Taking Command - September 2013
Taking Command
September 2013
The New APHIS Rule: Exploring the Options
APHIS chart
Click here for the AKC's printable chart, Does the New USDA Rule Affect Me?
As we consider our way forward in light of new licensing requirements, now may be a good opportunity for us, as breeders, to take a step back and carefully take stock of our unique breeding programs. Under existing USDA Animal Welfare Act regulations, the vast majority of dog breeders who do not sell dogs at wholesale (those defined as "dog dealers") have been considered "retail pet stores". Being defined as a "retail pet store" meant that most breeders were exempt from federal animal "dealer" regulations, and there was little need to consider other applicable exemptions.

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AKC GR Booth A Popular Spot at NCSL Conference
For the past 17 years, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) staff has participated in the annual National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to educate state legislators and staff in attendance on the importance of supporting responsible dog owners and breeders.

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Honor Your Dog-Friendly Lawmaker with a Legislator of the Year Award
If you aware of a state legislator or Congressional representative who has taken a stand in support of responsible dog owners and breeders, consider nominating him or her for the James S. Holt Memorial Award for the Promotion of Responsible Dog Ownership in Legislation. This award, also known as the "Legislator of the Year" award, is a wonderful...

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From Our Nation's Capitol
The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2013 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.

Here are some highlights of measures we are currently tracking on the federal level.
News from the State Capitols
Six state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session. One state is in special session. So far this year, more than 1,100 state bills have been filed that could impact dogs and dog ownership. For the latest information on state and federal bills being tracked by AKC GR, visit the 2013 Legislation Tracking page. This page, updated each weekday, provides the latest bill text, status, and legislative alerts posted by the AKC. For more information on any of the measures mentioned, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

Here are some highlights of the state bills AKC GR is currently tracking.
Local Issues
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) assists dog owners with canine legislation issues in their local communities, but we can’t help unless we are aware of the proposal! If you hear of an issue in your city or county, please contact us at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org. We will be happy to provide you with the resources, tools and assistance you need to help support and defend responsible dog ownership in your community.

Here are some examples of the local issues currently being addressed by AKC GR.
Help AKC fight anti-dog legislation
Director's Letter
The release of the final version of the new USDA/APHIS rule to redefine "retail pet stores" has prompted a lot of questions and confusion. Concerned dog breeders are asking: What does it mean for me?

The new rule is intended to focus on regulating Internet pet sales. The AKC shares APHIS's concerns about puppies sold over the Internet by fraudulent or potentially substandard kennels. However, we are also concerned that the new rule is overly broad and may penalize some small-scale responsible breeders while ignoring operations that sell dogs roadside and in parking lots. We remain concerned that the term "breeding female"—the foundation for a key part of the new regulation—lacks a clear definition. This makes it difficult for breeders to determine whether they would be subject to licensing and regulation. For now, a safe assumption is to consider a "breeding female" to be a female capable of reproduction.

Over the last 18 months, AKC Government Relations (GR), AKC's federal representatives, and other partners have worked hard to provide constructive critiques and commentary, express concerns to key decision makers, and to propose effective alternatives to the proposed rule. Although the final rule is substantially unchanged from what was proposed in May 2012, we are pleased that APHIS's official commentary addresses some of the concerns expressed by the AKC. It also creates many more "gray areas" than before. While there is an understandable desire to rush into some action — any action; the truth is, that we cannot know all the impacts and options until we see how this legal measure is implemented and enforced. The future and the reputation of responsible breeders is too important to threaten with premature responses based on emotion and partial information.

We will continue to study the final rule and potential impacts carefully, as well as a variety of...

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Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
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2013 Legislation Tracking
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