Oklahoma Update: Still Time to Call Senators!

The American Kennel Club has learned that the Oklahoma Senate has approved Senate Bill 1712 by a...

The American Kennel Club has learned that the Oklahoma Senate has approved Senate Bill 1712 by a vote of 29-17.  However, the Senate now has 36 hours to reconsider its vote.  It is vital that all concerned responsible dog breeders in Oklahoma call their State Senator today.  Respectfully oppose the Senate’s attempt at quickly moving the amended bill without public comment, and express your concerns with the bill. 


Recap:

In a quick parliamentary action late yesterday, Oklahoma SB 1712 was further amended to expand government regulation of anyone who breeds dogs or cats and who owns more than 11 intact females of either species.  The bill’s vague definition of commercial breeder includes no time frame, which means it will require anyone who owns or co-owns more than 11 intact females over 6 months of age and has ever bred a dog or cat, even if they are not currently breeding their animals, to be licensed as a commercial breeder.  The amended bill does not exempt sportsmen, and will also require many of those who maintain hunting dogs to license their hobby kennels as commercial enterprises.


Bill Summary:

Known as the "Commercial Pet Breeders Act", 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, owners or co-owners of 11 or more intact female dogs will be required to be licensed as commercial breeders, regardless of whether those animals are being bred.  Licensees will be subject to:

  • Pre-licensure inspection of facilities, the undetermined cost of which must be paid by the license applicant.
     
  • Separate licenses for each premise, even if fewer than 11 intact females are kept at each.
     
  • At least one inspection annually, during normal business hours but without advanced notice, of each facility kept by the licensee.
     
  • Additional 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.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Oklahoma are strongly urged to contact their elected Representative and respectfully express your concerns with the bill.
     
  • Click here to find the name and contact information for your Oklahoma Senator.
     
  • Click here for a sample e-mail/script that you can customize and send to, or use when calling, your Senator.

 

For more information, contact the AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.