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Minnesota Info: New Bills Seek To Regulate Commercial Breeders, Require State Registration Of All Others

(Friday, January 18, 2013)

House File 84 and Senate File 36 have been introduced in the Minnesota State Legislature. The bills seek to require licensing and inspection of commercial dog breeders as described in the legislation. HF 84 has been assigned to the House Civil Law Committee, while SF 36 has been assigned to the Senate Jobs, Agriculture, and Rural Development Committee. Neither bill has been scheduled for consideration. However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages all concerned responsible dog breeders in Minnesota to contact the members of the Committees listed below and express their concerns.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC also supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

Several aspects of both bills are of concern to the AKC, including:

  • Describing a “hobby breeder” as a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses fewer than ten adult intact animals or whose animals produce five or fewer total litters of puppies or kittens per year. Additionally, all hobby breeders are required to register with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The AKC is concerned that the vague nature of the new definition—including the use of the phrase “ownership interest” and a focus on the possession of animals, along with someone who is “engaged” in the business of breeding animals—will include an unnecessarily large number of dog owners who would then be required to register with the State.
  • Defining a “commercial breeder” as a person, other than a hobby breeder, who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies per year. In addition to other requirements, licensees will have to adhere to already-existing care and conditions standards, submit to at least annual inspections of their facilities, and submit annual reports to the Board. The AKC believes these bills will prove costly and will not improve the health or quality of dogs bred in Minnesota.
  • Mandating the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to maintain on its website a directory of licensed commercial breeders and of those whose licenses have been suspended or revoked. The AKC believes that requiring any responsible breeder to post their name, address and other personal information on a public registry opens them up to unwanted contact by anti-breeder groups. Such listings should instead be voluntary.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concerned responsible dog breeders in Minnesota are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the legislative committees listed below, and respectfully express your concerns prior to the bill’s consideration.

For HF 84 -- House Committee on Civil Law

Representative John Lesch, Chair
537 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4224
E-mail: rep.john.lesch@house.mn

Representative Susan Allen, Vice Chair
577 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7152
E-mail: rep.susan.allen@house.mn

Representative Peggy Scott, Ranking Minority Member
201 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4231
E-mail: rep.peggy.scott@house.mn

Representative Mark Anderson
327 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4293
E-mail: rep.mark.anderson@house.mn

Representative Debra Hilstrom
379 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-3709
E-mail: rep.debra.hilstrom@house.mn

Representative Mary Liz Holberg
349 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6926
E-mail: rep.maryliz.holberg@house.mn

Representative Melissa Hortman
377 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4280
E-mail: rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn

Representative Jeff Howe
321 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4373
E-mail: rep.jeff.howe@house.mn

Representative Brian Johnson
233 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4346
E-mail: rep.brian.johnson@house.mn

Representative Tina Liebling
367 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-0573
E-mail: rep.tina.liebling@house.mn

Representative Jim Newberger
311 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2451
E-mail: rep.jim.newberger@house.mn

Representative Michael Paymar
563 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4199
E-mail: rep.michael.paymar@house.mn

Representative Cindy Pugh
313 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4315
E-mail: rep.cindy.pugh@house.mn

Representative Paul Rosenthal
501 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7803
E-mail: rep.paul.rosenthal@house.mn

Representative Steve Simon
473 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-9889
E-mail: rep.steve.simon@house.mn

Representative Ryan Winkler
553 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7026
E-mail: rep.ryan.winkler@house.mn

Representative Barb Yarusso
507 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-0141
E-mail: rep.barb.yarusso@house.mn

For SF 36 – Senate Jobs, Agriculture, and Rural Development Committee

Senator Dan Sparks, Chair
328 Capitol 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 
651-296-9248 
E-mail: sen.dan.sparks@senate.mn

Senator Matt Schmit, Vice Chair
G-24 Capitol 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 
651-296-4264 
E-mail: sen.matt.schmit@senate.mn

Senator Gary H. Dahms, Ranking Minority Member
121 State Office Building 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206 
651-296-8138 
E-mail: sen.gary.dahms@senate.mn

Senator Terri E. Bonoff
325 Capitol 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 
651-296-4314 
E-mail: sen.terri.bonoff@senate.mn

Senator Kent Eken
303 Capitol 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 
651-296-3205 
E-mail: sen.kent.eken@senate.mn

Senator Foung Hawj
G-24 Capitol 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 
651-296-5285 
E-mail: sen.foung.hawj@senate.mn

Senator Lyle Koenen
124 Capitol 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606 
651-296-5094 
E-mail: sen.lyle.koenen@senate.mn

Senator Carla J. Nelson
117 State Office Building 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206 
651-296-4848 
E-mail: sen.carla.nelson@senate.mn

Senator Carrie Ruud
25 State Office Building 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206 
651-296-4913 
E-mail: sen.carrie.ruud@senate.mn

Senator Bill Weber
125 State Office Building 
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206 
651-296-5650 
E-mail: sen.bill.weber@senate.mn

The AKC’s Government Relations Department will continue to provide information as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC-GR at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.