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Taking Command Newsletter

Regulation Highlights August 2020

Here are some highlights of state-level regulatory issues AKC GR has recently addressed.  Visit AKC’s Regulatory Resource Center for more information on these and other significant regulatory issues addressed by AKC Government Relations.

  • USDA APHIS – An updated version of USDA APHIS’ Public Search Tool, which provides access to Animal Welfare Act (AWA) compliance records, will launch on Monday, September 21, 2020.  The updates are necessary as the agency upgrades operating systems and better prepares for cybersecurity threats.  In addition to its current features, the updated search tool will also include a modern search interface and an Excel file listing of active licensees and registrants.  The public will also be able to see a count of “teachable moments” used by the agency.  For more information, go to
  • ALABAMA – Proposed amendments to Department of Conversation and Natural Resources’ rules for Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), Community Hunting Areas, Public Hunting Areas, and refuges seek to clarify that a person must have a valid Wildlife Management Area (WMA) permit or use the Outdoor Alabama WMA Check-In application to hunt, trap, use dogs, possess firearms, traps, or bow and arrow on any area, except on designated target ranges and except bow fishing equipment; and clarifies that dogs may only be used during a WMA established season.  For more information, go to
  • ALASKA – The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed changes to the regulations dealing with animal health, including animal importation, changes to health certificates and certificates of veterinary inspections, and disease reporting.  Amendments clarify that health certificates or certificates of veterinary inspection must have a unique number that is trackable and traceable. There are no proposed changes to the state’s current requirement that imported dogs need to be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate.  Changes also update the reporting requirements for certain disease incidences. For more information, go to
  • OREGON – The Land Conservation and Development Department has proposed rules to conform to HB 2106, which was passed by the 2019 Oregon Legislature.  The rule allows dog training classes and testing trials to be conducted in farmland buildings that existed as of January 1, 2019, rather than January 1, 2013, thus increasing the number of facilities that may host such events.  For more information, go to
  • RHODE ISLAND – In order to address conflicts between numerous regulations administered by several divisions of the Department of Environmental Management, it has proposed updates to the state’s Park and Management Area Rules and Regulations.  It also specifically empowers the director of the department to issue emergency operation orders for the closure or limited operation of state parks, beaches, campgrounds, boat ramps, and management areas, and facilities thereof, in the event of any emergency that may post an imminent threat or peril to the public health and safety.  For more information, go to
  • SOUTH DAKOTA – As a result of its systematic review to identify and change rules that are irrelevant, inconsistent, illogically arranged, or unclear in their intent and direction, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks has moves its  “Sporting dog trails permitted on public land” rule from 41:09:13:05 to 41:09:13:01.  This change does not change the substance of the rule, which still permits sporting dog trails to be authorized and conducted on lands administered by the department and still requires applications for sporting dog trails to be made in writing on forms provided by the department.  For more information, go to and
  • Texas – The Sunset Advisory Commission has recommended that the Texas Licensed Breeders Program be eliminated. Commission findings cite unenforceable requirements and administrative costs that exceed program revenues. AKC GR anticipates major legislative advocacy efforts by animal rights and rescue groups to oppose eliminating the program and instead to tighten licensing requirements. Their preliminary proposals include lowering the ownership threshold from 11 intact females to 5 and eliminating an annual sales requirement.  If enacted, this would vastly expand the number of breeders subject to state regulation.  GR is working with the Texas federation in preparation for the 2021 legislative session.  Click here to read AKC’s comments to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.
  • WASHINGTON – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the regulations for hunting contests.In Washington, permits are issued to non-profit organizations to hold a hunting contest, whereby a monetary prize of up to $2,000 may be offered to the contest participant who harvests the most animals. WDFW has determined that “spree killing contests” that encourage and reward the killing of large numbers of native wildlife are not consistent with sound wildlife management practices, and therefore is proposing the following changes.The first change would prohibit the Department from issuing hunting contest permits for hunting contests (involving both classified and unclassified wildlife species) that do not have bag limits. The second proposal would make it illegal for an individual to participate in a hunting contest that is not permitted by the Department and specifies that doing so would be punishable as an infraction. (Under current rules, only the sponsor of an unpermitted contest commits a natural resources infraction. The second proposal is to ensure that individual participants who participate in unpermitted contests are also held accountable for participating in unlawful activity.)These proposals do not change general hunting regulations for species that have no bag limit, including but not limited to bobcats, coyotes, crows, foxes, or raccoons. Field trials are not affected by this proposed rule change.  AKC has not taken a position on this proposal.  For more information, go to
  • WISCONSIN – In a procedural move, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (Department) is proposing a rule that would allow it to evaluate whether to increase fee amounts, including license and reinspection fees, for dog sellers and dog facility operators.Currently, animal shelters and animal control facilities pay an annual $125 license fee to operate in the state. License fees for in-state dog sellers range from $250-$1,000. Additional fees may also apply. As of license year 2020, there are 471 licensed dog sellers in the state, including 113 that sell 25-49 dogs per year, 87 that sell 50-99 per year, 64 that sell 100-249 per year, 25 that sell at least 250 per year, and 182 who operate animal shelters or animal control facilities.The Department reports that the dog seller program’s fiscal year 2019 revenues ($181,200) failed to meet its costs ($338,600), therefore costing the state $157,400. After evaluation, the Department has determined that it is not able to reduce its program expenditures to its current revenues without failing to meet program requirements that have been set by the state legislature.As required by statute, the Department would form an advisory group to assist in writing a new proposed fee schedule, with a goal of establishing fees to ensure recovery of program costs through program revenues and to eliminate the program’s current negative cash balance.

    The advisory group is to include representatives of each of the following groups:

    • Persons selling dogs at retail,
    • Dog breeders that sell large dogs and that sell fewer than 50 dogs per year,
    • Dog breeders that sell small dogs and that sell fewer than 50 dogs per year,
    • Dog breeders that sell large dogs and that sell 50 or more dogs per year,
    • Dog breeders that sell small dogs and that sell 50 or more dogs per year,
    • Sporting associations whose primary activities involve dogs,
    • Humane societies providing shelter to fewer than 500 dogs per year,
    • Humane societies providing shelter to 500 or more dogs per year,
    • Veterinarians,
    • Animal control facilities, and
    • Breed rescue groups.Click here to read the Department’s Statement of Scope filing. Those with questions for the Department are encouraged to contact Angela Fisher, Program Policy Analyst, at (608) 224-4890 or  For more information, go to