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URGENT: OH Breeder Hearing Postponed - Contact the Committee!

(Monday, January 23, 2012)

The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has been informed that the hearing on Senate Bill 130 originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 24, has been postponed. The committee chairman’s office has stated that it may be rescheduled for next week, but no official decision has yet been made.

This next week is an opportune time for all responsible dog owners and breeders in Ohio to contact the members of the committee and express any concerns that you have with this legislation. Scroll down committee contact information.

AKC GR will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Summary:

The substitute version of Senate Bill 130 makes numerous changes to the original legislation. This includes deleting the provision creating a new Kennel Control Authority Board and instead placing responsibility for implementation within the purview of the state Department of Agriculture.

The AKC remains concerned with several provisions in Senate Bill 130, including, but not limited to:

  • Definition of “Kennel” - As amended in this bill, a "kennel" is defined as any establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult dogs for the purpose of breeding the dogs for a fee. It is very difficult to determine whether or not someone intends to breed a dog, as owners keep intact dogs for a variety of reasons, including the ability to participate in AKC conformation dog shows and trials. The AKC is requesting that this amendment be stricken and the definition remain as it is in current law, which clarifies that a kennel license is required for those who are “professionally engaged in the business of breeding dogs…”, and not for all intact dog owners or hobby breeders who occasionally breed a litter in their home.
  • Kennel/Shelter Requirements –Provisions in this bill would require many responsible breeders to rebuild kennels that are already sufficient for the dogs’ needs. This would be expensive for breeders without necessarily providing any improvement in the health or wellbeing of the dogs. New regulations would include indoor enclosure requirements for dogs based on their weight. Basing such requirements on a dog’s weight rather than its measured size can potentially result in a situation where a dog is kept in an enclosure that is too small. SB 130 also requires that a kennel be kept between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is arbitrary and does not account for the needs and tolerances of various ages and breeds of dogs.
  • Removal of Breeder Representation from the Oversight Board – As introduced, representatives from numerous sectors would serve as members of the board tasked with developing regulations and overseeing the implementation of the new law. This included a member in good standing of an AKC parent club and a breeder required to be licensed under the new law. While the AKC appreciates that an AKC parent club member is still included, we believe that it is important for high-volume breeders to also be specifically represented on the board, as they are most likely to be impacted by this legislation.

Committee Contact Information:

Senator Cliff Hite, Chairman, District 1
Phone: (614) 466-8150
Email: SD01@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Tim Schaffer, Vice Chair, District 31
Phone: (614) 466-5838
Email: SD31@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Jason Wilson, Ranking Minority Member, District 20
Phone: (614) 466-6508
Email: SD30@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Troy Balderson (District 20)
Phone: (614) 466-8076
Email: sd20@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Dave Burke (District 26)
Phone: (614) 466-8049
Email: sd26@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Keith Faber (District 12)
Phone: (614) 466-7584
Email: SD12@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Eric Kearney (District 9)
Phone: (614) 466-5980
Email: SD09@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Gayle Manning (District 13)
Phone: (614) 644-7613
Email: SD13@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Joe Schiavoni (District 33)
Phone: (614) 466-8285
Email: SD33@senate.state.oh.us

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