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Hawaii Committee to Hear Overreaching Breeder Regulation Bill

(Tuesday, February 28, 2012)

Senate Bill 2494 is scheduled to be heard by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. This bill would require owners of ten or more intact dogs to pay a $500 biennial license fee, allow unannounced inspections of their private homes, limit their ability to make decisions about breeding their animals, and prohibit ownership of more than 30 intact dogs. The bill further provides that anyone operating without a license, or licensees in violation of any of the care or recordkeeping requirements, may be charged fines of up to $1000 for each offense.

It is important that responsible owners and breeders contact the committee members and ask them to oppose this burdensome and ineffective legislation.

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor Hearing
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Time: 9:35 am
Location: Conference Room 016, State Capitol, 415 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96813

Problematic provisions of Senate Bill 2494 include, but are not limited to:

  • Defines anyone who owns ten or more intact dogs as a "dog breeder," regardless of the number of litters or dogs produced and sold. An owner of ten intact dogs who does not produce or sell a single puppy would be defined as a dog breeder and subject to the provisions of the bill.
  • Allows seizure and impoundment of dogs based on infractions that are unrelated to the humane care of dogs.
  • Requires dog breeders to pay a $500 biennial license fee. (Allows counties to set their own fees which could be higher.)
  • Requires individuals deemed to be dog breeders to allow unannounced inspections of their premises.
  • Prohibits the ownership of more than 30 intact dogs over the age of one year.
  • Prohibits the breeding of any dog determined by a veterinarian to be "unfit for breeding purposes." (This term is not defined, so it is unknown which conditions may render any animal unfit or on what criteria a veterinarian will base their examination.)
  • Prohibits the breeding of a dog or bitch older than eight years of age.
  • Prohibits microchipping of dogs aged four months or less.
  • Requires owners of ten or more intact dogs over the age of six months to meet specified care requirements.
  • Requires dogs be provided with "regular exercise" defined as constant and unfettered access to an indoor or outdoor exercise area of a specified size. It may not be advisable or safe for dogs to be allowed unfettered access to the outdoors given weather conditions or possible predators. Likewise, because many owners keep their dogs in their homes, many of those designated as dog breeders by this legislation will be unable to provide a sufficient indoor area. This requirement is overly burdensome and does not serve to improve the welfare of dogs.
  • Prohibits the stacking of indoor enclosures or placing an enclosure more than 42 inches off the floor.
  • Requires minimum enclosure sizes and a provision that there be at least twelve inches of headroom above the head of the tallest dog when it is in a regular standing position.
  • Prohibits keeping breeding females and their litters in the same enclosure at the same time with other adult dogs, and prohibits keeping puppies aged twelve weeks or younger in the same enclosure at the same time with other adult dogs, other than the dam or foster dam, unless under immediate and constant supervision. This would interfere with proper socialization of puppies.

 

What You Can Do

  • Indicate your opposition online by clicking here. Type SB 2494 in the box under "Enter a measure to retrieve the corresponding hearing notice" and follow the instructions. You may also submit comments (referred to as "testimony") via the online form.
  • Contact the members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor and ask them not to support SB 2494.

Chair, Senator Clayton Hee
Phone: (808) 586-7330
Fax: (808) 586-7334
Email: senhee@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Vice-Chair, Senator Maile Shimabukuro
Phone: (808) 586-7793
Fax: (808) 586-7797
Email: senshimabukuro@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Mike Gabbard
Phone: (808) 586-6830
Fax: (808) 586-6679
Email: sengabbard@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Les Ihara
Phone: (808) 586-6250
Fax: (808) 586-6251
Email: senihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov

Senator Samuel Slom
Phone: (808) 586-8420
Fax: (808) 586-8426
Email: senslom@Capitol.hawaii.gov