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UPDATED: Hearing Set for IL Breeder Licensing Bill

(Sunday, February 15, 2009)

HB 198 was pulled from the agenda on February 10th, but is now scheduled for a hearing on February 19th at 2pm. The AKC Government Relations department will provide an update after the hearing on our website and will have an alert available at our booth at the International Kennel Club show.


Illinois Alert! Breeders Bill to be Considered Tuesday, Feb. 10 Print This Article
[Friday, February 06, 2009]

Illinois House Bill 198 will be heard by the House Business/Occupational Licenses Committee on Tuesday, February 10, 2009, at 10:00 AM, in Room 122B of the Capitol Building, 2nd and Capitol streets, Springfield, 62704. The American Kennel Club and our Illinois federation, the Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association, both strongly oppose HB 198.Therefore, all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Illinois are urged to attend Tuesday’s committee hearing to show respectful yet strong opposition to the bill; additionally, all Illinois residents are urged to write their elected officials and the bill’s chief sponsor, Representative John Fritchey, to express their strong opposition if they have not already done so.

HB 198 consists of 45 pages of requirements and regulations that are not based on proven animal husbandry practices, nor will they improve the health and welfare of dogs in Illinois. The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, and mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. The AKC believes that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

For a customizable sample letter and legislators’ contact information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

For more information, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.


Illinois Breeders Bill Limits Dog Ownership, Unreasonably Restricts Breeders
[January 21, 2009]

Representative John Fritchey is sponsoring HB 198, a bill that would regulate dog breeders by limiting the number of dogs they can own and requiring licensing for anyone who maintains three or more females (even if they are not bred) "for the purpose of the sale of their offspring." The bill would also mandate unannounced inspections, fingerprinting, and require breeders to pay an unspecified license fee. It is important that ALL fanciers, responsible dog owners, and breeders work together to oppose this burdensome and ineffective legislation.

The bill consists of 45 pages of requirements and regulations that are not based on proven animal husbandry practices, nor will they improve the health and welfare of dogs in Illinois. The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, and mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. Below is a summary of the major provisions of this legislation.

Breeders would be prohibited from owning more than 20 intact dogs over a year old, regardless of whether the animals are being bred.

Breeders, defined as anyone who owns more than 3 breeding females and sells their offspring, would be required to:

  • Submit to an annual, unannounced home inspection – for an unspecified fee.
  • Undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks – for an unspecified fee.
  • Build facilities to meet rigid engineering standards which exceed those required by the USDA. This will require most breeders to purchase expensive new equipment and build new facilities.
  • Breed only dogs between 18 months and 8 years of age.
  • Correct any deficiencies within 7 days or dispose of all intact animals at an animal control facility, a licensed Illinois shelter or have them euthanized by a veterinarian.
  • File detailed annual reports with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
  • Provide specified disclosures to puppy purchasers.
  • Comply with any additional regulations drafted by the department.

The requirements in HB 198 are completely unreasonable for persons breeding dogs. Most of these requirements have no bearing on the ability of a person to produce healthy, well-cared-for pets. The way HB 198 is written, a breeder would have to comply with these requirements even if fewer than three females were bred in a year. It would even affect a breeder/owner who did not have a single litter!

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is not equipped to hire and train inspectors who are familiar with animal husbandry. Under current law, animal control authorities have the power to investigate suspected animal cruelty and we strongly support enforcement of those laws. This would be a better use of taxpayer funds and would more effectively address animal welfare concerns.

The American Kennel Club opposes proposals like HB 198 that do not improve the welfare of animals and force breeders to pay excessive fees and submit to intrusive background checks and inspections that are not required of other businesses or hobbyists. We promote responsible dog ownership, enforcement of cruelty laws and reasonable nuisance regulations.

The American Kennel Club Government Relations department will keep you updated as this legislation progresses.

What You Can Do:

  • Contact your representative in the Illinois General Assembly and ask him or her to oppose HB 198. To find out who represents you in the Illinois State Legislature select the address tab found at this link.
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