The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs reports that late-night budget talks in the House last...
The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs reports that late-night budget talks in the House last week resulted in yet another change to Rep. Kujawksi's proposed breeder amendment. The final budget bill that was sent to the Senate for consideration now requires regulation for those who breed and sell more than five litters of puppies or kittens per year. Please see previous posting below for additional details.
While this change means that fewer hobby breeders will be immediately impacted by the legislation, it continues to set a dangerous precedent that will gradually chip away at responsible breeders' rights. Fanciers are therefore urged to keep up their opposition efforts. Please see below for how you can help stop this intrusive legislation!
MA Breeder Amendment Moving Quickly-Help Needed!
[April 29, 2004]
On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Kujawski's last-minute budget bill amendment to regulate breeders was approved by the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The budget bill now moves to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for consideration. Amended on the House floor, the language now requires:
- Any breeder or breeder's organization who breeds and sells more than three litters (rather than one litter as previously proposed) of puppies or kittens per year to register with the Department of Agriculture Resources and report the sale of such animals to the department.
- Registered breeders to report the name and address of the buyer and the date of such sale.
- The Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules and regulations at the earliest possible convenience to insure compliance.
Failure to comply will result in a fine of $500 for each failure to report a birth of an animal and $500 for each sale of an animal.
These regulations will be extremely costly, time-consuming and difficult for the Department of Agriculture to enforce. They will hurt responsible breeders who do a service to the pet-buying public by providing them with quality puppies and dogs. While these individuals will be overly-burdened and perhaps forced to abandon their breeding programs, irresponsible breeders will continue to thwart compliance. Massachusetts fanciers must act quickly to stop this costly, ineffective bill!
What You Can Do:
- All Massachusetts fanciers should contact their state Senator TODAY and ask him or her to oppose the breeder regulation provisions of the budget bill. To find out who your Senator is, visit http://www.state.ma.us/legis/sendis03.htm or http://www.state.ma.us/legis/citytown.htm or http://maps.massgis.state.ma.us/legisdistrict/pages/main.jsp.
- If your Senator is listed below as a member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, your phone call, letter or e-mail is especially important.
Senate Ways and Means Committee
State House #212
Boston, MA 02133
Sen. Therese Murray (D) [Chair]
Sen. Steven Panagiotakos (D) [Vice Chair]
Sen. Robert A. Antonioni (D)
Sen. Stephen M. Brewer (D)
Sen. Susan C. Fargo (D)
Sen. Michael R. Knapik (R)
Sen. David P. Magnani (D)
Sen. Michael W. Morrissey (D)
Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo (D)
Sen. Marc R. Pacheco (D)
Sen. Pam Resor (D)
Sen. Charles E. Shannon (D)
Sen. Jo Ann Sprague (R)
Sen. Richard R. Tisei (R)
Sen. Steven Tolman (D)
Sen. Dianne Wilkerson (D)
Other Points to Consider:
- The US Congress defined commercial breeder in the Animal Welfare Act as persons who derive a substantial portion of their income from the sale of dogs and cats for pets.
- The federal government did not intend to cover non-commercial hobby or show breeders under the Animal Welfare Act. States, therefore, should follow the direction of the federal government and exempt hobby and show breeders for whom the sale of dogs and cats is secondary to their fancier breeding activity.
- Hobby breeding is not a business--it is an avocation that families begin because they love their animals and want to improve their breed. Most will be forced out of the sport under the burden of the proposed regulations.
- Small-scale breeders are often better able to give the individual care and human contact that each puppy needs in order to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted companion and neighbor.
- Small-scale breeders often have more time to screen potential dog owners, and to educate them about responsible dog ownership.
- In many ways, hobbyists are already regulated by consumers who visit the small breeder's property to inspect the care conditions and personally interview the breeder.
The purebred dog fancy is extremely interested in developing fair and effective animal control laws, as well as bolstering public education efforts to promote responsible dog ownership. To help achieve these goals, the fancy will assist the community in any way possible. This may include serving on or starting animal control advisory boards to monitor animal-related problems and develop reasonable solutions, and volunteering time and resources to help start or improve public education campaigns to teach responsible dog ownership.