Illinois dog owners, your help is needed immediately to oppose HB707. Sponsored by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the bill would amend the state’s Animal Welfare Act by requiring licenses for all “animal caretakers.” This definition includes but is not limited to anyone who sells, exchanges, or offers for adoption dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and other animals commonly kept as pets. Hobby breeders, pet stores, adoption facilities, shelters, and private individuals who sell, transfer or adopt out even one animal will therefore be subject to licensing under HB707. The Illinois Animal Welfare Act currently requires licensing for pet shops only.
Licensees will be required to:
- Provide new owners with health certificates and other information such as vaccination records, breeder’s name and address, and contact information for any past owners.
- Submit to an inspection of their premises by the Department of Agriculture.
- Give animals a “stimulating, enriching environment” as a component of humane living conditions. HB707 does not define what is “stimulating and enriching” for dogs and cats.
Violators would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation would constitute a Class 4 felony for every day that a violation continues.
The licensing expansion proposed in HB707 encompasses thousands of individuals, and will be extremely costly and impossible to enforce. Moreover, it will likely force many reputable hobby breeders, rescue groups and concerned owners to abandon programs that match healthy, well-socialized animals with responsible homes. These groups provide an invaluable service to the pet-buying public and to animal control departments across the state. Finally, HB707 uses broad, vague definitions that further add to enforcement challenges and leave even the most caring owner or breeder open to prosecution.
Existing Illinois law and indeed the federal Animal Welfare Act exempt hobby breeders from licensing and regulation. Congress does not believe in licensing for small-scale breeders, and neither should Illinois legislators.
What You Can Do:
Contact the House Committee on Agriculture and Conservation, where HB707 has been referred. Ask them to oppose this bill!
House Agriculture and Conservation Committee
Stratton Office Bldg #200-9S
Springfield, IL 62701
- Rep. Kurt M. Granberg (D) [Chair]
- Rep. Brandon Phelps (D) [Vice Chair]
- Rep. Mike Boland (D)
- Rep. Shane Cultra (R)
- Rep. Lisa Dugan (D)
- Rep. Robert Flider (D)
- Rep. John C. “Jack” McGuire (D)
- Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R)
- Rep. Richard Myers (R)
- Rep. Robert W. Pritchard (R)
- Rep. David B. Reis (R)
- Rep. Dan Reitz (D)
- Rep. Jim Sacia (R)
- Rep. Keith Sommer (R)
- Rep. Patrick Verschoore (D)
For more information, contact:
Illinois Dog Clubs and Breeders Association
Canine Legislation department
Illinois dog owners, your help is needed immediately to oppose HB707. Sponsored by Rep. Elaine…