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/Regulation – HR 2642 (The 2013 “Farm Bill” and Farm Bill Conference Report) which was signed by the President on February 7, provides two changes negotiated by AKC that reduce the number of small hobby breeders subject to federal regulation as pet dealers under the USDA APHIS Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions rule: 1) It exempts small hobby breeders who maintain more than four “breeding females” but do not transfer more than a “de minimis” (minimal) number of pets sight unseen. 2) The conference report also directs APHIS to clarify the term “breeding female” to mean only those female animals capable of reproduction and actively being used in a breeding program should qualify as breeding females. By including only those animals currently part of an active breeder program, breeders will be able to maintain retired intact females or grow out young females without fear of triggering federal licensing requirements. In each instance, USDA APHIS is directed to prepare specific regulations that further address these issues.
Federal/Congress –H.R. 2066 / S.1710 ) (“Pets on Trains Act of 2013”) – These bills, supported by AKC GR, 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. Passengers could 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. H.R. 2066 is pending in the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, & Hazardous Materials. S.1710 is pending in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.