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Nebraska Bill Would Further Restrict All Dog Breeding

(Monday, January 17, 2011)

Legislative Bill 427 seeks to further regulate "commercial dog breeders" in Nebraska. Current law defines "commercial breeders" as anyone owns or harbors four or more intact dogs or cats, who sells at least 31 dogs and cats per year, whose dogs/cats produce four or more litters per year, or who knowingly sells or leases dogs/cats for later retail sale or brokered trade.

With this low threshold in current law, LB 427 would require anyone who owns four intact dogs of any age to comply with strict engineering standards and breeder restrictions.

Background:

Under existing "commercial breeder" regulations, those who fall under the state definition of "commercial breeder" are required to be licensed, be inspected at least once every two years, and comply with basic standards of care. These standards include maintaining sanitary conditions; providing adequate food and clean water; providing adequate socialization and exercise; and providing adequate space based on the age, size, weight, and breed. Current law also requires that breeders develop and maintain a veterinary care plan in conjunction with a veterinarian and provide veterinary care "without delay when necessary."

The AKC strongly believes that all dogs deserve lives in safe, healthy environments, and that they should not be kept in conditions where their basic needs are not met. Current law already addresses these concerns. The new restrictions outlined in Legislative Bill 427 place undue, unnecessary and expensive burdens on responsible breeders and owners of intact dogs.

LB 427 Summary:

Legislative Bill 427 seeks to add more arbitrary and restrictive requirements for all dog breeders and the owners of four or more intact dogs. In addition, it creates the opportunity for breeders to obtain an "outstanding" designation from the state if the breeder complies with even more restrictive requirements. Those who achieve this designation will receive a certification and be listed on a public web site. Here are some highlights:

  • Breeding Restrictions – In order for a breeder to obtain the "outstanding" designation, a female dog may not be bred more than once every 12 months and breeder must restrict the breeding to once every 18 months unless the dog has been given a physical by a licensed vet.
  • New Primary Enclosure Requirements – The primary enclosure must be large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up, and turn around without touching another dog. To obtain the "outstanding" designation, the breeder must comply with a complicated mathematical formula for enclosure sizes.
  • New Requirements for Exercise Areas – Each primary enclosure must have an entry with unfettered access (or allow access at least twice a day) to an outdoor exercise area that is at least 10 times the size of the primary enclosure. Breeders have until July 1, 2016, to comply, but will not be considered "outstanding" if they use this grace period.

How You Can Help:

This bill could be considered as early as the first week in February. Also, unlike other state legislatures, the Nebraska Legislature has only one chamber. Therefore, the bill may move very quickly.

We encourage all responsible dog owners and breeders to contact their State Senator and express any concerns you have with Legislative Bill 427. Use this link to find your State Senator and their contact information.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize

Contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org for any questions or the latest information.

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