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. Read more.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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.gov. For more information, go here.