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The AKC has learned that Massachusetts's budget bill was sent to conference committee late last week. Thanks in large part to lobbying efforts by purebred dog fanciers, the Senate version of the bill does not appear to contain any language that will impact breeders. However, the House version does still include an amendment that would require regulation of any breeder or breeder's organization that breeds and sells more that five litters of puppies or kittens per year. Such breeders would need to register with the Department of Agriculture and abide by rules yet to be established by the Department, as well as report information about pet purchasers. Violators would face a fine of $500 for each failure to report an animal's birth, and $500 for each failure to report a sale.

What You Can Do:

A conference committee has been formed to resolve the differences between the two versions of the budget bill. If you are a constituent of one of the conferees listed below, please contact them TODAY and urge them to remove the amendment to Section 45 of the House budget from the final version of the budget bill. The committee has stated that it plans to finish its work as quickly as possible, so fanciers must respond immediately in order to defeat this unfair measure!

Members of the Budget Conference Committee

Senator Therese Murray (Kingston, Pembroke, Plymouth and Plympton,
Barnstable, Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich)
State House, Room 212
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: (617) 722-1330, FAX: (617) 722-1072

Senator Steven Panagiotakos (Lowell, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, and Westboro)
State House, Room 218
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: (617) 722-1630

Senator Michael R. Knapik (Chicopee, ward 1, precincts A and B, ward, 3, precincts A to C, inclusive, ward 6, precincts A and B, ward 7, precincts A and B, ward 8, precincts A and B, ward 9, precincts A and B, Holyoke, Westfield, Blandford, Chester, Granville, Montgomery, Russell, Southwick, Tolland, Easthampton, and Southampton)
State House, Room 421
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: (617) 722-1415

Representative Peter Larkin (Third Berkshire, consisting of precinct A of ward 1, all precincts of wards 2, 3, 4, precinct A of ward 5, and all precincts of wards 6 and 7, of the city of Pittsfield, in the county of Berkshire)
State House, Room 238
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: (617) 722-2380, FAX: (617) 722-2847

Representative John Rogers (Twelfth Norfolk, consisting of the town of Norwood, precincts 1, 2, 6 and 7, of the town of Walpole, both in the county of Norfolk)
State House, Room 243
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: (617) 722-2990, FAX: (617-722-2998)

Representative Viriato Manuel deMacedo (First Plymouth, consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14, of the town of Plymouth, in the county of Plymouth)
State House, Room 124
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: (617) 722-2100, FAX: (617) 722-2390

Points to Consider:

  • The US Congress defined “commercial breeder” in the Animal Welfare Act as “persons who derive a substantial portion of their income from the sale of dogs and cats for pets.”
  • The federal government did not intend to cover non-commercial hobby or show breeders under the Animal Welfare Act. States, therefore, should follow the direction of the federal government and exempt hobby and show breeders for whom the sale of dogs and cats is secondary to their fancier breeding activity.
  • Hobby breeding is not a business–it is an avocation that families begin because they love their animals and want to improve their breed. Most will be forced out of the sport under the burden of the proposed regulations.
  • Small-scale breeders are often better able to give the individual care and human contact that each puppy needs in order to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted companion and neighbor.
  • Small-scale breeders often have more time to screen potential dog owners, and to educate them about responsible dog ownership.

For more information, contact:

Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners

AKC's Canine Legislation department

The AKC has learned that Massachusetts’s budget bill was sent to conference committee late…