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Iowa Update: Breeder Bill Numbers Changed, Bills Advancing

(Friday, March 02, 2012)

Iowa Senate committees have approved two measures that would make detrimental changes to the laws regulating commercial breeders, defined in current law as anyone who owns at least four intact dogs or cats and receives any consideration for breeding.

While the bills are virtually identical to the ones that were scheduled for consideration last week, the bill numbers have changed. If you reside or participate in dog events in Iowa, please contact the members of the Iowa Senate and respectfully ask them to oppose Senate File 2290 and Senate File 2301.

Background:

Iowa Code defines a "commercial breeder" as someone who sells, exchanges, or leases dogs (or even offers to do so) in return for consideration. While those who keep dogs or cats for "hunting, for practice training, for exhibition at shows or field or obedience trials" are exempted, if anyone has four or more intact dogs and receives any kind of consideration for breeding, they are considered a commercial breeder and must be licensed, inspected, and comply with commercial breeder laws. This would include offering a dog at stud and receiving any compensation or "consideration" from the resulting litter. The term "consideration" is not defined.

Senate File 2290 (formerly Senate File 2073):

Senate File 2290 creates guidelines for what a commercial breeder licensee must do when a license is expired or revoked. If a licensee is unable or decided not to obtain a new license, then the owner is given 120 days to either sterilize their dogs and cats or "dispose" of them until they are under the commercial breeder threshold (the previous version of this bill allowed for 45 days). The bill states that this may be done by selling the dogs (if the breeder is able to obtain a temporary authorization), transferring the titles, or "humane destruction".

Continued regulations are making it increasingly difficult for responsible dog breeders to comply with new requirements. Under this bill, responsible dog owners could be forced to give up or euthanize their dogs rather than keep them in safe, caring environments.

Senate File 2301(formerly Senate Study Bill 3159):

Senate File 2301 makes several significant changes to the laws regarding "commercial breeders", including:

  • Surety Bond or Letter of Credit Requirement – SF 2301 would require all licensees to obtain a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit from a financial institution that will then be used if an animal is placed with a custodian as a result of a violation of the state’s animal cruelty or neglect laws. The AKC believes this is an unnecessary and unreasonable requirement. It also makes the unfair and offensive assumption that a license holder will at some point be irresponsible or cruel to their animals.
  • Ability to Deny License Without Hearing – This bill also removes the ability for a person seeking a license to have a public hearing if their application for commercial breeder authorization is denied. As a result, the department may simply determine that someone is not in compliance with the laws and regulations regarding care and conditions for animals, and there is no ability for the applicant to appeal.

    Those who are denied a license must then never receive any consideration for breeding a dog, or ensure they have three or fewer intact dogs.

 

How You Can Help:
Both bills are pending consideration by the full Senate. Contact the members of the Iowa Senate today and ask them to vote "no" on Senate File 2301 and Senate File 2290. Click here to find the name and contact information for your State Senator (Be sure to contact your State Senator, rather than U.S. Senator).

The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) is closely tracking both pieces of legislation and will provide more information as it becomes available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.