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Taking Command Newsletter

Regulations Highlights October 2020

Regulations Highlights October 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.

  • 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. Read more.
  • Minnesota – The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has imposed a 10-day quarantine requirement for dogs imported from countries that have had a recent outbreak of, or are endemic for, African Swine Fever (ASF). The board has stated there is no direct evidence that dogs are biological carriers of ASF; however, they want to reduce the chances that animals, their carriers, and transport-associated materials are capable of carrying the disease. Owners/importers of dogs that originated from or traveled through a country in which an ASF outbreak has been identified must provide notification and submit health and rabies certificates at least seven days prior to the arrival of the animals into the state.  Upon arrival in Minnesota, dogs must be treated for fleas and ticks, carriers must be cleaned, and there is a 10-day quarantine. Read more.
  • 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.  Read more.
  • 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.
  • Texas – Last year, Governor Abbott signed SB 1531 into law, which added pleas of “no contest” to animal cruelty charges as a ground for denying or refusing to renew a breeder license under Texas’ Dog or Cat Breeders Act.  The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) recently proposed amendments to the state’s Dog or Cat Breeders Act regulations to implement SB 1531.  The proposal also combines two rule subsections that are virtually identical and makes technical changes.  AKC GR is monitoring this issue for developments.
  • 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 Angela.Fisher1@wisconsin.govRead AKC’s legislative alert for more information.