Troublesome Massachusetts Bills Scheduled for Upcoming Hearings – ACTION NEEDED!

Massachusetts residents, take action now! AKC Government Relations has learned that House Bill 1080 and Senate Bill 1155, which seek to be impose regulatory oversight over personal and commercial kennels, mandate annual inspections of all kennels, and create consumer protections laws is scheduled for consideration by the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Monday, October 9, 2017

AKC Government Relations has learned that House Bill 1080 and Senate Bill 1155, which seek to be impose regulatory oversight over personal and commercial kennels, mandate annual inspections of all kennels, and create consumer protections laws is scheduled for consideration by the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.  If enacted as currently written, these bills would onerously impact all responsible dog breeders in Massachusetts, including owners of personal kennels.  Both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed) oppose H.1080 and S.1155. 

TAKE ACTION NOW!  It is imperative that concerned breeders and owners in Massachusetts as well as AKC-affiliated dog club representatives attend the October 17th hearing, as well as contact the members of the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee prior to the hearing, and respectfully express opposition to H.1080 and S.1155. 

H.1080 and S.1155 are the most current versions of bills that have been considered over the past two sessions of the Massachusetts legislature.  While previous versions contained fairer provisions that had been negotiated by a cross-section of animal interest groups under the direction of the General Court, the current version of the bills feature many troublesome provisions that were originally proposed years ago. 

Problematic provisions of H.1080 and S.1155 would:

Require the Department of Agricultural Resources to create extensive commercial-type rules and regulations for both commercial breeder kennels and personal kennels where at least five intact female dogs or cats are kept to breed and sell offspring as household pets.  To be largely based on the American Veterinary Medical Association model commercial breeder regulations (which are designed for high-volume dog retailers), these new rules would specifically include legislative mandates for solid flooring in primary enclosures and prohibit any stacking of cages. 

Mandate the annual inspection of all kennels (both personal and professional) and provide guidelines for when, where, and how inspections may take place.  The bills provide either for timeframes for kennel operators to come into compliance on noncompliant issues discovered during an inspection, or allow inspectors to summarily revoke or suspend a license, depending on the severity of an offense. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
All concerned breeders and owners in Massachusetts, as well as AKC-affiliated dog club representatives, are strongly encouraged to attend the October 17th hearing of the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee. They should also contact the members of committee prior to the hearing, and respectfully express opposition to H.1080 and S.1155.  Use the talking points above, as well as MassFed’s position paper for talking points against both H.080 and S.1155. 

Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee

State Senator Michael O. Moore, Senate Chair
Phone: 617-722-1485
Fax: 617-722-1066
Michael.Moore@masenate.gov

State Senator Walter F. Timilty, Senate Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-1643
Walter.Timilty@masenate.gov

State Senator Julian Cyr
Phone: 617-722-1570
julian.cyr@masenate.gov

State Senator Eileen M. Donoghue
Phone: 617-722-1630
Fax: 617-722-1001
Eileen.Donoghue@masenate.gov

State Senator Adam G. Hinds
Phone: (617) 722-1625
Fax: (617) 722-1523
adam.hinds@masenate.gov

State Senator Patrick M. O’Connor
Phone: 617-722-1646
Patrick.OConnor@masenate.gov

State Representative James J. O’Day, House Chair
Phone: 617-722-2090
Fax: 617-626-0884
James.O'Day@mahouse.gov 

State Representative Thomas M. Stanley, House Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-2230
Thomas.Stanley@mahouse.gov

State Representative Paul R. Heroux
Phone: 617-722-2090
Fax: 617-626-0335
Paul.Heroux@mahouse.gov

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy
Phone: 617-722-2430
Fax: 617-626-0279
Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov

State Representative Jay D. Livingstone
Phone: 617-722-2013
Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov

State Representative Michelle M. DuBois
Phone: 617-722-2011
michelle.dubois@mahouse.gov

State Representative Stephen Hay
Phone: 617-722-2637
Stephan.Hay@mahouse.gov

State Representative Dylan Fernandes
Phone: 617-722-2430
Dylan.Fernandes@mahouse.gov

State Representative Brian Murray
Phone: 617-722-2460
Brian.Murray@mahouse.gov

State Representative Donald H. Wong
Phone: 617-722-2488
Fax: 617-626-0299
Donald.Wong@mahouse.gov

State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr. 
Phone: 617-722-2240
David.Muradian@mahouse.gov

Hearing information: The Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government is expected to meet on Tuesday, October 17, at 1PM, in Room 222 at the State House in Boston, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133. 

AKC Government Relations (AKCGR) thanks Charlotte McGowan for the committee hearing information and her ongoing efforts against this legislation.  AKC GR will continue to provide updates on these bills, as well as other pending Massachusetts legislation.  For more information, contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org, or contact MassFed at www.massfeddogs.org.