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Minnesota Commercial Breeder Bill Will Still Impact Hobbyists - Action Needed Now!

(Thursday, February 28, 2013)

Minnesota House File 84 will be considered by the Minnesota House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Although the bill primarily aims to establish government oversight and regulation of those who would be considered “commercial breeders”, the bill would still subject hobby breeders (defined as anyone whose dog produces a litter) to certain unreasonable requirements.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) remains deeply concerned with the following provisions of HF 84:

  • Defining “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. Furthermore, section 6(d) of the bill would make it a misdemeanor for hobby breeders who are “not the commercial breeder of any animal to knowingly possess an animal under the age of eight weeks.” The AKC respectfully urges the House Government Operations Committee to address the ambiguities of Section 6(d) to ensure that hobby breeders are permitted to maintain puppies less than eight weeks of age that their dogs produced.
  • Defining “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. Because litter sizes vary widely (some breeds may have only 1 or 2 puppies per litter while others may have 10 or more), this vague provision creates regulatory inequity among breeders. AKC believes a better approach is to base commercial activity on actual commerce, e.g. the number of puppies sold. Otherwise, these regulations could prove costly for breeders to comply with and will not further 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 a 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 listing should instead be voluntary.

Click here to read AKC’s alert regarding HF 84’s February 21 House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee hearing

Click here to read AKC’s alert regarding HF 84’s February 13 House Civil Law Committee hearing.

Click here to read AKC’s January 18 alert on the introduction of HF 84 and its companion bill, SF 36.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: It is imperative that all concerned Minnesota dog owners and breeders contact the members of the House Government Operations Committee and express opposition to HF 84 as currently written. Also, the AKC encourages all concerned Minnesota residents to attend the hearing on HR 84 and express your concerns to the committee members.

Click here for a sample letter to customize and send when contacting the members of the House Government Operations Committee.

Hearing information:
Minnesota House Government Operations Committee
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
10:00AM
5 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

(If you wish to testify at the hearing, contact Committee Administrator Jim Gelbmann at 615-296-8826, or via email at Jim.Gelbmann@house.mn.)

Representative Michael V. Nelson, Chair
565 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-3751
E-mail: rep.michael.nelson@house.mn

Representative Mike Freiberg, Vice Chair
551 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4176
E-mail: rep.mike.freiberg@house.mn

Representative Joyce Peppin, minority party leader
281 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7806
E-mail: rep.joyce.peppin@house.mn

Representative David Dill
571 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2190
E-mail: rep.david.dill@house.mn

Representative Zachary Dorholt
557 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6612
E-mail: rep.zachary.dorholt@house.mn

Representative Steve Drazhowski
289 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2273
E-mail: rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn

Representative Andrew Falk
439 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4228
E-mail: rep.andrew.falk@house.mn

Representative Rick Hansen
451 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6828
E-mail: rep.rick.hansen@house.mn

Representative Phyllis Kahn
365 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4257
E-mail: rep.phyllis.kahn@house.mn

Representative Ben Lien
525 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-5515
E-mail: rep.ben.lien@house.mn

Representative Tim O’Driscoll
357 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-7808
E-mail: rep.tim.odriscoll@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 Tim Sanders
259 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-4226
E-mail: rep.tim.sanders@house.mn

Representative Tama Theis
223 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-6316
E-mail: rep.tama.theis@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 Mary Murphy, ex-officio
443 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155
651-296-2676
E-mail: rep.mary.murphy@house.mn

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.

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