For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some highlights of the bills we are currently tracking:
Kentucky – Prefiled 2011 Bill Recommendation 270 would require forfeiture of ownership of animals involved in cruelty and torture cases and prohibit ownership or possession of animals of the same species for two years. An identical bill was introduced in 2009, but did not advance. The AKC is monitoring the bill and will notify local dog owners should the bill gain traction.
Michigan – Three bills regarding dog breeding have been introduced in Michigan. AKC GR continues to monitor these pieces of legislation and will provide more information should any of the bills gain traction.
House Bill 6561 – This legislation would require a license for all “large-scale commercial kennels”, defined as those who produce 10 or more litters in a calendar year. The county treasurer may charge a “reasonable fee” for the cost of the license, but the amount of this fee is not included in the bill. Those licensed in this bill would be required to comply with all the provisions of House Bill 6562 (see below). The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
House Bill 6562 – This bill, entitled the “Puppy Protection Act”, details the standards that must be held by all “large-scale commercial kennels” (This is defined in HB 6561 as kennels that produce 10 or more litters per year). Among other provisions, the bill limits ownership to 50 intact dogs over four months of age at any time and requires all enclosures to be kept between 50 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of the age or breed of the dog. A large-scale commercial kennel may not produce more than 10 litters per year unless it is in compliance with all the care and conditions policies outlined in this bill. HB6562 has also been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
Senate Bill 1503 – This bill seeks to regulate “commercial breeders”, defined as those who possess or maintain 25 or more unaltered dogs or cats over four months of age in whole or in part for the purpose of sale. It is unclear if this would include co-ownerships. Breeders are subject to inspection and cannot sell a dog until it has received all vaccinations including rabies. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Bioeconomy.
Missouri – The statutory ballot initiative, known as Proposition B or “The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” was narrowly approved in the most recent election. The measure limits to 50 the number of intact females a kennel may own. It also includes a number of other care and conditions requirements for commercial breeders, similar to those that are already part of existing Missouri commercial breeder law. AKC GR worked with its Missouri federation in opposition to this measure. AKC released a number of legislative alerts, flyers, op-ed articles in local newspapers, and other educational materials on this matter. AKC continues to work with the Missouri federation in opposition to limits on the number of animals an individual may own. Read the AKC’s official statement on this ballot measure.
North Carolina – The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has accepted public input for a study of “companion animal welfare”. The study will focus on the welfare of dogs and cats, the oversight of public and private animal shelters, the state’s spay/neuter program, the scope of commercial breeding operations, and the protection of consumers who purchase companion animals. Upon completion, the findings of the report will be provided to the state legislature. AKC GR issued an informational alert to encourage responsible breeders and owners to provide comment. AKC GR attended the public hearings and will be in communication with the department separately to ensure that the rights of responsible owners and breeders are protected.
Ohio – The Ohio General Assembly has returned from its fall recess, but has not yet officially announced if it will consider any substantive legislation before this session ends. The American Kennel Club continues to track three bills of interest in Ohio:
House Bill 55 – This bill, which revises penalties and clarifies Ohio’s animal cruelty provisions, was amended on the House floor to remove breed-specific language (specifically, the term “pit bull”) from the state’s vicious dog definition. The amendment was added after House Bill 79, which sought to remove the breed-specific language, was stalled in a House committee. Read more about House Bill 79 and Ohio’s vicious dog law. The bill now goes to the State Senate.
House Bill 570 – This legislation seeks to provide an alternative to Senate Bill 95 (see below). It defines a commercial breeder as anyone who maintains at least five dogs used for breeding; promotes, advertises, operates, supervises, or manages the business of breeding dogs; or sells, leases, trades, barters or auctions dogs. The bill also limits ownership to 50 dogs, bans debarking, ear cropping, and tail docking, and allows for inspections and seizure of animals regardless of whether the kennel owner is present. The bill was introduced on August 23, and has not yet been assigned to committee. AKC GR is closely monitoring this legislation and has posted a legislative update online.
Senate Bill 95 – This bill, which seeks to regulate “high volume” dog breeding in Ohio, was passed by the Senate State & Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee. It defines “high volume dog breeder” as one who produces at least 9 litters and sells at least 60 puppies and/or adult dogs per year. Numerous amendments have been added to address many of the AKC’s concerns, including ensuring breeder representation on the new Kennel Control Authority Board and eliminating the limits on breeding ages. Other problematic provisions remain, however, including a definition of “kennel” that could be interpreted to mean any owner of an intact dog and problematic standards for “high volume breeders". Read the latest Legislative Alert for more information on SB 95.
Oklahoma – Oklahoma has created the Oklahoma State Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to regulate commercial animal breeding in the state. This is in response to Senate Bill 1712, which passed the legislature earlier this year. The board has published draft regulations for comment, which define a “commercial pet breeder” as any person who possesses or has possessed eleven or more adult intact females in the past twelve months. Problematic provisions include high application and inspection fees, vague definitions, and strict kennel and handling requirements. AKC GR is preparing comments and recommendations on the regulations for the Oklahoma State Board.
Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has issued a final draft of proposed regulations and licensing requirements for dog breeders who sell at least 25 dogs from more than 3 litters per year. The final draft addressed many of the AKC’s concerns, but still contains problematic provisions such as potential inspections of the home and property of anyone caring for a dog owned by a dog breeder licensed under the law (this would include co-owners). GR staff continues to work with AKC’s Wisconsin federation to ensure breeders and fanciers are protected in the new rules.