The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Capitol Hill for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2011 Legislative Tracking page and click on “US Fed” on the map to get the latest updates on federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC. Highlights of issues we are currently tracking on the federal level include:
H.R. 835 / S. 707 – Known as the “Puppy Uniform Protection & Safety Act” (PUPS), this bill would require anyone who owns or co-owns dogs that produce 50 or more puppies that are sold in a 12-month period to be regulated under USDA dog dealer regulations. Anyone meeting that criteria would be required to obtain an annual USDA license, maintain minimum federal standards of care, and undergo regular inspections at least biennially. The language in this bill is identical to the 2010 PUPS bill. AKC GR has also expressed a number of concerns with other provisions in the measure, including the definition of “breeding female” as an intact female of four months or older. The bills have been assigned to their chamber’s agriculture committees. Neither is scheduled for a hearing. Read AKC’s latest Legislation Information Update. Read AKC’s latest letter to Congress.
Proposed Federal Regulations – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has distributed a proposed rule (regulations) that provides guidance to federal agencies tasked with enforcing the 2008 law that prohibits the import of puppies under the age of 6 months into the continental United States for resale. The rules are available for public comment until October 31, 2011. The rules would require that anyone importing dogs into the continental U.S. for resale obtain import permits and provide documentation to demonstrate that the dogs are in good health, have received all necessary vaccines (including rabies and DHLPP) and are at least 6 months of age. The AKC supports these regulations, recognizing that a large number of puppies are being bred overseas and imported into the U.S. in order to bypass the welfare and standards required of U.S. breeders. In many cases, irresponsibly bred and undocumented foreign puppies end up at shelters, rescues and other informal or unregulated retail venues. Diseases borne by such animals can create public health issues for both animal and human populations. Learn more about this issue and how you can formally comment about the rules. Comments on the proposed regulations are included in AKC’s latest letter to Congress.
H.R. 1406 – This legislation, known as the “Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011,” would require the prescriber of an animal drug to provide the pet owner with a copy of the veterinary prescription and a written disclosure that the owner may fill the prescription through a pharmacy selected by the pet owner as well as through the prescriber (if available). It has been referred to the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
H.R. 1725 – This bill would authorize federal grants to states that ban debarking “for purposes of convenience.” The grants, which may be up to $1 million, must be used to fund “activities that prevent or promote the prevention of cruelty to animals.” It has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. No hearings are scheduled.