AKC Taking Command - a publication of the AKC Government Relations Department
April 2014
Federal Issues: 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/Regulation — The “Farm Bill” (HR.2642) and Farm Bill Conference Report passed by Congress and signed by the President earlier this year provide two changes negotiated by AKC to reduce the number of small hobby breeders subject to federal regulation as pet dealers under the US Animal Welfare Act as amended by the 2013 Retail Pet Store Rule. It directs USDA APHIS to prepare specific new rules that exempt small breeders who maintain more than four “breeding females” but do not transfer more than a “de minimis” (minimal) number of pets sight unseen. The conference report further 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. AKC GR is actively monitoring USDA APHIS action on this front.

Federal/Congress H.R. 2066 / S.1710 (“Pets on Trains Act of 2013”), 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. 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.

Federal/Congress S.950/ H.R.1528 amend the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit a veterinarian who is registered to manufacture or distribute controlled substances from being required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than the veterinarian's principal place of business or professional practice, as long as the dispensing site is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice. Both measures are pending in committee.