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Breeder Licensing Bill Introduced in Illinois

(Tuesday, February 08, 2005)

Illinois dog owners, your help is needed immediately to oppose HB707. Sponsored by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the bill would amend the state’s Animal Welfare Act by requiring licenses for all “animal caretakers.” This definition includes but is not limited to anyone who sells, exchanges, or offers for adoption dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and other animals commonly kept as pets. Hobby breeders, pet stores, adoption facilities, shelters, and private individuals who sell, transfer or adopt out even one animal will therefore be subject to licensing under HB707. The Illinois Animal Welfare Act currently requires licensing for pet shops only.

Licensees will be required to:
• Provide new owners with health certificates and other information such as vaccination records, breeder’s name and address, and contact information for any past owners.
• Submit to an inspection of their premises by the Department of Agriculture.
• Give animals a “stimulating, enriching environment” as a component of humane living conditions. HB707 does not define what is “stimulating and enriching” for dogs and cats.
Violators would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation would constitute a Class 4 felony for every day that a violation continues.

The licensing expansion proposed in HB707 encompasses thousands of individuals, and will be extremely costly and impossible to enforce. Moreover, it will likely force many reputable hobby breeders, rescue groups and concerned owners to abandon programs that match healthy, well-socialized animals with responsible homes. These groups provide an invaluable service to the pet-buying public and to animal control departments across the state. Finally, HB707 uses broad, vague definitions that further add to enforcement challenges and leave even the most caring owner or breeder open to prosecution.

Existing Illinois law and indeed the federal Animal Welfare Act exempt hobby breeders from licensing and regulation. Congress does not believe in licensing for small-scale breeders, and neither should Illinois legislators.

What You Can Do:
Contact the House Committee on Agriculture and Conservation, where HB707 has been referred. Ask them to oppose this bill!

House Agriculture and Conservation Committee
Stratton Office Bldg #200-9S
Springfield, IL 62701
Phone:217/782-1018

MEMBERS

  • Rep. Kurt M. Granberg (D) [Chair]
    Phone:217/782-0066
    FAX:217/557-7598
    Email: kgranberg@housedem.state.il.us

  • Rep. Brandon Phelps (D) [Vice Chair]
    Phone:217/782-5131

  • Rep. Mike Boland (D)
    Phone:217/782-3992
    Email: mboland@housedem.state.il.us

  • Rep. Shane Cultra (R)
    Phone:217/558-1039

  • Rep. Lisa Dugan (D)
    Phone:217/782-5981
    FAX:217/782-0945

  • Rep. Robert Flider (D)
    Phone:217/782-8398
    FAX:217/782-2528

  • Rep. John C. "Jack" McGuire (D)
    Phone:217/782-8090
    Email: jmcguire@housedem.state.il.us

  • Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R)
    Phone:217/782-8032
    FAX:217/557-0179

  • Rep. Richard Myers (R)
    Phone:217/782-0416
    FAX:217/782-5257
    Email: rpmyers@legis.state.il.us

  • Rep. Robert W. Pritchard (R)
    Phone:217/782-0425
    FAX:217/557-7205

  • Rep. David B. Reis (R)
    Phone:217/782-2087
    FAX:217/782-1336

  • Rep. Dan Reitz (D)
    Phone:217/782-1018
    FAX:217/782-0945
    Email: dreitz@housedem.state.il.us

  • Rep. Jim Sacia (R)
    Phone:217/782-8186
    FAX:217/558-7016

  • Rep. Keith Sommer (R)
    Phone:217/782-0221

  • Rep. Patrick Verschoore (D)
    Phone:217/782-5970,
    FAX:217/558-1253

 

For more information, contact:
Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association
lotzadots101@aol.com
773-763-5773

Canine Legislation department
doglaw@akc.org