What’s New from Government Relations
While some state legislatures are winding down for the year, twenty-seven are still in session, as well as Congress. AKC Government Relations has been very busy on federal issues, including closely monitoring and responding to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS)’s request for public comments on their proposed changes to dog breeder licensing requirements. Comments will now be accepted through Wednesday, June 5, an extension to their previously announced deadline of May 21. The American Kennel Club (AKC) generally supports the proposed changes and encourages all interested parties to submit thoughtful, experience-based written comments online before the end of next week’s comment period. AKC remains concerned that current USDA regulations require that pet breeders who maintain more than 4 “breeding females” (dogs, cats or other small mammals) and sell one sight unseen may be subject to USDA licensing. AKC also remains concerned that current regulations do not adequately define the term “breeding female”. (For more information on licensing requirements, view AKC’s Does the New USDA Rule Affect Me? or visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/awa/ct_awa_program_information).
Another important issue AKC GR is working on is the dangers of irresponsible and poorly regulated pet importation. Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized these public health issues when it established a ban on the importation of dogs from Egypt, effective May 10, 2019. This applies to dogs originating in Egypt that are imported from or routed through third-party countries if the dogs lived in those countries for less than six months. This action is in response to multiple incidents of rescue dogs with rabies imported from Egypt and distributed in the U.S. The suspension will continue until veterinary controls are established in Egypt to prevent the export of rabid dogs. AKC and allied groups including the National Animal Interest Alliance continue to work with Congress and federal agencies on the issue of importation. For the latest on this important issue, we encourage you to check AKC GR Legislative Alerts and Blog posts often.
As your legislators return to their districts, summer recess and end of session provides a great opportunity to meet with your local decision-makers to talk about issues related to protecting purpose-bred dogs and responsible dog ownership. And there is no better way to hone your skills and learn more about the issues than attending the National AKC Legislative Conference June 23-24 in Washington, DC! This exclusive conference allows attendees to learn, network and share experiences with other dog enthusiasts around the nation. AKC Government Relations staff and other experts will present on the latest trends, strategies and tips for community outreach and legislative success. Learn how you can get involved, improve outcomes and inspire others to join the cause. To learn more or reserve your seat, complete the application form and/or contact Nathan Makla at 919-816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org .