Thirty-two state legislatures (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin), and the District of Columbia are currently in session. The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department is tracking almost 700 bills that carried over from 2009, plus almost 100 new pieces of legislation already introduced in 2010. For the latest information on the approximately 800 state and federal bills being tracked by the Government Relations Department, visit our 2010 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated daily, provides the latest bill text, status, and any Legislative Alerts posted by the AKC.
For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com.
Here are some of the highlights:
Alabama – Senate Bill 18, a mandatory spay/neuter bill, has been introduced and referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. A similar bill was filed in 2009, but never received a hearing. Check the Government Relations webpage for the latest updates.
California – As introduced in 2009, Senate Bill 250 required sterilization if a dog is at large, not licensed, and violates a local animal control ordinance - even on a first offense. While the first offense language has been removed, it still prohibits anyone who has ever had their intact license revoked from owning an intact dog again. The bill failed in the California State Assembly and will likely be reconsidered in 2010. Read how you can help fight this legislation.
Delaware – House Bill 293 removes the current requirement that primary kennel enclosures must follow federal guidelines and replaces it with a complicated new mathematical formula. Additionally, the bill provides for additional potentially troublesome changes to the state’s mandated care and condition standards. Visit the Government Relations web page for the latest information.
Florida – The AKC is tracking two bills of interest in Florida. The Florida Legislature convenes in March 2010.
- Prefiled Senate Bill 122 would require virtually all dog breeders to provide additional information relating to the genetic disorders to which dogs and cats are susceptible in the written notice that they provide to a consumer at the time of sale. The bill also attempts to redefine the term "pet dealer" for purposes of allowing a purchaser to return an animal to the pet dealer and receive a refund, exchange the animal, or receive a reimbursement of expenses. A version of this bill was introduced in the 2009 regular session, but did not receive a hearing.
- Prefiled House Bill 543 seeks to eliminate the state’s prohibition of local breed-specific dangerous dog laws. A version of this bill was introduced in the 2008 and 2009 regular sessions with no success.
Indiana – Senate Bill 5 seeks to add baiting and animal fighting contests to the list of offenses qualifying as racketeering and to ban the breeding of dogs for these purposes. “Baiting” is defined as provoking or harassing an animal with another animal. The AKC has sent a letter to the sponsor requesting an amendment that clarifies that recognized, sanctioned performance events; lawful hunting; and training for law enforcement purposes are permitted. AKC also requested that breeding dogs for these lawful purposes be expressly permitted in the bill.
Missouri – A statutory initiative relating to dog breeding may be placed on the 2010 mid-term election ballot, which will also feature state Senate and House elections. Supporters of the initiative, which duplicates previous unsuccessful legislative efforts, are currently attempting to collect the required number of signatures to ensure the initiative is voted on in November. The initiative contains a 50 dog ownership limit, litter restrictions, and engineering-based conditions requirements. The AKC has issued a legislative alert on this matter, and continues to work with the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners in opposition to this initiative effort.
New Hampshire – House Bill 1624 seeks to impose an ownership limit of no more than 50 intact dogs; to require those with more than 10 intact dogs to adhere to the same operations standards as pet shops and animal shelters; and to deputize individuals not trained or sworn in as public officers to enforce the provisions of the bill, including the power to enter private premises and seize property. The bill will be heard by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Thursday, January 21. Read the AKC Legislative Alert on this bill.
Ohio – As introduced, Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 124 seek to regulate dog breeding in Ohio and contain many provisions of concern to the AKC. The bills have had hearings, but no votes at this time. Action is expected on these bills very soon. Read an AKC Legislative Alert on Senate Bill 95 for more information and committee contact information.
Oklahoma – The AKC is tracking several bills of interest in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Legislature convenes on February 1, 2010.
- Senate Bill 1340, called the “Kennel Definitions Act”, defines a “commercial breeder” as one who harbors 25 intact females. The bill would also require show and hobby breeders to adhere to the same care and conditions requirements as commercial breeders. SB 1340 also provides consumer protection language and seeks to be the first law to legally define the term “puppy mill”.
- Senate Bill 2186 would create the Companion Pet Protection Act. The bill classifies anyone who harbors more than 25 intact female dogs as a commercial breeder. It further requires these breeders to be USDA certified and follow federal care and conditions guidelines. The bill also requires hobby and show breeders to register with the state.
- House Bill 2743 would create the Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act, and would require anyone who transfers more than 35 or more dogs or cats to adhere to the provisions of the act. The act would require licensure and inspection of facilities, and empower the state’s Board of Agriculture to develop rules, as advised by a citizen committee, for care and conditions in licensed facilities.
– Senate Bill 50
seeks to expand Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Law. Should the bill be enacted, a new owner will have 14 days (instead of 10) to determine if the dog is clinically ill or has died from a contagious disease. The bill also increases the amount of time, from 30 to 90 days, for a veterinarian to determine if a dog has died from a congenital or hereditary defect. It has been assigned to the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.