Oklahoma Breeders Bills to be Considered on Wednesday, March 24

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1340 and Senate Bill 1712, which seek to provide state oversight over certain...

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1340 and Senate Bill 1712, which seek to provide state oversight over certain dog breeders, will be considered by the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, March 24.  We strongly urge all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Oklahoma to consider the provisions of the bills (described below), and to contact their elected officials with their concerns.

The American Kennel Club’s mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC agrees that kennels with deplorable conditions must never be tolerated. However, we also support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.

Senate Bill 1340

Known as the "Kennel Definitions Act", SB 1340 seeks to:

  • Define "commercial breeder" as a person, other than a hobby or show breeder engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for monetary consideration, and who harbors more than 25 intact females for the primary purpose of breeding animals for sale either through the internet or via brokers or directly to the public or directly to pet stores.  Commercial breeders must be USDA certified and following the guidelines of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and shall meet or exceed all requirements of animal care and welfare specified in Sb 1340.
     
  • Define "hobby breeder" as a noncommercial breeder who harbors less than 25 intact females for the primary purpose of breeding animals for sale either through the internet or directly to the public.  Hobby breeders are required to meet or exceed all requirements of animal care and welfare specified in SB 1340.
     
  • Define "hobby show breeder" as a noncommercial breeder who breeds animals with the primary purpose of exhibiting or show the animals at state or municipal or county or registry club-sanction events or shows, improving the breed, or selling the animals for the specific goals of exhibition or exhibiting, and having no more than 10 intact females.  Hobby show breeders are required to meet or exceed all requirements of animal care and welfare specified in SB 1340.
     
  • Provide that while hobby or show breeders are exempt from inspection requirements, they must register annually, at no cost, with the Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture for the purpose of establishing that they are hobby or show breeders.
     
  • Require commercial, hobby, and hobby show breeders to adhere to significant, costly building requirements for indoor housing facilities.
     
  • Impose vague consumer protection provisions for puppy buyers.
     
  • Designate violators as a "puppy mill" without doing anything for the tangible benefit of dogs kept in substandard facilities.


Senate Bill 1712

SB 1712 will create the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to enforce and administer the provisions of the Act; and will adopt rules establishing license fees, procedures and requirements for license application and renewal, conditions under which licenses are revoked or denied, and qualifications for registered breeder inspectors. The Board will also be required to establish minimum standards for proper veterinary care, treatment, feeding and watering, shelter and confinement, grooming, exercise, socialization, transportation, disposition of dogs, and other standards it deems necessary to protect the public health and the health and welfare of animals. Additionally, the Board will maintain a public directory of licensed commercial pet breeders.

Should SB 1712 be enacted as currently written, those with 11 or more intact female dogs will be required to be licensed. Licensees will be subject to:

  • Pre-licensure inspection of facilities, the undetermined cost of which must be paid by the license applicant.
     
  • At least one inspection annually, during normal business hours but without advanced notice, of each facility kept by the licensee.
     
  • Inspections based on written complaints received by the Board.
     
  • License display requirements at the licensed facility.
     
  • License number disclosure requirements on advertisements, sales contracts, and transfer agreements.
     
  • Annual reporting requirements.
     
  • Record-keeping requirements for each dog maintained in a licensee’s facility.


Under the bill, the Board is required to adopt all rules by November 1, 2010, and licensees are required to come into compliance by January 1, 2011. Licensees who violate the act may have their license revoked, and be subject to a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or a year in jail. Those who interfere with an inspector would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or two years in jail.

Both SB 1340 and SB 1712 will undoubtedly prove costly to enforce at a time when Oklahoma is expected to experience a $1.2 billion shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year budget that begins on July 1.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concerned Oklahoma residents are also urged to contact the committee members listed below.  Respectfully let them know your concerns with the bills. 


Oklahoma House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee


Representative Daniel Sullivan, Chair
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 435
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7361
danielsullivan@okhouse.gov


Representative Randy McDaniel, Vice- Chair
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 302-B
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7409
randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov


Representative John Auffet
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 539-B
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7394
johnauffet@okhouse.gov


Representative George Faught
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 301-A
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7310
george.faught@okhouse.gov


Representative Guy Liebmann
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 331
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7357 
guyliebmann@okhouse.gov


Representative Lewis H. Moore
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 329-A
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7400
lewis.moore@okhouse.gov


Representative Pat Ownbey
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 301
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7326
pat.ownbey@okhouse.gov


Representative Mike Shelton
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 508
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7367
mikeshelton@okhouse.gov


Representative John Carey
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 542
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7366
johncarey@okhouse.gov


Representative Charles Key
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 405
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7354
charles.key@okhouse.gov


Representative Skye McNiel
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 300-A
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7353
skye.mcniel@okhouse.gov


Representative Danny Morgan
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 548
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7368
dannymorgan@okhouse.gov


Representative Ron Peters
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 328
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7359
ronpeters@okhouse.gov


Representative Jabar Shumate
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 510
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7406
jabarshumate@okhouse.gov


Oklahoma’s responsible dog breeders are also encouraged to attend Wednesday’s meeting of the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee:
 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
10:30 AM
Room 412C
Oklahoma Capitol
2300 North Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
 

Click here for tips on Communicating Effectively With Legislators.

Click here for AKC’s talking points on Responsible Breeding Practices.


For more information, contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org; or contact the Oklahoma Animal Interest Alliance at oaiasec@gmail.com