Legislatures are in full swing around the country, and the AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) team is monitoring bills impacting a broad range of issues.
In the past year, we’ve observed an increase in proposals that could impact the rights of dog owners in a number of situations. Cost of care measures are designed to help address the community costs of care if dogs are seized in a situation where cruelty charges may be made. Few would argue that those who are found guilty of animal cruelty should be required to pay the cost of care for their animals while their case is pending. However, some troublesome proposals could require owners to forfeit their dogs permanently if they miss a single payment – even if the individual is later found not guilty or not responsible, or in cases where charges are dropped. In response to this potential miscarriage of justice, the AKC Board has approved a new Canine Legislation Position Statement on “Due Process Protections for Dog Owners.” This new policy statement makes clear AKC’s commitment to protecting dog owners’ constitutional rights and privileges, including that of due process, from legislative incursions.
The AKC GR has also seen an uptick in proposals that restrict standard, recognized animal husbandry and/or veterinary practices. These range from a proposed ballot measure in Oregon impacting artificial insemination, to resolutions in California, New York and other states, that impact the veterinary practices of tail docking, ear cropping and bark softening, AKC Government Relations has updated its resources on cropping, docking and dew claws to help lawmakers better understand certain humane procedures.
AKC GR also continues to monitor activities and trends on the federal level and abroad. Recently, a district court in Oslo, Norway ordered to cease the breeding of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Bulldogs, citing major health challenges. AKC continues to monitor appeals to this case. View AKC’s blog on this issue.
We also encourage you to check out the latest In Session policy newsletter, featuring an interview with Congressman John Katko in which he discusses his beloved Labrador Retrievers, and the latest information on key issues facing Congress regarding the care of animals.
Ensuring decision makers have fact-based information from true canine experts is of the utmost importance. To protect our breeds and health and welfare of all dogs, AKC GR continues to update our key issue pages and get out into the community for educational days at state capitals.
We invite you to learn more – and as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720 with any question or updates on possible canine policy issues in your community. We’re here for you!