HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1356        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 441


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Stephen Kulik


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to promote the care and well-being of livestock.






Date Added:

Stephen Kulik

1st Franklin


John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire


David F. DeCoste

5th Plymouth


Steven S. Howitt

4th Bristol


Angelo L. D'Emilia

8th Plymouth


Keiko M. Orrall

12th Bristol


Michael D. Brady

Second Plymouth and Bristol


Hannah Kane

11th Worcester


Donald F. Humason, Jr.

Second Hampden and Hampshire


Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex


Anne M. Gobi

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex


Harold P. Naughton, Jr.

12th Worcester


Brian Murray

10th Worcester


Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk


Carlos González

10th Hampden


Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1356        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 441

By Mr. Kulik of Worthington, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 441) of Stephen Kulik and others for legislation to direct the Commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources to establish a livestock care and standards board to ensure the humane keeping and treatment of livestock.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.


SEE HOUSE, NO. 713 OF 2015-2016.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court



An Act to promote the care and well-being of livestock.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

                SECTION 1. Chapter 128 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following new sections:-

        Section AA. The Commissioner shall establish a Livestock Care and Standards Board consisting of 13 members, of which the Commissioner, or his designee, shall be a member and chair. Additional members shall include: a representative of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medicine Association, appointed by the Board of Directors of that organization, who is experienced in the care and keeping of livestock; a large animal veterinarian, appointed by the Governor, who is experienced in the care and keeping of livestock,; a representative of the Department of Public Health, assigned by the Commissioner of Public Health, who is knowledgeable in the areas of zoonotic disease and food safety; a representative of a Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; a representative of the Animal Rescue League of Boston; a representative of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation; a representative of the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association; representative of a family farm involved in the raising of poultry, appointed by the Commissioner; two representatives of a family farms involved in the rearing of cows, swine, goats, sheep and/or horses, appointed by the Commissioner; a representative of one of the Buy Local organizations, or equivalent organizations identified by the Commissioner, provided that terms shall rotate between different Buy Local groups; and a representative of the Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, as appointed by the Dean.

Members shall serve a term of three years, and shall remain eligible for reappointment at the end of terms served. The purpose of the Board shall be to advise the Commissioner on appropriate actions to be taken by the Commissioner to help ensure the humane keeping and treatment of livestock, and the viability of farms and related businesses involved in the rearing and keeping of livestock.

Section BB. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations and/or voluntary standards governing the care and well-being of cattle, swine, poultry, and other livestock; provided however that such regulations and standards are approved by a minimum of a two-thirds vote of the Livestock Care Board. Factors to be considered in the promulgation of these standards shall include but not be limited to: the health, safety, comfort of animals; food safety; biosecurity, animal health and public health; and the financial impact/viability of farms and related businesses impacted by said standards.

Section CC. Upon establishment, at the first official meeting thereof, the Commission shall examine practices relating to battery cage hen operations, swine gestation crates and veal crates and determine appropriate actions to undertake. The Commission shall examine whether bans, regulations, guidelines or other measures, if any, are necessary or appropriate relative to such practices within the Commonwealth. Subsequent to addressing these two topics, the Commission shall examine additional practices and topics at the request of any two members. All meeting shall occur in accordance with state open public meeting requirements and efforts shall be made to ensure meetings are held at a variety of geographic locations throughout the state.