Urgent help is needed from Massachusetts dog owners regarding a proposed budget amendment that will...
Urgent help is needed from Massachusetts dog owners regarding a proposed budget amendment that will negatively affect responsible breeders. The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs reports that having been unsuccessful at pushing through an onerous commercial breeder licensing bill (H4537), Rep. Paul Kujawski plans to introduce an amendment to the House budget bill on April 26th.
The amendment will:
- Require any breeder or breeder's organization who breeds and sells more than one litter of puppies or kittens per year to register with the Department of Agriculture Resources and report the sale of such animals to the department.
- Require registered breeders to report the name and address of the buyer and the date of such sale.
- Require the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations at the earliest possible convenience to insure compliance.
Failure to comply will result in a fine of $500 for each failure to report a birth of an animal and $500 for each sale of an animal.
This amendment will unfairly punish caring, responsible breeders in Massachusetts who contribute healthy, well-socialized puppies and kittens to the pet-buying public. Irresponsible breeders who do not comply with existing laws will not comply with new legislation. At the same time, responsible individuals will be unduly burdened with these bureaucratic regulations.
Other Points to Consider:
- The US Congress defined "commercial breeder" in the Animal Welfare Act as "persons who derive a substantial portion of their income from the sale of dogs and cats for pets."
- The federal government did not intend to cover non-commercial hobby or show breeders under the Animal Welfare Act. States, therefore, should follow the direction of the federal government and exempt hobby and show breeders for whom the sale of dogs and cats is secondary to their fancier breeding activity.
- Hobby breeding is not a business--it is an avocation that families begin because they love their animals and want to improve their breed. Most will be forced out of the sport under the burden of the proposed regulations.
- Small-scale breeders are often better able to give the individual care and human contact that each puppy needs in order to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted companion and neighbor.
- Small-scale breeders often have more time to screen potential dog owners, and to educate them about responsible dog ownership.
What You Can Do:
Immediately contact the Speaker of the House as well as your own Representative and ask them to oppose this amendment. There is no time to lose!
The Honorable Thomas Finneran
Speaker of the House
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Room 356, State House
Boston, MA 02133
To find out who your representative is, visit http://www.state.ma.us/legis/citytown.htm or http://maps.massgis.state.ma.us/legisdistrict/pages/main.jsp.
For more information, contact:
Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners
AKC's Canine Legislation department