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Taking Command Newsletter

Whats New from GR June 2020

What’s New from AKC Government Relations

As summer gets underway, we know many of you are eager to get back into the dog sports we miss so badly. However, as the risk of COVID-19 remains, clubs are left wondering about their personal liability in regard to hosting their events. While some events, such as FAST CAT, are easier to accommodate with the new social distancing guidelines, events like conformation can be more challenging. The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department (AKC GR) has been tracking legislative proposals at the federal and state levels that seek to limit the potential civil legal liability of individuals and businesses, including non-profits, for damages or personal injury that result from actual or alleged exposure to COVID-19. The tracking report, which is updated daily, can be accessed on our COVID-19 resources page.

The AKC Government Relations department has always addressed legislative issues, however did you know we also track dog-related regulatory proposals from the U.S. federal government, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia?  AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) is currently tracking approximately 700 regulatory proposals, the majority of which concern land use/hunting regulations and those governing the practice of veterinary medicine.  Click here to read highlights from this past month.

Another hot topic in the dog world is the decision made by the Dutch Kennel Club, Raad van Beheer (RvB),  to limit registration of certain brachycephalic dog breeds. As part of this policy RvB effectively encouraged crossbreeding to increase muzzle length and offered to allow for future generations descended from those mixes to be registered as purebred. An AKC statement, sent to the RvB, expressed strong concerns and urged RvB to instead pursue education and scientific approaches that address health issues within a breed in a manner that protects and preserves the essence of that breed.

And in case you missed it, our Director of Legislative Outreach, Jennifer Clark, presented a webinar on breed-specific legislation (BSL), key case studies, and how and why BSL proposal continue to be introduced.  The webinar also discusses advocacy tips to help clubs and dog owners be effective in communicating with lawmakers on this issue. You can watch it here.

Scroll down to catch up on more updates and the latest new resources from AKC GR.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us ( with any questions on these topics, or to bring other legislative issues to our attention. We hope that you and yours continue to stay safe –and we look forward to seeing you at future events!