Florida: Oppose Bill Seeking to Put Negative Attributes on Purebred Dogs

Florida Senate Bill 122, sponsored by Senator Larcenia Bullard, will be considered by the Florida...

Florida Senate Bill 122, sponsored by Senator Larcenia Bullard, will be considered by the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, April 7th, at 9:00 AM.  The bill seeks to require pet dealers to provide purchasers with written notices that impugn the genetic health of purebred dogs and increases fines to unreasonable amounts.  The American Kennel Club and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs both oppose SB 122. It is imperative that all concerned Floridians contact the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee; respectfully let them know that you, as a responsible purebred dog breeder or owner in Florida, oppose SB 122 and urge them to do the same.

The American Kennel Club believes that breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized puppies.  Responsible breeders are expected to give careful consideration to health issues, temperament, and genetic screening, as well as to the individual care and placement of puppies in responsible homes.  AKC supports and promotes these and other responsible breeding practices through breeders’ education programs, and commends those who offer similar guidance.

A verbatim copy of 2009’s SB 288, SB 122 will:

  • Require all "pet dealers"–described as all those who sell 20 or more dogs per year, including dog breeders who sell dogs directly to consumers–to add the following statement to the written notices already required to be given to consumers at the time of sale: "Dogs and cats are susceptible to more than 300 genetic disorders. Certain breeds may be predisposed to certain health problems. Therefore, it is recommended you get a scientific screening test for your dog or cat to help you identify a number of genetic diseases."   The American Kennel Club believes that this statement is an indictment of purebred dogs, and strongly opposes its inclusion in state law.  As a matter of course, the AKC encourages all new dog purchasers to have their dogs examined by a state-licensed veterinarian in a timely manner.
     
  • Increase administrative fines for violations of the entire section regarding "Dogs and cats transported or offered for sale" (828.29) and any rule of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services up to $10,000 per offense. Additionally, second or subsequent violations will be made subject to the provisions of Florida's Administrative Procedure Act.  Because of the drastic increase in financial penalties and because SB 122 does not provide "pet dealers" the opportunity to correct potential violations, the American Kennel Club believes that these provisions of SN 122 are unreasonable and must be opposed.
     
  • Require an additional appropriation from Florida's General Revenue Fund of $82,669 to carry out the provisions of SB 122.  The American Kennel Club believes that, if enacted, this added cost would be detrimental to Florida's current critical budget shortfall, which is estimated to be $4.6 billion.  The AKC believes these funds could be better used to help fund critical programs such as public education.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

Concerned Floridians should contact members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who will consider SB 122 on Wednesday, April 7, (9:00 AM, in room 37-S at the Capitol in Tallahassee).  Let them know that you oppose SB 122, and urge them to do the same.


Senator Charles S. "Charlie" Dean, Sr., Chair (Majority Whip)
311 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5017 
E-MAIL: dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov


Senator Larcenia J. Bullard, Vice Chair 
218 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5127
E-MAIL: bullard.larcenia.web@flsenate.gov


Senator Dave Aronberg
405 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5356
E-MAIL: aronberg.dave.web@flsenate.gov


Senator Cary Baker
316 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5014
E-MAIL: baker.carey.web@flsenate.gov


Senator Durell Peaden, Jr. 
406 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5000
E-MAIL: peaden.durell.web@flsenate.gov


Also copy Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater on your letters of opposition.

Senator Jeff Atwater
312 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
PHONE: (850) 487-5100
E-MAIL: atwater.jeff.web@flsenate.gov


For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org; or contact the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs at Mikahkid2@aol.com.