The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has learned that the Ohio General Assembly...
The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has learned that the Ohio General Assembly (which comprises both the House of Representatives and State Senate) has gone on summer recess. At this time, legislative leadership has not announced with the Assembly will reconvene to consider bills.
Currently, Senate Bill 95 is ready for action by the State Senate. If the Senate should pass the bill after the summer recess, it will then move to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.
We encourage all Ohioans to use this time to contact your State Senator and Representative to express any thoughts or concerns you may have about Senate Bill 95. Scroll down to view our previous Legislative Alert and learn more about this bill.
To find the contact information for your state legislators, visit the Ohio General Assembly’s web site. Select both the House and Senate boxes in the "Locating Legislators" section, select "Zip Code", and type your Zip Code in the box where indicated.
The AKC will provide more updates as they become available. Check the AKC Government Relations web site or contact us at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ohio Update: Breeder Bill Ready for Senate Consideration
[Friday, June 04, 2010]
The Ohio Senate State & Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 95, which seeks to regulate dog breeding in Ohio. The bill also establishes licensing and standards of care for "high volume breeders", which is defined as those who produce at least 9 litters of puppies and sell at least 60 puppies and/or adult dogs per year.
The AKC applauds Chairman Jim Hughes (sponsor of SB 95) and the committee for the extensive amendments made to the bill which, among other provisions, ensure breeder representation on the new Kennel Control Authority Board and remove the limits on breeding ages. Several concerns remain, however, including:
- Unclear definition of "kennel" – As currently written, a "kennel" is defined as any establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult dogs (1+ years old) for the purpose of breeding the dogs for a fee. "High volume breeders" are exempt from this definition. This vague definition of kennel could potentially allow counties to require a license for anyone who owns intact dogs, as it is very difficult to prove whether or not a dog is being kept for breeding, and there is no threshold on the number of dogs sold.
- Problematic standards of care – High volume breeders must ensure their enclosures meet a size requirement that is based on the weight of the dog, rather than height. As a result, a dog could be required by law to be kept in a cage that is too small. High volume breeders must also keep their kennels between 50 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with no consideration for the needs of different breeds and ages of dogs.
In addition, the bill creates a new board to oversee implementation and inspections, which the Ohio Legislative Service Commission reports will likely cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the amount the state receives in licensing fees. The bill’s fiscal note bases its estimation of licensing revenue on inaccurate definitions and assumptions, and may not accurately project the number of people who will be licensed under this bill. As a result, this bill could result in significant costs to Ohio taxpayers.
The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs and the strict enforcement of existing Ohio laws regarding cruelty to animals (§959.13) and prohibitions concerning domestic animals (§959.131), which already prohibit the appalling conditions and treatment supporters of SB 95 seek to regulate.
The AKC believes that any attempts at further regulation must be carefully constructed to ensure that the laws are reasonable, enforceable, and not a violation of the rights of responsible dog breeders.
How You Can Help:
- Contact your Ohio State Senator and respectfully communicate your concerns and feedback regarding Senate Bill 95. To find the names of your legislators and their contact information, call (800) 282-0253 or type in your zip code at http://www.ohiosenate.gov.
For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail email@example.com.