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Ask the Nebraska Agriculture Committee to Support Positive Changes to Breeder Laws

(Monday, February 24, 2014)

A bill is currently pending in the Nebraska Agriculture Committee that would amend the definition of “commercial breeder”, which currently include those who own four intact dogs or cats.

While the new definition still may not define a truly commercial operation, Legislative Bill 288 is a good step, requested by the AKC, to ensure that small, responsible hobby breeders, sportsmen and others who may keep four intact cats or dogs and breed an occasional litter are not subject to regulations designed for commercial kennels.

This bill had a hearing in 2013, but the legislature adjourned prior to taking further action. Please contact the Nebraska Agriculture Committee and ask the members to SUPPORT Legislative Bill 288.

Summary:

“Commercial dog breeder” is defined in current law as anyone "engaged in the business of breeding dogs" and who:

  • Owns or harbors four or more intact dogs or cats,
  • Sells/transfers at least 31 dogs and cats per year,
  • Owns dogs/cats that produce four or more litters per year, OR
  • Knowingly sells or leases dogs/cats for later retail sale or brokered trade.

This means that if someone owns four intact dogs or cats and bred or sold even one dog, current law could require them to be licensed and regulated as a commercial breeder. This is problematic because it puts many hobbyists, sportsmen, ranchers, and other owners of intact dogs (and/ or cats) in the situation of potentially having to comply with regulations designed for much larger commercial operations.

LB 288 would change the commercial breeder definition so that someone, in addition to owning four or more intact dogs, must also at minimum:

  • Sell/transfer at least 31 dogs a year AND
  • Produce four or more litters per year or
  • Knowingly sell dogs for later retail sale before being subject commercial breeder laws.

While not perfect, we believe this is a good compromise step to help protect the rights of hobbyists and others who own intact dogs, but would not ordinarily be considered commercial operations.

Contact the members of the Nebraska Agriculture Committee. The contact information is as follows:

Sen. Ken Schilz, Chair
Phone: (402) 471-2616
Email: kschilz@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Dave Bloomfield
Phone: (402) 471-2716
Email: dbloomfield@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Ernie Chambers
Phone: (402) 471-2612

Sen. Thomas Hansen
Phone: (402) 471-2729
Email: thansen@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Burke Harr
Phone: (402) 471-2722
Email: bharr@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Jerry Johnson
Phone: (402) 471-2719
Email: jjohnson@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Steve Lathrop
Phone: (402) 471-2623
Email: slathrop@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Norman Wallman
Phone: (402) 471-2620
Email: nwallman@leg.ne.gov

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