Taking Command
February 2014
2014 AKC Legislative Conference Offers Tools and Training to Fight Anti-Dog Legislation
AKC Legislative Liaisons from around the country gathered for the 2nd American Kennel Club Legislative Conference to discuss the strategies and tools necessary to fight anti-dog legislation.

The conference, held January 25-26, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina, provided Legislative Liaisons, representatives of AKC-affiliated federations, and AKC club leaders an opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss what was working in their states and communities and share lessons learned with fellow dog advocates from across the United States.


AKC Legislative Liaisons, federation representatives, and club leaders attended the 2014 AKC Legislative Conference in Raleigh, NC. Phil Guidry, AKC GR Senior Policy Analyst, discusses bill language. Photo by Robert Young ©AKC.
Now Available — Canine Legislative Support Fund Educational Grants
Has your club been invited to participate in a public education event on proper care and humane treatment of dogs? Is your federation planning a lobby day at the state capitol? Are students at a local veterinary college interested in learning about responsible breeding practices? You have the opportunity, you have the volunteers, but perhaps the cost of renting booth space, printing materials, or developing a presentation is an obstacle.

Good news! Your AKC club or AKC-affiliated federation may be eligible for a grant of up to $500 to assist with the expenses of developing, administering, and presenting an educational program or event.

Congress Passes Farm Bill with Two Improvements to the Animal Welfare Act
The American Kennel Club (AKC) lauds the US Congress for passing a new five-year Farm Bill that addresses some of the AKC’s concerns regarding recent regulatory changes to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by the USDA/APHIS Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions rule.

AKC outlined to Farm Bill negotiators from the Senate and House Agriculture committees that although the intent of the changes to the rule was to regulate large-scale breeders and Internet pet sellers, it also would have required some small hobby breeders who maintain more than four “breeding females” and transfer an occasional dog sight unseen, to be licensed and regulated as commercial pet dealers. The regulation also would have required small hobby breeders who provide foster homes for rescue dogs to be licensed as commercial breeders if they maintain more than four female dogs and occasionally use an intermediary to transfer a foster dog to its new home.

New in the GR Toolbox: Updated State Economic Impact Statistics and AKC Position
AKC GR is pleased to announce that updated information is now available in the online AKC Government Relations Toolbox:

AKC GR’s State Economic Impact Statistics have been updated and are available as downloadable flyers. Click here, then click on your state for information on the number of AKC clubs, events, entries, and potential spending by exhibitors at events in your state.

From Our Nation's Capitol
The AKC Government Relations team continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners. Visit our 2014 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
Forty state legislatures and the District of Columbia are in regular session and bills have been prefiled in four states. More than 1,200 state bills that could impact dogs and dog ownership have been filed or carried over from 2013. For the latest information on state and federal bills being tracked by AKC GR, visit the 2014 Legislative 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
What's New from GR
Already, 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year.  On January 25-26th, the AKC welcomed state Federation Leaders and Legislative Liaisons from around the country to Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2014 AKC Legislative Conference. Enthusiastic attendees used this opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences in the legislative trenches—as well as to learn new tips, trends and strategies from AKC staff, animal advocates, legislators and other experts.

More recently, we’ve welcomed big news on the federal front. The 2013 federal Farm Bill (HR 2642), which was signed by President Obama earlier this month, contains language that reduces the number of small/hobby breeders subject to USDA licensing and regulations under the 2013 APHIS retail pet store rule. The measure exempts breeders who maintain more than 4 “breeding females” but do not transfer more than an occasional pet or rescue/foster animal sight unseen to a new home. 

Farm Bill report language also directs USDA to clarify that the term “breeding female” means only females capable of reproduction and actively being used in a breeding program.  This will enable breeders to keep older unspayed females or young females they are growing out without fear of triggering federal licensing requirements. More information is available on the AKC GR Regulatory Resources page.

This edition of Taking Command includes information about the new AKC Canine Legislation Support Fund Educational Grants that AKC clubs and federations can apply for, updated 2013 economic impact information, and updated AKC canine legislation policy position statements.

With 40 state legislatures currently in session, the AKC GR team is more dedicated than ever to helping defend the future of dogs and responsible dog ownership in your state and your community.

Contact Us
Phone: (919) 816-3720
Email: doglaw@akc.org
Government Relations
Legislative Alerts
2014 Legislation Tracking
GR Toolbox

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