Chairman's Report

March 2006

I'm pleased to report that Senator Rick Santorum this past weekend provided us with an advance copy of his "discussion draft" of an amended version of the "Pet Animal Welfare Statute of 2005" (PAWS) bill.

This discussion draft will be posted on the Senator's web site (http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm) this week. The draft clarifies several original provisions of the bill and includes some new provisions which resulted from discussion at the November 2005 hearing. 

In general, the highlights of the discussion draft of the revised bill include:

- All references to hunting, security and breeding dogs are eliminated from the dealer definition in both PAWS and the existing Animal Welfare Act.

- There is an explicit exemption for animal shelters, rescue organizations and other persons who do not operate for profit and do not import dogs and cats for resale.

- There is a new provision that would exempt retailers who are inspected by a not-for-profit organization such as the AKC which is approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.

- And finally, the USDA would be required to regulate the importation of dogs and cats for resale, including requiring that dogs and cats imported for resale be at least six months of age and comply with health and vaccination requirements. Let me emphasize, this is for dogs and cats imported for resale only.

The next step in the legislative process is that the discussion draft will be introduced as a new bill, or will be offered as an amendment to the current bill. In either case, it is the intention of Senator Santorum that PAWS will reflect the provisions contained in this discussion draft.

We have achieved a result in this draft that I believe fully justifies our involvement in this process. This bill is good for dogs and, coincidentally, good for the AKC, the fancy and the sport of purebred dogs. 

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman