OK Committee to Consider Changes to Breeder Regulations TOMORROW (4/6)
The Oklahoma House Administrative Rules & Government Oversight Committee will be considering two pieces of legislation tomorrow (April 6) regarding the Commercial Pet Breeders Act, which was enacted in 2010. Responsible breeders are encouraged to attend the hearing or contact the committee and express any comments or concerns you have with these bills.
House Joint Resolution 1045 seeks to “disapprove”, or repeal the regulations passed by the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders in December 2010, but makes no changes to the current law.
Senate Bill 637, as passed by the Senate, also disapproved these regulations. A substitute bill being considered tomorrow would strike that language and make numerous changes to the underlying law.
The AKC has the following concerns with the proposed changes:
Vague definition of “commercial breeder” – Current law defines “commercial breeder” as anyone who owns 11 or more adult intact female dogs or cats “for the use of breeding…” The AKC opposed this vague definition when the law was still being considered in the Legislature. Since there is no time frame, this could apply to anyone who has owned or co-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. SB 637 keeps this vague definition, and the AKC has requested that it be amended.
Allowance for the Board to adopt directives without legislative approval – The Board of Commercial Pet Breeders is currently required to adopt a number of permanent rules, and this bill requires those rules to be considered by the Oklahoma Legislature and Governor. SB 637 also, however, allows the Board to adopt directives “necessary to enforce and administer” the law. It is unclear what these directives entail, or if there is an opportunity for legislative consideration.
Senate Bill 637 makes numerous other changes to the Commercial Pet Breeders Act, including:
Establishing a toll-free hotline for reporting animal abuse – Callers will be required to include their name and phone number. Anonymous reports will not be accepted.
Prohibiting the Board from hiring “humane society groups” or members of humane society groups to perform inspections.
Adding further acts that would result in revocation of a license – Currently a license may be revoked for anyone who fails to meet the standards of care outlined in the regulations. SB 637 states that a license may also be revoked for anyone who fails to meet the application requirements or is convicted of a serious felony (such as murder, kidnapping, child abuse, etc.) or convicted under the Oklahoma Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
What You Can Do:
Attend the Oklahoma House Administrative Rules and Government Oversight Committee hearing tomorrow and express any comments or concerns you have with HJR 1045 or SB 637. The details are as follows:
Oklahoma House Rules and Government Oversight Committee
Date: April 6, 2011
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Oklahoma State Capitol, Room 412C
Contact the members of the committee and express any comments or concerns you have with HJR 1045 or SB 637. The contact information is as follows:
Representative George Faught, Chair
Phone: (405) 557-7310
Representative Purcy Walker, Vice Chair
Phone: (405) 557-7311
Representative Gary Banz
Phone: (405) 557-7395
Representative David Brumbaugh
Phone: (405) 557-7347
Representative William Fourkiller
Phone: (405) 557-7394
Representative Charles Key
Phone: (405) 557-7354
Representative Al McAffrey
Phone: (405) 557-7396
Representative Mark McCullough
Phone: (405) 557-7414
Representative Pam Peterson
Phone: (405) 557-7341
Representative Mike Reynolds
Phone: (405) 557-7337
Representative Mike Shelton
Phone: (405) 557-7367
Representative Weldon Watson
Phone: (405) 557-7330