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Update: Ohio Breeders Bill (HB 606)

(Wednesday, December 13, 2006)
Ohio State Representative Jim Hughes introduced a substitute House Bill 606 before the State Government Committee on December 7th. The original bill set the threshold for licensure as an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains nine or more adult dogs. Rep. Hughes' substitute bill modifies the definition of those covered by the licensure requirement as an entity housing nine or more breeding dogs maintained primarily for the purpose of reproduction, providing stud services to produce at least one litter of puppies per calendar year, or whelping that has produced at least one litter of puppies per calendar year.

The substitute bill removes boarding kennels, animal shelters, and rescue organizations from the licensure requirements. The substitute bill retains the same licensing fee structure and surety bond requirements as the original bill and maintains the requirement that all license applicants must undergo a background check, including fingerprinting.

The December 7th State Government Committee hearing was to hear sponsor testimony only and the Committee has scheduled no additional hearings on HB 606 as of this date. The AKC Canine Legislation Department will continue to monitor HB 606 during the remainder of Ohio Legislature session scheduled to adjourn December 19, 2006.

[Tuesday, November 14, 2006]

In a recent news article Rep. Hughes clarified his intentions regarding HB 606. Rep. Hughes confirmed that a new bill would be introduced and that it will not target pet owners. The intent of the new legislation will be to regulate irresponsible breeders who provide poor living conditions for the animals.

Specifically, the bill will require inspections of dog breeding businesses in which at least nine female dogs are bred two or three times a year. A draft of the new legislation is not yet available. The AKC Canine Legislation Department will continue to be available to Rep. Hughes’s staff throughout this process and will be monitoring the progress of any new bill. Please continue to check the AKC website as we will post updates as they become available.

Ohio HB 606 Seeks to License Breeders

[Thursday, October 19, 2006]

Ohio State Representative Jim Hughes is sponsoring HB 606, a bill that would establish a licensing framework and standards of care for certain dog kennels, dog intermediaries, animal rescues, and animal shelters. The bill was introduced in June and remains in the Rules and Reference Committee awaiting a referral to a policy committee.

The American Kennel Club, as well as several local breeders, fanciers, concerned dog owners and other affected groups, have been working closely with Rep. Hughes' staff regarding the concerns with HB 606. Rep. Hughes has received these comments, is conducting an open dialogue with interested parties, and intends to introduce a revised bill.

While AKC has significant concerns with HB 606, some incorrect information has been circulating. Specifically, there is an email stating that under the bill a breeder would have to pay the following annual license fees; 9-25 dogs - $5000, 26-50 dogs - $10,000 and 51+ dogs - $50,000. The actual requirement in the bill is to obtain a surety bond in those amounts. These bonds function as a type of insurance that would be used by the state to cover the cost of housing the dogs if they were confiscated.

The bill does include licensing fees based on how many dogs the kennel is capable of housing. AKC has expressed concerns regarding the proposed fee structure and how the bill identifies which breeders are required to be licensed and inspected. You can read the bill in its entirety here.

The Canine Legislation Department staff will continue to be involved with this issue and will post updates to the website as it progresses.

For more information, contact the AKC Canine Legislation Department at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720.