House of Delegates, Bill Howell, sponsored the bill which would have allowed authorities to penalize people whose dogs are running on the property of others. The penalty would be $100.
Landowners supported the bill because they don’t like hunters allowing their dogs to run across their property. Some delegates in rural areas opposed the bill. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
“In Southside Virginia, we believe in Southern hospitality,” said Del. Roslyn C. Tyler, D-Sussex. “Folks in our area, we just don’t call the cops when somebody comes on our area. We just simply return the dog or we look at the collar on the dog’s neck and call the hunter. And then everything is lovely.”
Everything is always lovely in Southside.
Other delegates argued the bill would only apply to a very few irresponsible hunters. And one delegate, Matt Fariss (R-Campbell), addressed the bill in the form of a very funny tall tale. If you haven’t seen it, watch it:
Fariss’s tall tale brought down the House.
Speaker Howell suffered a rare defeat with his dog bill. He lost the vote 47 to 48.
The Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance was very happy with the vote:
Victory is ours in this battle, but the war has just begun in earnest.
More on the dog bill here.