HONOLULU — Animal advocates across Hawai‘i are celebrating a successful legislative year with the passage of seven new animal-protection laws.
Hawai‘i law now prohibits the sale of cosmetics produced as a result of animal testing. The law is intended to stop new animal testing for cosmetics, and does not impact the sale of ingredients or cosmetics that were previously tested on animals.
The state made significant strides in wildlife protection with three new laws. Hawai‘i is now the seventh state to ban the intentional release of balloons, sparing marine animals unnecessary suffering from ingesting or becoming entangled in balloon pieces.
The Legislature passed a bill authorizing Hawai‘i to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which will crack down on wildlife
Hawai‘i has also banned the intentional killing of sharks in state waters.
Lawmakers passed three bills signed into law by Gov. David Ige to improve companion-animal welfare. After years of attempts by animal advocates and concerned citizens, Hawai‘i now has a law that prohibits inhumane dog tethering, and ensures that dogs left unsupervised are safe and receive adequate shelter.
Additionally, Hawai‘i joins 48 other states in prohibiting sexual abuse of animals, a form of abuse that has been linked to sexual abuse of children and other violent acts.
Finally, the Legislature passed a bill to protect veterinarians from liability for providing emergency treatment to animals. This new law also requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse, and protects them from liability for doing so.
Andi Bernat, senior policy director of state affairs for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “We are grateful to Governor Ige and the Legislature for recognizing the importance of these issues and thank the dedicated animal advocates who made this progress possible.”