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2015 Legislative Issues And Trends: Expansion Of Breeder Oversight To Non-Expert Groups

Two puppies being held

AKC Government Relations saw an increased number of bills in 2015 that allow inspections and enforcement of dog breeders by groups or organizations that have little or no experience or expertise in dog breeding.

Such measures often give shelters and local humane societies or a designee of their choice the ability to write and/or enforce regulations pertaining to breeders. While it is appropriate for animal control and welfare officials to oversee animal negligence and cruelty investigations for dog owners, generally it is less appropriate for individuals with little or no expertise in animal husbandry to have oversight of development and/or enforcement of specific, specialized requirements for breeders.

Examples of such proposals include:

  • Ulster County, New York, which would allow the Humane Society of the United States to conduct inspections and issue licenses.
  • In North Carolina, a state budget proposal would have transferred oversight of animal welfare from the Department of Agriculture to Public Safety. AKC Government Relations has expressed concerns about oversight being transferred away from those with expertise in animal husbandry.
  • A proposal in Santa Paula, California would require dog breeders to purchase a breeding permit and pass a test on “humane breeding practices” designed and administered by the Animal Services Coordinator. The measure does not require this individual to have any knowledge or experience with dog breeding.