Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

February 23, 2011

Texas bill could force hunting dogs to carry insurance

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 8:29 am

A bill introduced in Texas would require certain dog owners, whose dogs are not restrained as defined by the language of the bill, to carry liability insurance on those dogs.

Texas House Bill 998, introduced by Rep. Ruth McClendon (D- San Antonio), would require owners of unneutered male dogs weighing 20 or more pounds, that are not restrained at all times, to carry a minimum $100,000 insurance liability policy. A dog is only considered restrained if it is either kept in an enclosure or kept on a leash under the immediate control of a person at all times.

Failing to purchase the insurance would be a class C misdemeanor.

Under the bill, many sporting dog owners will be forced to buy the insurance policy, neuter their dog, or face criminal charges. In addition, a large number of sporting dog breeds weigh more than 20 pounds and would be considered “unrestrained” under the bill’s definition when hunting, training, or field trialing. Even a securely tethered dog would be considered unrestrained by this bill.

Much of this material comes from the US Sportsmen’s Alliance.

My Thoughts:

First I am opposed to more government regulations and this bill seems a little far fetch.  As retired insurance agent, I can tell you that most insurance companies  will run from providing ‘canine liability insurance’.   It is  difficult to obtain Homeowners Insurance when you certain breeds of dogs.  The companies are worried about the liability issue.  And should you find a ‘Specialty Company’ to provide canine insurance, how in the world would our police force enforce such a law?  Maybe all insured dogs would wear a certain color collar.  Naw, that would not work…

Secondly I am in favor of neighbors keeping their dogs on a leash.  In our neighborhood, we have several dogs with collars that wander across our property.  They will dig through our trash.  They will bark at us on our own property. We have concern about the safety of our grand-kids.  But insuring these dogs would not help our situation.

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