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Proposed USDA Regulation Comment Period Extended Until August 15

(Friday, July 13, 2012)

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that the comment period on the proposed regulations regarding “Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions” has been extended until August 15, 2012. We encourage any concerned dog owners who have not yet signed the AKC petition and/or submitted comments about this problematic proposal to take advantage of this extra time to do so.

Background:

This important proposal would require all who own more than four “breeding females” and sell even one animal “sight unseen” to be regulated as a commercial breeder and be subject to federal commercial breeder licensing, regulation and inspections. The term “breeding female” is not defined, so it is unclear how USDA or even breeders themselves would determine who falls under these regulations. The term also includes multiple species (including cats, dogs, and other small mammals).

The AKC believes that the USDA’s “one size fits all” regulations are not in the best interest of all dogs, responsible breeders, or puppy buyers. It is unreasonable and virtually impossible for many small hobby breeders to comply with the strict kennel engineering standards that were designed for large commercial operations.

Visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page for more information on this proposal, including frequently asked questions, a fact sheet from APHIS, an educational handout and other resources.

How You Can Help:

  • Sign the AKC’s Petition – If you have not already done so, visit www.akc.org/petition and join the tens of thousands who have signed our online petition in support of responsible breeders. The new petition signature deadline is August 13.
  • Submit Comments Directly to the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – You may submit comments online by clicking here. To view comments already submitted, click here. You may also mail comments to:
    Docket No. APHIS–2011–0003
    Regulatory Analysis and Development
    PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8
    4700 River Road, Unit 118 
    Riverdale, MD 20737–1238
    

Both actions are important in helping send a strong, clear message to APHIS on this issue. The petition, which will be submitted with the AKC’s formal comments to the USDA, will demonstrate the immense number of people who are concerned about this issue, and direct comments will help educate on exactly how this proposal will impact responsible breeders, dog owners, and puppy buyers.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page. Further questions may be directed to AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.