Federal Legislation Regarding Dog Breeding
*Those who fall under the proposed legislation:
-If a breeder sells more than 40 dogs annually, they are subject to the following laws.
-If a breeder houses (dogs must be on the property for more than 90-days to apply) more than 40 dogs, they are subject to the follow rules.
-If a breeder houses more than 20 female dogs, this legislation applies.
-Co-Ownership (if the dog does not reside with one an applicable owner) does not apply.
-Dog handlers (for show ring purposes), or temporary ownership does not apply.
-Dog shelters are subject to different business and state legislation and therefore do not apply.
-Pet shops do not apply unless the business breeds dogs.
-This legislation is limited to canines only and does not apply to any other type of animal.
Responsible Dog Breeding Workshop
-All business owners must attend the annual “Responsible Dog Breeding Workshop” offered in two locations per state.
-The workshop will be offered twice a year in two different locations.
-States may incorporate more frequent workshops to accommodate business owners.
-The workshops can only be attended after a business license is approved.
-Ongoing veterinary care (if applicable, specific rules follow) is required for each dog while on the premises of each breeder.
-Files must be maintained and kept for five years on each dog.
-Show dogs must obtain required vaccinations (per state).
-It is not necessary for all dogs on the premises to visit a veterinarian regularly; however, if illness is present in dogs during inspection, business owners should have proof of veterinary care on file.
Additional Record Keeping:
-Records of sales and breeding must be kept on file for five years after the breeding or sale occurred.
-Records for previous inspections are to be kept (and readily available) for 10 years.
-Only female dogs between the ages of 18-months and 8 years can be bred.
-Female dogs cannot be bred more than twice annually.
-Unexpected pregnancies occur; a fine will be issued for each pregnancy. If more than two occur per year per dog, licenses can be suspended.
-Each dog must have its own cage, with ample room (6-inches on all sides) to stand up and turn around.
-Every cage must be on the ground.
-Cages must be kept clean, within reason.
-Wire caging is permitted, but not on the bottom of the cage.
-Specific bottoms of the cage will not be required, as long as wire (or a wire-like) material is not used.
-Clean drinking water must be available in each cage.
-Every dog can have a maximum of 12 hours in a cage daily.
-No more than 8 hours should pass without a dog leaving a cage.
-One acre is required per 20 permanent dogs.
-Outside space should also provide shelter. This amount will not be specified, but should allow adequate room for all dogs (20 per acre) to gather at one time. An example would be a carport like area to protect dogs from the elements. This space does not need four walls, only a roof is required.
-All outdoor areas accessed by dogs must be kept clean and free of excess feces.
-No other plant, animal, or activity should be conducted in the outdoor space.
-This space will be specifically allotted for dogs.
-Clean water should be always available.
*Outline of Breeding License:
-A federally issued “breeder” license is issued once the initial inspection has been conducted and the premises is approved.
-Subsequent annual inspections will re-issue licenses only if the premises meets law requirements.
-Only one license per person, per location will be issued.
-Two licenses cannot be granted in one location.
*Enforcement of Laws:
-A state official will visit the premises once annually. If problems or citations occur, these visits will increase.
-Each visit, no matter the reason, does not require previous notification.
*Costs and Funding:
-Each state, depending on size and population, will be allowed sufficient money to ensure laws. These funds will come from other areas in the federal budget, not taxes, as well as the fees incurred by breeders.
-An annual fee of $2,500 will be collected during the reissuance of licenses.
-Licenses will not be granted until an inspection has occurred and
*Time period for adjustment:
*All existing breeders will have one year from the time of official legislation to accommodate new laws.
*All new breeders must begin business according to inspection rules before selling, housing, or breeding dogs.
-If dog rescue work meets or exceeds 25% of the business, annual fees can be lowered or eliminated.
*Punishment for laws not upheld:
-Non compliance of laws will result in varying punishments.
-These punishments include: warnings, fines, suspension of license, jail, and revocation of license.
-Specific punishments will be outlined once this bill is approved.
*Detailed explanation of why each law was chosen:
Responsible Dog Breeding Workshop:
This mandatory workshop will be created to enhance awareness and consistency throughout the breeding community. Many breeders have little or no education about what it actually takes to breed and raise multiple dogs. These workshops will give them a chance to unite with other breeders and form potential networking systems.
We understand that business owners are busy and cannot be expected to get away several days a year, so these workshops will be offered in two (or more) locations, twice yearly. The workshops will last one full business day and include a multitude of classes, some required and others optional (treated like electives).
Dogs should, like humans, be cared for. They get sick, have babies, and contract diseases which require a doctor. This law omitted the requirement for all dogs to have a regular veterinarian (unless for reasons earlier broached) because some breeders may choose a holistic or alternative medicine, which has proven itself effective in the past.
Show dogs are required by the AKC to be up-to-date on vaccinations, thus the enforcement of veterinary care requirement for them. Also, it is in the best interest for all dogs exposed to the public to be protected from potential disease.
Five years allows enough time for breeders and potential owners to refer back to previous health problems.
Additional Record Keeping:
Five years allows enough time for breeders and potential owners to refer back to previous purchases. The health of dogs can be optimized if they are not paired (bred) with another dog with issues.
Inspection records should remain consistent between breeders and the state. Keeping them for 10 years should allow enough time for referring back to previous inspections. This amount of time is intended to protect breeders from inconsistencies during inspections.
Very young and old dogs are susceptible to many more health problems when bred. Thus the basis for this section of the proposed legislation. It is meant to protect dogs from being bred too young or too old.
Dogs should not be bred during each heat cycle. Allowing only two breeding per year gives female dogs the chance to recover from pregnancy and raise puppies.
It is well known to breeders that accidents occur and dogs can breed themselves. Thus the allowance (fine only) for such occasions. Dogs, however, should be closely monitored to protect them from over breeding. Punishments can occur if this happens repeatedly.
One of the biggest problems of puppy mills are is the environment in which dogs live. They are often crammed into cages without adequate room to move and no drinking water. Also, wire cages can cut the feet of dogs if over exposed. This portion of the law is very important because dogs should have a safe and clean “home.”
Dogs need to have time outside cages. This is also a big problem with puppy mills. It is understandable that business owners have time to sleep or leave the premises, which is why 8 hours is for the dogs to remain in cages. Dogs are meant to have time to run, so they are to be caged for a maximum of 12 hours daily. This allows them plenty of free time and socialization.
Most dogs enjoy running outside. They, depending on size, should have ample room to do so. One acre per 20 dogs seems adequate for them to run freely. Many dogs, especially smaller breeds, require shelter from the elements. Having a covered space allows them to feel secure while outside.
Having the acreage dedicated solely to dogs protects them from other animals, poisonous plants, etc…
It is understandable that a certain amount of feces be present when housing 20 dogs on one acre. Messes should be cleaned daily to prevent the area from becoming hazardous to dogs.