TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new Florida bill would make it illegal to let a dog be in a driver’s lap or stick its head out of the window of a moving car.
Senate Bill 932, filed by Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book of Broward County, includes other restrictions for pets in vehicles and would also ban the declawing of cats.
It would 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 could not be transported in a car that is being towed.
The bill would also require dogs to be secured in a crate appropriate for their size while in a motor vehicle on a public roadway or to be restrained with a safety harness or seat belt other than a neck restraint or under the physical control of someone other than the driver.
Dogs transported in open truck beds of pickups would have to be in a well-ventilated crate that provides them with proper footing. They would also have to be protected from inclement weather and and direct sunlight. The bill says a 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 declawing them 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.
One of the bill’s major provisions 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.