AKC Government Relations continues to monitor Congress for issues of interest to dog owners.
Visit our 2022 Legislation Tracking map and click on “Federal Bills” on the map to get the latest updates on federal bills currently being monitored by the AKC. Highlights of issues we are currently addressing on the federal level include:
U.S. Congress – H.R. 4239/S. 2597, the Healthy Dog Importation would require owners/importers of all dogs imported into the United States to submit a valid health certificate from a veterinary agency recognized by the USDA. Certificates would demonstrate that dogs being imported are microchipped and fully vaccinated or protected against contagious diseases and pathogens of concern to the USDA, including rabies. Dogs and records would also be subject to inspection/verification upon entry. Unlike the current CDC temporary rule, this measure focuses specifically on individual health status rather than country of origin. Read more.
U.S. Congress – FY 2023 Agricultural Appropriations (No bill number available yet) – Proponents of overly restrictive, one-size-fits-all regulations for pet breeder often cite concerns with enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). AKC supports strong enforcement of the AWA, and urges support for an increase in funding for AWA enforcement in the FY 23 House Agriculture Appropriations act, which is likely to be marked up in June 2022. Breeders who do not meet current standards are unlikely to improve compliance with stricter new requirements. A better approach is to improve enforcement of existing laws to address at substandard breeders who aren’t meeting current requirements, without placing harmful one-size fits all restrictions on responsible breeders.
U.S. Congress – H.R. 5261, also known as the “Paws Off” act, would require that food products containing xylitol carry a warning label that specifies the toxic effects of xylitol for dogs if ingested. Xylitol, also known as birch sugar, is a commonly-used ingredient in sugar-free products such as mints, chewing gum, toothpaste. AKC strongly supports this measure and is working with the sponsor to raise awareness and support for it. Read more
U.S. Congress – H.R. 2840/S. 1385, also known as the “Puppy Protection Act,” would establish a number of new arbitrary, one-size-fits-all requirements for USDA-licensed dog breeders (Generally, dog breeders who maintain more than 4 intact females and transfer one or more pets sight unseen). New arbitrary requirements would include completely solid flooring; mandated primary enclosure height such that a dog can stand on its hind legs and not touch the enclosure roof; mandated feeding twice daily; unrestricted access from primary enclosure to outdoor exercise yards large enough to achieve full stride; specific mental stimulation and socialization; prohibitions on the number of litters bred; and prohibitions on breeding age. Although the measure has not advanced, proponents have secured a large number of sponsorships on the measure. AKC is actively working to educate about the unintended consequences associated with the arbitrary requirements in this measure. AKC has issued multiple alerts urging breeders and club members to share their concerns with their U.S. Senators and Member of Congress. Read more.
U.S. Congress – H.R. 5828, known as the “Pets Belong With Families Act” would prohibit public housing agencies from imposing breed restrictions on household pets owned by residents of dwelling units within public housing. AKC is a strong proponent of banning breed restrictions. AKC supports this measure and is working with sponsors to help advance it.
U.S. Congress – H.R. 3277 would make numerous changes to USDA breeder licensing requirements in the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Several troublesome provisions undermine updated licensing and enforcement requirements that were finalized less than 18 months ago. Provisions include but are not limited to: Requiring breeders to re-apply for new licenses on an annual basis and reducing the number of allowable re-inspections for new applicants. Of even greater concern, HR 3277 would also allow for “citizen suits” (third party cause of action) to enjoin any other person, government, or government agency relative to the act. This measure has been assigned to the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.
U.S. Congress – H.R. 1016 would establish an Animal Cruelty Crimes Section within the Department of Justice to enforce federal animal cruelty laws. This measure has been referred to the Judiciary Committee.
U.S. Congress – H.R. 6100, would amend the Animal Welfare Act by requiring the USDA to document any violation of the act observed during an inspection, promulgate rules to require inspectors to confiscate or humanely euthanize an animal “found to be suffering physical or psychological harm as a result of failure to comply with any provision of (the AWA)”, and establish mandatory annual inspections for licensees, among other requirements.