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NC Victory: SB 460 Dead After Two-Year Run in Legislature

(Tuesday, July 06, 2010)

The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce that SB 460 is finally dead. The measure was pulled from consideration by the House Finance Committee late last week when it became clear that supporters did not have the votes to pass the measure in the House. The AKC received further confirmation this past weekend that no other additional attempts will be made to pass SB 460.

The AKC wishes to thank the many concerned dog owners and breeders in North Carolina who worked tirelessly to defeat the bill. The defeat of this bill was a collaborative effort by many organizations and individuals who joined with the AKC in supporting responsible dog ownership and breeding—while recognizing that SB 460 would be ineffective, overreaching and expensive for local communities. The AKC is pleased to have assisted responsible dog owners and breeders in North Carolina throughout the session by providing educational and informational resources and by contacting key legislators and all committee members at many critical points throughout the process, among other efforts.

In particular, the AKC would also like to thank its North Carolina federation, the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs, for their exceptional dedication and advocacy over the last two sessions in working to defeat this bill.

The AKC also wishes to thank the many other organization that opposed this bill, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Interest Alliance, the National Rifle Association, the North Carolina Agribusiness Council, the North Carolina Sporting Dog Association and our friends in North Carolina agribusiness.

The AKC continues to monitor North Carolina legislation for any changes with respect to dog ownership and breeding laws through the projected end of the legislative session on July 15.


NC Update: Breeders Clear Major Hurdle, But the Battle Isn't Over Yet
[Thursday, July 01, 2010]

North Carolina’s responsible breeders and their allies were handed a major reprieve today when the bad breeder regulation bill, SB 460, was pulled from consideration by the House Finance Committee. The bill was removed from the committee’s agenda when it became clear that proponents lacked the support needed to pass the measure out of committee.

With less than two weeks left in North Carolina’s legislative session, it remains possible that the measure could reappear and move quickly via a number of other parliamentary maneuvers. AKC Government Relations will continue to keep you updated on any actions that could revive this bill.

Still, today’s news is reassuring to the many dedicated volunteers who have been working long and hard to educate legislators about the problems with SB 460. The AKC thanks the many individuals and groups who have devoted so much effort to fighting this bill, and urges them to continue the fight through the end of the session in mid-July.

The American Kennel Club and the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs have worked closely together since the beginning of the 2009 session in opposing SB 460 and several other anti-breeder bills. Other important allies in the battle against this onerous breeder regulation have included the National Rifle Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, North Carolina Agribusiness, and a number of other key stakeholders concerned about the wellbeing of dogs and the rights of responsible animal owners.

AKC’s Position on Senate Bill 460

As stated in previous alerts, AKC’s concerns with the provisions in Senate Bill 460 include:

  • Vague definition of "commercial breeder." The bill defines "commercial breeder" as someone who owns 15 or more intact female dogs "of breeding age" and 30 or more puppies. It is not clear if this is a cumulative number owned over a lifetime, or the number on a property at one time. Additionally, if you live in a residential area and the state defines as a commercial breeder, you may be placed in violation of local zoning and property laws.
  • North Carolina already has effective laws criminalizing animal negligence and cruelty, including a new law signed by the Governor on June 23, which imposes tough new felony penalties on cruelty. SB 460 as currently written will do nothing to protect the health or welfare of dogs in North Carolina. North Carolina’s existing animal welfare statutes, if properly enforced, actually do a better job of protecting dogs than the provisions of SB 460 would, if the bill were passed.
  • Creation of a new, unfunded mandate for counties. SB 460 gives the state authority to initiate investigations on complaints against commercial breeders, but it makes county authorities responsible for conducting the investigations and follow-up work from the state’s motion. It does not, however, provide funding for this. In this difficult economic climate, it is unnecessary and unwise to create a costly new program that requires North Carolina counties and their taxpayers to find the funding to properly implement it.
  • False and misleading legislative findings. The bill’s legislative findings are based on unsubstantiated claims and state that the bill does not interfere with a person's right to participate in hunting and working activities with their dogs. However, the bill only exempts those who board or train – not those who breed – dogs for show, hunting, working, etc.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs and believes that all dogs should be kept in a safe and healthy environment. We also believe that any regulations should not punish responsible owners and breeders who take their responsibilities seriously. As currently written, Senate Bill 460 is vague, unnecessary, and costly to responsible breeders and North Carolina counties.

For more information about the bill and to view previous alerts, please click here.

The AKC Government Relations Department will provide updated information to you via email and online at www.akc.org/canine_legislation. For additional information, contact the AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.