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Minnesota Update: Commercial Breeder Laws Added to Appropriations Bill, Up for Floor Consideration Tomorrow, April 3

(Wednesday, April 02, 2014)
As previously reported, legislation seeking to license and regulate the operations of commercial breeders of dogs and cats has been under consideration by the Minnesota State Legislature this year. The AKC has learned that the language of the most recent commercial breeder bill was added to House File 3172, a supplemental appropriations bill; and that this bill is up for consideration by the full Minnesota House tomorrow.

As currently worded, the commercial breeder oversight language in HF 3172:

  • Defines “commercial 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 ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year.”
  • Requires those who meet the definition of commercial breeder to be licensed by July 1, 2015; and to pay an annual license fee based on the number of adult intact animals maintained, not to exceed $250.
  • Calls for inspections of commercial breeder facilities, including a prelicense inspection to occur within 60 days from the date the initial license application is received, and at least annually thereafter. The required frequency of inspections of commercial breeders’ facilities that have demonstrated two consecutive years of inspections with no violations will be reduced to at least once every two years.
  • Requires commercial breeders to submit an annual report to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, to prominently display their license at each of their facilities, and to include their license number or symbol in advertising or promotions that pertain to animal sales.
  • Mandates that commercial breeders keep records on each animal at their facility.
  • Requires commercial breeders to establish and maintain a written protocol for disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and veterinary care of animals at each facility.
  • In addition to standards of care required for all dogs in Minnesota, imposes additional requirements for commercial breeders, including group exercise restrictions, daily enrichment and positive physical contact with people, barring transfer of an animal before it reaches eight weeks of age, and facility staffing requirements.
  • Provides for investigations of commercial breeders upon the receipt of a formal complaint by the MN Board of Animal Health; and for civil enforcement to address violations, including correction orders that allow corrections to be made within a specified time period prior to an assessment of monetary penalties.
  • Classifies all information about commercial breeder licensees, except name and license number, as private or nonpublic.
  • Mandates the development of a program to recognize those who demonstrate commercial breeder excellence and exceed the standards and practices required under the bill.

Minnesota residents concerned with the legislation are strongly encouraged to contact their members of the Minnesota House of Representatives and express their concerns with the commercial breeder language included in HF 3172.

Minnesota residents, to find your State Representative, click here to go to the Who Represents Me page and enter your address information.

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