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NC ALERT:  Senate Finance Committee Advances Senate Bill 460

(Thursday, July 02, 2009)

UPDATE: North Carolina Breeders Bill Placed on Senate Floor Calendar for Wednesday, July 8

Senate Bill 460 has been placed on the calendar for a reading and full Senate consideration next Wednesday, July 8. It remains imperative that all responsible owners and breeders contact their Senators before Wednesday and ask them to not allow taxpayer money to be used on this ineffective legislation.

Please see below for more information about this unnecessary and expensive bill, for information on how to find your Senator, and for phone scripts and sample letters to assist you in contacting your Senator.

[Wednesday, July 01, 2009]

The North Carolina Senate Finance Committee narrowly passed an amended version of Senate Bill 460 on Tuesday, June 30, despite concerns raised by many senators and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture regarding the cost of implementing this bill should it become law. It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders contact their Senators and Representatives and ask them to not allow taxpayer money to be used on this ineffective legislation.

Although Senate Bill 460 was amended, the AKC continues to have concerns, including:

  • Vague definitions of “commercial breeder”. Commercial breeder” is defined as someone who owns 15 or more intact females “of breeding age” and 30 or more puppies.” The bill exempts kennels or establishments that operate for the purpose of boarding or training hunting, sporting, herding, show, or working dogs. It is unclear if these numbers refer to the number of dogs on the property at one certain time, or if this is cumulative over the course of a year. It is also unclear if someone who trains show dogs, but also sells puppies is exempt from the licensing requirement.
  • Inspections of private property at any time. The bill allows law enforcement and local animal control to search the homes and private property at any time of day or night of anyone who falls under the definition of “commercial breeder”.
  • Allowance for seizure of animals for those who do not comply with the new regulations, with no opportunity to come into compliance. If a commercial breeder is unlicensed, animals will be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment and may be sold or euthanized. The AKC believes that breeders should be given the opportunity to come into compliance with the law.
  • Directive for the NC Department of Agriculture to develop standards of care with no public input. SB 460 calls for the Department of Agriculture to develop care and condition policies for dogs belonging to commercial breeders. This does not allow for any input from dog breeders and others who are experts in animal care.

Senate Bill 460 will do nothing to address irresponsible breeding and will cost the state over $400,000 a year to enforce. At a time when the state is facing a projected $3 billion budget gap, improved enforcement of existing laws would be a better use of taxpayers’ money.

The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee soon. The AKC will provide an update once further information is available.

How You Can Help

Contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 460. We ask that should you decide to e-mail, you also call their offices.

To find your Senator and Representative, visit the North Carolina General Assembly web site and type your zip code in the “Who Represents Me?” box on the right side of the page.

View basic phone scripts for breeders and fanciers.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize.

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