Maine legislator wants us to stop eating cats and dogs

Legislators have offered up the bills they hope to introduce in the 2016 legislative session. We only have the titles so far, but they give us a good idea of what these legislators are hoping to accomplish. Only the bills approved by a majority of the Legislative leadership will be allowed to proceed, so we won’t know for sure which of these will be debated until December.

coon cat websiteMy favorite is An Act To Prohibit Raising Cats and Dogs for Human Consumption, sponsored by Senator Paul Davis of Piscataquis County. Senator Davis is the Senate chair of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. I hope this bill gets in, for the sheer entertainment value if nothing else. It’ll give “dog bones” a new meaning!

Here are some of the other interesting and entertaining bill titles, focused on hunting, fishing, and firearms.

An Act To Reduce Diabetes and Obesity among Members of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians by Recognizing and Providing for the Right of Tribal Members To Hunt Moose for Sustenance throughout Aroostook County, is sponsored by Representative Bear of the Houlton Band of the Maliseet Indians.

There are a lot of gun bills being proposed. Representative Beavers of South Berwick isn’t giving up on background checks, which were defeated in the 2015 legislative session. She hopes to introduce An Act To Require Background Checks for Private Sales or Transfers of Firearms.

Rep. Pat Corey of Windham, an avid sportsman and member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, is proposing a couple of interesting gun bills: An Act To Protect and Promote Access to Shooting Ranges and An Act To Ensure Nondiscrimination against Gun Owners in Housing.

An Act To Allow the Director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands To Transfer Ownership of Snowmobile Trail Grooming Equipment to Incorporated Nonprofit Snowmobile Clubs is sponsored by Rep. Black of Wilton. An interesting idea.

Rep. John Martin is proposing An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Fees for All-terrain Vehicle Registrations. Not sure if he wants fees to go up or down, but I suspect up.

Rep. Monaghan of Cape Elizabeth hopes to sponsor An Act To Protect Dogs from Extreme Weather. He is also proposing An Act to Protect Elephants. In any weather, I guess.

An Act Regarding Lake Moorings is being proposed by Rep. Powers of Naples. Lake moorings have been an issue before at the legislature.

Rep. Stanley of Medway offers two bills: An Act To Promote Snowmobile and All-terrain Vehicle Trails and An Act To Allow Persons 16 Years of Age and Older To Operate Personal Watercraft.

An Act To Establish a Fall Fish Stocking Program for Lakes and Ponds That Do Not Meet the Equitable Access Requirements has been proposed by Rep. Steve Wood of Sabattus, another member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.

A bunch of important bills were carried forward from the 2015 session to the 2016 session, as well as resolves allowing specific issues to be debated, including some of great interest to sportsmen, such as a Constitutional amendment to protect hunting. I’ll report on all of the issues and bills carried forward at a later date.

For now, let’s put the legislature out of our minds and enjoy all the hunting opportunities available over the next couple of months.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.