The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has learned that efforts are underway to push...
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has learned that efforts are underway to push North Carolina’s State Senate to consider House Bill 930.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) continues to OPPOSE HB 930 as currently written. The measure establishes an arbitrary definition of “large commercial dog breeding facilities” based on the number of dogs a person owns-- regardless of whether that person is actually breeding or selling dogs!
Despite claims otherwise, HB 930 is not a solution to ensuring proper care and conditions of dogs. Instead, it establishes a confusing new patchwork of duplicative rules that place more restrictions on law enforcement. Laws are already on the books. Those who mistreat animals need to be brought up on charges. It’s time to get to the real heart of the issue – giving local animal control and law enforcement the tools they need to immediately confront and act on ALL cruelty they see or is reported, regardless of how many dogs it impacts or whether the owners meet arbitrary definitions or vague exemptions.
It is of utmost importance that all concerned North Carolina residents contact the their Senator, the Governor and other key state officials (listed below) and urge them to not take HB 930 under further consideration.
THE PROBLEMS WITH HB 930:
HB 930 incorporates many of the provisions of AKC’s Care and Conditions of Dogs policy, designed for all dogs, but it does not apply these protections equally to all North Carolina dogs. Instead, it applies only to the dogs kept by the individuals who meet that arbitrary definition. AKC believes that basic standards of care should apply to ALL dogs, and offered an amendment to the bill sponsor to remove the definition of commercial breeder from bill so that these care and conditions would apply to all dogs. This amendment was rejected by the bill sponsor.
North Carolina already has laws that criminalize animal negligence and cruelty. This bill creates more government regulation when the focus should instead be on providing local law enforcement with the resources needed to properly enforce the state’s Animal Welfare Act. Strong enforcement of current laws along with public education on responsible dog ownership would hold anyone who harms animals accountable.
HB 930 will be difficult to enforce. As currently written, local or county law enforcement officials charged with enforcing this law would now have to prove whether, based on a person’s personal property, they meet the arbitrary definition of “large commercial dog breeder”, and whether they may qualify for any of the exemptions, before law enforcement could enforce these standards. Improperly identified animals or breeding operations could lead to extensive court and administrative costs for state or local jurisdictions.
House Bill 930 will arbitrarily regulate those who meet a new definition of “large commercial dog breeding facilities.” The definition would include individuals who own 10 or more female dogs regardless of whether they are actually breeding or selling dogs. Many owners of multiple dogs who do not breed, or breed only an occasional litter would now find themselves improperly labeled as commercial businesses and in violation of their local zoning and HOA codes. The AKC believes that commercial definitions should focus on actual commerce, not simply the ownership of property.
Animal welfare regulations belong in the Animal Welfare Act. This bill duplicates standards already in state law. Like other laws regulating animal care, these requirements should be considered within the context of the state’s Animal Welfare Act.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY:
Call or email the officials listed below. Ask them to either oppose House Bill 930 as currently written, or remove all references to “large commercial dog breeders” so that all of North Carolina’s dogs can be entitled to basic standards of care.
Contact all members of the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee. This committee currently has cognizance of the bill. While HB 930 is currently not scheduled for a hearing by this committee, it would be first to consider it if efforts to promote the bill are successful. The easiest way to contact all members is to send one e-mail to the Committee Co-Chairmen Senator Andrew Brock and Senator Brent Jackson, while copying all committee members on the message.
Co-Chairman Senator Andrew C. Brock
Phone: (919) 715-0690
Co-Chairman Senator Brent Jackson
Phone: (919) 733-5705
Vice Chairman Senator Bill Cook
Phone: (919) 715-8293
Senator Austin M. Allran
Phone: (919) 733-5876
Senator Chad Barefoot
Phone: (919) 715-3036
Senator Stan Bingham
Phone: (919) 733-5665
Senator Angela R. Bryant
Phone: (919) 733-5878
Senator Daniel G. Clodfelter
Phone: (919) 715-8331
Senator Joel D. M. Ford
Phone: (919) 733-5955
Senator Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr.
Phone: (919) 733-7223
Senator Eleanor Kinnaird
Phone: (919) 733-5804
Senator Gene McLaurin
Phone: (919) 733-5953
Senator Ronald J. Rabin
Phone: (919) 733-5748
Senator Bill Rabon
Phone: (919) 733-5963
Senator Shirley B. Randleman
Phone: (919) 733-5743
Senator Tommy Tucker
Phone: (919) 733-7659
Senator Trudy Wade
Phone: (919) 733-5856
Senator Michael P. Walters
Phone: (919) 733-5651
Contact your North Carolina State Senator. To find the name and contact information for your State Senator, visit the North Carolina General Assembly’s “Who Represents Me?” page and type your address in the search box above the North Carolina Senate map.
Contact Governor Pat McCrory’s Office. His office may be reached by phone at (919) 814-2000, by fax at (919) 733-2120, or by an email form available by clicking here. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, send a message to him at www.facebook.com/GovernorPat or @PatMcCroryNC, letting him know that you oppose HB 930 as written.
The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department will continue to closely monitor this legislation and provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.