The Colorado Department of Agriculture has proposed amendments to the regulations that carry out the state’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA), to include education requirements for license applicants and licensees seeking license renewal.
PACFA defines “canine hobby breeder facility” as any facility which transfers no more than twenty-four dogs per year or breeds no more than two litters per year, whichever is greater. Licensing requirements do not apply to canine hobby breeder facilities. Others, including “small scale operation dog breeders” (those that transfer more than the number of dogs permitted for a canine hobby breeder facility but no more than ninety-nine dogs per year) are required to be licensed by the Agriculture Commissioner, as are those who breed more than 99 dogs per year.
Current regulations empower the Agriculture Commissioner to issue a license to any applicant who has met all the requirements of PACFA, including completing all education requirements. The proposed additions to the regulations include requiring:
- Applicants for a pet animal facility license to successfully complete the required qualifying education course, as prescribed by the Commissioner. Proof of course completion will be required prior to license approval.
- The successful completion of a continuing education course by a licensed pet animal facility at least once during the space of two 12-month license periods (after the initial license period has expired). Proof of course completion will be required prior to license renewal.
Pet animal facilities licensed before October 30, 2021, will be required to take the qualifying education course to satisfy the continuing education requirement.
Details and content of courses are not detailed in the rule proposal.
The Department of Agriculture provides the following justification for the proposed rules:
Many regulated professions that serve the general public require a level of qualifying and continuing education as a condition to licensure. Educational requirements for licensed professionals maintain a basic level of competency and establish consistent standards within the profession. … By incorporating qualifying and continuing education, licensees will have a better understanding of the regulatory requirements, industry standards, and best practices related to animal care; thereby, increasing compliance and improving the health and safety of pet animals throughout the state.
What You Can Do:
Interested parties may participate in an August 24, 2021, virtual hearing (Zoom). The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1PM; and may also be accessed by calling 253-215-8782 using MEETING ID 832 3645 0296 and PASSCODE t2SDAj. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to pre-register by completing this form or by sending your name and telephone number to Jenifer.Gurr@state.co.us.
Alternatively, any interested party may file a written comment with the Agriculture Commissioner’s office prior to the August 24th hearing. Emailed comments may be sent to the hearing officer at Jeniver.Gurr@state.co.us.