Update: Illinois HB 5771 Will Not Be Heard Tomorrow, Feb. 23

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has just learned that Illinois House Bill...

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has just learned that Illinois House Bill 5771, which seeks to impose both government oversight over most responsible dog breeders and litter limits, has been removed from tomorrow’s agenda of the Illinois House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

The Government Relations Department will report new developments regarding HB 5771 as they become available.

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

Illinois Bill Seeks to Regulate Most Dog Breeders, Restrict Litters

Illinois House Bill 5771, introduced by Representative Susana A. Mendoza of Chicago, seeks to greatly expand the State’s oversight of most dog breeders in Illinois. In addition to licensing and care and conditions requirements, the bill also seeks to restrict the breeding of dogs. The bill will be considered by the Illinois House Agriculture and Conservation Committee on Tuesday, February 23. The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes portions of this bill. We encourage all concerned dog breeders and owners in Illinois to attend tomorrow’s hearing in opposition to the objectionable provisions, or contact the committee members listed below and urge them to address your concerns.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

While we commend Representative Mendoza’s interest in addressing the care and conditions that dogs receive in Illinois, the AKC is concerned by several provisions of HB 5771. They include:

  • Defining "dog breeder" as any person who owns, has possession of, or harbors six or more female dogs capable of reproduction for the purpose of the sale of their offspring. This definition, along with a new definition of "commercial dog breeder", requires the great majority of responsible dog breeders to come under compliance of the Act. Based on the current wording, this could even include breeders of one litter with five female puppies. The AKC believes that this attempt at overseeing the operations of most responsible dog breeders is unreasonable; and because of the volume of potential licenses, will be unenforceable.
     
  • Requiring that all licensees provide adequate rest between breeding cycles for female dogs being bred, which means, at a minimum, ensuring that the dogs are not bred to produce more than two litters in any 18 month period. This limitation is arbitrary and does not take into consideration health considerations of the dog. It also would put the state in charge of issues that are best left to the specialized expertise of veterinary health care providers. The AKC believes a better alternative is to remove this limitation, ensuring that individual health care decisions for a dog are made by the dog’s owner and its veterinarian.
     
  • Mandating excessive kennel engineering standards including specific indoor and outdoor space requirements. While laudable for their desired end result, strict kennel engineering standards can be unreasonably costly, difficult for individuals to comply with, and they do not necessarily achieve the goal of improved living standards for dogs. The AKC recommends that performance-based standards that provide breeders some leeway in determining how they can best achieve the desired outcomes are more reasonable, less costly, easier to comply with, and more likely to achieve success.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

It is imperative that concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Illinois contact the members of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee. Respectfully urge them to not move HB 5771 forward without addressing the concerns highlighted above.


Illinois House Agriculture and Conservation Committee


Representative Brandon W. Phelps, Chair
275-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5131
(217) 557-0521 FAX
bphelps@yourclearwave.com


Representative Patrick J. Verschoore, Vice-Char
259-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5970
(217) 557-1253 FAX
pverschoore@qconline.com


Representative Jim Sacia, Republican Spokesperson
210-N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8186
(217) 558-7016 FAX
JimSacia@aeroinc.net


Representative John D. Cavaletto
228-N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0066
(217) 782-1336 FAX
(No e-mail available. Please call Rep. Cavaletto’s office with concerns.)


Representative Shane Cultra
230-N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-4090
(217) 558-3491 FAX
shanecultra105@yahoo.com


Representative Lisa M. Dugan
224-W Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5981
(217) 558-4553 FAX
lisadugan@sbcglobal.net


Representative Robert F. Flider
253-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8398
(217) 782-2528 FAX
bobflider@repflider.com


Representative Mary E. Flowers
251-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4207
(217) 782-1130 FAX
flowersme@ilga.gov


Representative Julie Hamos
256-W Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8052
(217) 557-7204 FAX
julie@staterephamos.org


Representative Donald L. Moffitt
223-N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8032
(217) 557-0179 FAX
moffitt@grics.net


Representative Richard P. Myers
200-7N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0416
(217) 782-5257 FAX
repmyers@macomb.com


Representative David Reis
200-2N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2087
(217) 557-0530 FAX
david@davidreis.org


Representative Dan Reitz
200-9S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1018
(217) 782-0945 FAX
repreitz@egyptian.net


Concerned dog breeders and owners are encouraged to attend tomorrow’s committee hearing in opposition to the unreasonable provisions highlighted above. The meeting details are:

Illinois House Agriculture and Conservation Committee
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Room 122B
Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

 

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