AKC Taking Command - a publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
January 2014
From Our Nation's Capitol

The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2014 Legislation 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 addressing on the federal level include:

Federal Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWA) — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a final rule regarding "Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions" which went into effect on November 18, 2013. The rule requires USDA licensing of certain breeders who maintain more than 4 "breeding females" and who sell pets sight unseen. AKC GR continues to seek clarification regarding a number of exemptions and other provisions of the rule. Visit AKC GR's online Regulations Resource Page for additional information, including information on exemptions and exclusions, history, AKC’s comments, and links to USDA/APHIS resources.

The Puppy Uniform Protection & Safety Act (PUPS) (H.847 / S.395 ) — The bills would require owners or co-owners of female dogs that collectively produce 50 or more puppies that are sold in a 12-month period to be subject to USDA regulations designed for large-scale wholesale dog dealers and breeders. Anyone meeting that criteria would be required to obtain an annual USDA license, maintain standards of care designed for commercial breeding facilities, and undergo regular inspections at least biennially. AKC GR has expressed a number of grave concerns with the measure, including the definition of a "breeding female" as an intact female of 4 months or older. AKC is working to educate legislators about specific problems with the bill. The bills have been assigned to their respective Agriculture committees, and have not been scheduled for a hearing.

The “Pets on Trains Act” (H.R. 2066 / S.1710 ) — These bills would require Amtrak, when feasible, to designate at least one car where passengers may transport a dog or cat if the pet is in a kennel that can be stowed according to Amtrak's requirements for carry-on baggage and the passenger is travelling less than 750 miles. The bills would also allow passengers to transport dogs or cats as cargo if the pets are in a kennel, the cargo area is temperature controlled, and the passenger is travelling less than 750 miles. Passengers would be required to pay a fee to transport their pets on trains. AKC GR supports these bills. H.R. 2066 is pending in the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. S.1710 is pending in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Read more about this legislation.