Investing in Defense
By Cathy Calliotte
Published: July 1, 2013
With the creation of its Legislative Defense Fund, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council aims to increase its ability to defend the pet industry against misguided government action.

 

 

Cathy Calliotte

 

 

Would a 10-percent tax increase affect your bottom line? What about a seven-percent increase in licensing fees? Would a shortage of dogs impact your sales? How about a restriction on the reptiles or fish you were legally allowed to sell or create product for? Common sense says, “yes.”

While most pet businesses invest in research, product testing, marketing and sales, the real question is, are you investing in the defense of your business, so it even has the chance to grow? The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) wants to give the industry that ability to grow by creating a pool of resources to better promote and protect the industry.

 Every legislative session, PIJAC tracks over 1,800 bills that impact pet businesses at the federal, state and local levels. More than 300 of those legislative initiatives could seriously jeopardize the way you do business. If successful, they could cost the pet industry $1 billion a year. And that’s just the beginning. The tide of pet industry legislation and regulation rises each year, continuously diminishing the industry’s bottom line. If we do not proactively engage with legislators, fight for our industry and responsible pet ownership, and take our rightful seat at the table with legislators, the industry will lose.

Legislative attacks are increasing in frequency and move at a fast pace, requiring swift action on our part. We have major battles occurring in Massachusetts, California, Nevada, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Minnesota, Ohio, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island and Oregon, along with multiple measures pending before the U.S. Congress. There are at least 20 more states that have plans to move forward with legislative proposals that could adversely impact the pet industry when they reconvene.

 

 


Legislative attacks are increasing in frequency and move at a fast pace, requiring swift action


on our part.


 

 

How do we stem the increasing tide of misguided legislation? In short, we need a bigger megaphone. We need a sustained public relations program extolling the joy we help bring to pet owners every day, larger and more aggressive grassroots mobilizations, and broad-based coalition building to ensure our direct lobbying appeals are heard and favorably acted upon.

To do this, we need you. One store, one business, cannot do it alone. Together, we can make a substantial difference in the future of the industry. We need a significant war chest to win these battles, and that’s why PIJAC has created the Legislative Defense Fund. Contributing to the Legislative Defense Fund now gives us the means to increase our advocacy involvement on your behalf and provides insurance to protect your business. We need to collectively pool our resources from every pet business. Without a war chest on hand to take immediate action, adverse legislation could pass before we could raise the funds to mount a program to stop it from happening.

Where does your money go? Every dollar you invest goes to eliminating barriers to business and pet ownership. This pool of resources is used to promote and protect your business by educating lawmakers about the industry and issues, providing advocacy in every state, testifying at hearings, lobbying efforts, and forging alliances between the industry and lawmakers.

By contributing, you become a critical link to advance your positions on key pet issues across the country and in your state. The dollars you invest today will save you tenfold in lost income stemming from misguided legislation that will derail the growth of the pet industry.

For more information:

• Got to pijac.org and click on the Legislative Defense Fund box,

• Email Mike Canning at mcanning@pijac.org, or

• Call 202-452-1525.


Cathy Calliotte is vice president of marketing and communications for the Washington, D.C.–based Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. PIJAC provides its members a voice in state and national legislative issues through advocacy and timely information regarding upcoming policy issues that affect the pet industry, pet owners and the animals they care for.