The bills for this year’s legislative session continue to come in fast and furious. At the state level, we are seeing an abundance of ‘bond for care’ bills, breeder regulation bills, and retail pet sales bans, among other topics. On the federal level, we’ve seen we the reintroduction of the highly problematic Puppy Protection Act (PPA), and the positive Healthy Dog Importation Act (HDIA), and many other important bills.
You may remember the PPA (HR 1624) from last year. It would establish a number of new arbitrary, one-size-fits-all requirements for USDA-licensed dog breeders These requirements would include: prohibitions on breeding a female unless pre-screened by a vet and arbitrary breeding restrictions based on an animal’s size or age. It also requires unfettered access from a primary enclosure to a run in which the dog can reach a running stride, yearly dental examinations and arbitrary kennel temperature requirements. While many of these requirements may sound reasonable on their face, one-size fits all mandates can be impractical and have harmful, often unintended, impacts on the health and wellbeing of individual dogs.
The Healthy Dog Importation Act (HR 1184/S 502) on the other hand, protects dogs by requiring owners/importers of all dogs imported into the United States to submit a valid health certificate from a veterinary agency recognized by the USDA. Unlike the current CDC temporary rule, this measure focuses specifically on individual health status rather than country of origin.
Be sure to check out the many updates in this issue for the latest information on legislation impacting dogs and how you can get involved on the federal, state, and local levels to make your voice heard. One of the best ways you can help prevent passage of legislation that harms responsible dog enthusiasts and breeders is to familiarize yourself with the materials we have available in our Toolbox. These resources keep you up to date on important canine policy issues and matters and provide easy to use and compelling informational materials to share with club members, friends and neighbors so they can also advocate for responsible dog ownership.