This Thursday, April 22, marks the important "3rd reading" deadline for Oklahoma...
This Thursday, April 22, marks the important "3rd reading" deadline for Oklahoma legislation. All bills that already passed their house of origin and were transferred to the other legislative chamber must be read for the third time and debated in that chamber by the end of the day Thursday. This is a key deadline for several bills of concern to responsible dog breeders in Oklahoma. As the 3rd reading deadline approaches, the American Kennel Club strongly urges 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.
Senate Bill 1340
SB 1340 has passed the Oklahoma Senate and is currently under consideration by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. 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.
SB 1340 is currently awaiting 3rd reading and may be considered soon by the House of Representatives. Click here to find the name and contact information for your Oklahoma Representative.
Senate Bill 1712
Also under consideration by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, 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.
SB 1712 is also currently awaiting 3rd reading and may be considered soon by the House of Representatives. Click here to find the name and contact information for your Oklahoma Representative.
House Bill 2745
Known as the Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act, HB 2745 seeks to create a voluntary program to oversee dog breeding operations in Oklahoma. The bill passed the House of Representatives on March 1, 2010; however, the State Senate voted against the bill today by a vote of 19-27.
The Senate sponsor of HB 2745, Senator Patrick Anderson, has requested that the bill be reconsidered for another vote. Click here to find the contact information for your Oklahoma State Senator.
For the latest developments with Oklahoma legislation, contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or contact the Oklahoma Animal Interest Alliance at email@example.com.