- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Loose dogs still will be allowed in pickup truck beds on Louisiana’s interstates.

Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed a bill Friday that would have required dogs riding in the back of trucks to be secured with a leash, crate or a ventilated truck bed cover when on an interstate highway.

In his veto message, Jindal said Louisiana already prohibits animal cruelty, and he described the proposal by Rep. Tom Willmott, R-Kenner, as a “nanny state” bill.

The measure “would place a significant burden on our citizens, particularly those who reside in rural areas, while providing questionable benefit to their pets,” the Republican governor wrote in his veto message.

He added: “I trust that our citizens can care for their pets without the nanny state intervening to dictate how a dog is secured in the bed of a pickup truck.”

Supporters of the measure had said the requirement would protect both the dogs and drivers who have had to dodge pets that fall out of pickups. During debate on the bill, Willmott cited four colleagues who had seen dogs fall from truck beds into the road.

Critics said the proposal struck at personal freedom and would be the first step to an attempted ban on the rural tradition of transporting a dog in the back of a truck.

The governor said the Louisiana Farm Bureau and Louisiana Sportsmen’s Alliance asked that he kill the bill, citing concerns the measure was overly broad.

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Online:

House Bill 1091 can be found at www.legis.la.gov

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