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New Strict Breeders Bills Introduced In New York State Senate

(Friday, May 01, 2009)

Two new bills in the New York State Senate would severely limit the operations of responsible dog breeders in the Empire State. The American Kennel Club opposes these bills, and strongly encourages all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in New York to contact the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which currently has cognizance of both bills, and respectfully express their opposition to the bills.

Senate Bill 4515 would require the registration and regulation of animal breeders. SB 4515 features many problematic provisions, including:

  • Defining "breeder" as any person who breeds three or more animals for sale per year for profit. Any person defined as a "breeder" will be required to obtain a breeder license annually. The definition exempts from the definition duly incorporated humane societies. The threshold contained in this definition is overbroad and will apply the vast majority of dog breeders, thereby making enforcement impossible.
  • Imposing stringent engineering requirements for animals' primary enclosures. As currently worded, these strict requirements will apply to all locations where dogs are housed, including the private residences of those classified as a 'breeder' under this law. This will potentially require thousands of dollars in extensive upgrades to be made to some individuals' residences.
  • Mandating twice-a-year inspections of breeders' facility to be conducted at the breeder's expense. This additional, undefined fee could significantly the resources breeders need for caring for their animals. Additionally, due to the low threshold contained in the definition of "breeder" listed above, the number of inspections required under this new law will create an enforcement nightmare for New York state officials.
  • Limiting "pet dealers" in New York to obtaining dogs only from New York State licensed "breeders." This requirement will inhibit many responsible purebred dog breeding programs by arbitrarily limiting operations; and will affect the health of many breeding programs by unreasonably and arbitrarily limiting gene pool diversity.

Senate Bill 4690 seeks to impose ownership limits and allow seizure of certain animals. The AKC opposes the following measures in SB 4690:

  • Limit any person from owning more than 50 unsterilized dogs. The AKC believes that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. Additionally, this definition does not exclude dogs under a certain age; as such, many responsible purebred dog breeders could inadvertently exceed this arbitrary limit by having several large litters.
  • Allow any police officer, any agent or officer of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or any agent or officer of any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals to seize dogs kept in violation of the proposed 50 dog limit if certain due process requirements are met. The bill does not detail the fate of animals seized pursuant to this bill.
  • Amend the existing definition to "pet dealer" to include any person who engages in the sale or offering for sale of more than nine animals per year for profit at wholesale or to the public, including breeders who sell animals directly to consumers or at wholesale. By expanding this definition, more New Yorkers will be required to adhere to the many statutory provisions required of pet dealers in New York.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concerned New Yorkers are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee listed below. Respectfully yet strongly let them know that you oppose both Senate Bill 4515 and Senate Bill 4690, and urge them to do the same.

New York Senate Agriculture Committee:

Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, Chairman
Room 903,Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2761
E-mail: aubertin@senate.state.ny.us

Senator William T. Stachowski
Room 802,Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2426
Fax: (518) 426-6851
E-mail: stachows@senate.state.ny.us

Senator Velmanette Montgomery
Room 306, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY12247
Phone: (518) 455-3451
Fax: (518) 426-6854
E-mail: montgome@senate.state.ny.us

Senator Neil D. Breslin
Room 502, Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2225
Fax: (518) 426-6807
E-mail: breslin@senate.state.ny.us

Senator David J. Valesky
Room 416, Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2838
Fax: (518) 426-6885
E-mail: valesky@senate.state.ny.us

Senator Catharine M. Young
Room513, Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3563
Fax: (518) 426-6905
To e-mail Senator Young, click here.

Senator James L. Seward
Room711B, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3131
To e-mail Senator Seward, click here.

Senator George H. Winner, Jr.
Room415, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976
To e-mail Senator Winner, click here.

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer
Room315, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-3161
Fax: (518) 426-6963
To e-mail Senator Ranzenhofer, click here.

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