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OHIO UPDATE: OH House to Consider Revised High Volume Breeder Bill on 11/14

(Tuesday, November 13, 2012)

Ohio Senate Bill 130, which would establish licensing and regulations for high volume breeders will likely be considered by the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday, November 14.

The American Kennel Club greatly appreciates the Ohio General Assembly’s continued willingness to work with the AKC and responsible breeders to address concerns with the bill. As introduced, SB 130 contained numerous problematic provisions, including thresholds that could have impacted hobbyists, kennel engineering standards that were not in the best interest of dogs or responsible breeders, and a new governmental board that would set standards without breeder input. Other breeder measures were introduced that included restrictions on ear cropping and tail docking, as well as other provisions that would have been detrimental to dog owners and breeders.

The majority of amendments requested by the AKC and responsible owners and breeders have been approved. The AKC appreciates the willingness of the sponsors to work with breeders to develop reasonable recommendations. While the AKC is not supporting the measure, the extensive amendments made prior to today’s committee hearing addressed many of our concerns. The AKC will closely review the bill as passed by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee today and ensure that no negative amendments were attached. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Should the bill pass the House, be approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, the AKC and our Ohio federation will closely monitor the regulatory process to ensure the rules are fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of dogs.

Those who have questions or comments on Senate Bill 130 may contact their State Representative. Visit the Ohio General Assembly’s web site and type your zip code in the “Locating Legislators” section to find the name and contact information for your House member.

Summary:

Senate Bill 130 would establish state licensing and regulation of high volume breeders, defined as those who both produce nine litters of puppies and sell 60 dogs or puppies in a calendar year. Provisions of the latest available version of this bill include:

  • Licensing and Inspections of High Volume Breeders – Those who meet the definition of high volume breeder must obtain an annual license and inspection. License fees are based on the number of litters produced each year. The Ohio Department of Agriculture may also inspect breeders when they receive a complaint or request. Inspections may be conducted by a veterinarian, provided that the same veterinarian does not conduct two successive inspections.
  • Requirements for Care and Conditions to be established by Rule – The Department of Agriculture will develop rules regarding the care and condition of dogs owned by high volume breeders. The development of rules shall take into account best management practices for the care and well-being of dogs, biosecurity, the prevention of disease, generally accepted veterinary medical standards and USDA standards established by the Animal Welfare Act. Should the bill pass, the AKC will monitor the regulatory process carefully and work to ensure that these regulations are fair and reasonable.
  • Establishment of a Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board – This board will review any regulations that could be adopted and will advise the Department of Agriculture of state laws and regulations. The AKC appreciates that the General Assembly agreed to our request to ensure that a breeder impacted by this law will sit on the advisory board. This board will be appointed by the governor.

Separate from the high volume breeder requirements, this measure also requires that dog rescues register with the Department of Agriculture. No fee will be assessed for this registration. Dog rescues are defined as individuals and organizations that keep, house, and maintain dogs, and are specifically dedicated to the health, welfare, safety and protection of dogs. These rescues must be not-for-profit, and do include those who charge adoption fees. A dog rescue is further defined as one that does not breed dogs, sell them for profit, or purchase more than 9 dogs a year. The license application must include the names and addresses of foster homes. Rescues will not be required to comply with the other regulations imposed on high volume breeders, but may be inspected if the Department of Agriculture receives a complaint.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to closely monitor this legislation and provide further updates as they become available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

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