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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new Florida bill would make it illegal to let a dog be in a driver’s lap or stick their head out of a window of a moving car.
Additionally, Senate Bill 932, filed by state Sen. Lauren Book (D-Broward) and intended to protect animals, would ban the declawing of cats.
The bill also includes provisions to make it illegal to have a dog transported “on the running board, fender, hood, or roof of a motor vehicle” as well as in a trunk or enclosed cargo space. Dogs also may not be transported in a car that is being towed.
On top of those restrictions, the bill would require dogs to be secured in a crate appropriate for the dog’s size while in a motor vehicle on a public roadway, be restrained with a safety harness or seat belt other than a neck restraint, or be under the physical control of someone other than the driver while in a car.
Dogs transported in open truck beds of pickups must be in a well-ventilated dog crate that allows them to have good footing, be safe from inclement weather and be protected from direct sunlight.
The dog must also be able to turn around normally, stand or sit, and lie down in a natural position inside the crate while it is secured to the pickup truck.
Violators would face potential moving violation citations, though the charges would not count as a criminal traffic infraction.
The bill also sets rules for cat owners, making cat declawing illegal if it is not for a necessary medical therapy. If a cat is declawed or partially declawed, the state would be able to fine the owner $1,000. Individual incidents of a cat being declawed or partially declawed would legally count as separate violations.
A provision in the text would allow courts to ban offenders from owning animals as a condition of probation.
The bill also adds a number of bans on cosmetic testing of animals for “any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on” or otherwise meant for humans instead of animals, such as cleansers, beauty treatments, or items that “promote attractiveness” or for altering one’s appearance.
As written, product manufacturers would be prohibited from applying any of the above products on “live, nonhuman vertebrate” animals. However, keeping the data from previous tests does not count as developing a product for the purposes of the bill’s language.
The bill would create a $5,000 initial penalty, as well as additional $1,000 penalties for violators of the animal testing prohibition for each day of a continued violation.
Should the bill pass both chambers of the Florida Legislature and gain the governor’s approval, it would take effect on Oct. 1.