Urgent Texas Alert: Breeder Bill Advances - Contact Your Representative TODAY! April 8, 2011...
Urgent Texas Alert: Breeder Bill Advances - Contact Your Representative TODAY!
[April 8, 2011]
The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has just learned that House Bill 1451, which seeks to establish extensive regulations for dog breeders, has been rushed through committee and will likely be considered by the House of Representatives any day. It is imperative that all responsible dog owners and breeders in Texas contact their State Representative and ask them to oppose House Bill 1451.
The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. However, as currently written, House Bill 1451 imposes numerous regulations that would not improve the health and welfare of dogs, but would violate the rights of responsible breeders at great expense to Texas taxpayers.
As amended by the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee, House Bill 1451 contains numerous provisions of concern, including, but not limited to:
- Broad, vague definition of "dog or cat breeder" -- As currently written, this is defined as anyone who owns 11 or more intact females over 6 months of age and "is engaged in the business of breeding..." Since there is no time frame, this could apply to anyone who has owned a total of 11 or more intact females over 6 months of age at any time, even if they are not currently breeding their animals. The bill states that it is presumed an intact female is kept for the purpose of breeding unless the owner can prove based on breeding records or other evidence that they are not breeding. This means that a person would be required to get a license and be subject to unannounced inspections of their private homes unless they can prove to the satisfaction of the state that they are not, in fact, breeding dogs or cats for sale.
- Establishment of licensing regulations and fees by rule -- The license fees and many other provisions of this bill will be determined through the regulatory process. The commission is permitted to establish fees necessary to cover the cost of enforcing these laws and regulations. However, the fiscal note attached to this bill indicated that it will cost the state at least $1.3 million to administer the program for the first year. Even if the state’s projections regarding the number potential licensees is correct, this could mean fees of over $1,000 per licensee. The AKC believes that a cap needs to be placed on these fees to ensure that they remain reasonable for licensees.
The AKC Government Relations Department is still in the process of analyzing the full impact of this new version of House Bill 1451. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. For questions or more information, contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or email@example.com.