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The American Kennel Club (AKC) learned this morning that Senate Bill 338, which as introduced would lower the threshold for state licensure for breeders and increase costs for licensees, will be heard in the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee today, March 3, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. AKC Government Relations understands that amendments may be forthcoming.

 Persons who oppose SB 338 are urged to contact committee members today and respectfully ask them to vote NO on SB 338, as introduced.  See contact information below.

Among other provisions, SB 338 would:

  • Require breeders who produce and sell more than 20 pets per year to be licensed, regulated, and inspected as “pet dealers”. For breeders whose dogs have large litters, this could require licensure based on just two litters in any year.

The current definition of “pet dealer” or “pet dealership” includes persons who sell, offer to sell, exchange, or offer for adoption animals customarily obtained as pets. Under current law, a person who sells only animals that he or she produced and raised, not to exceed 30 animals a year, shall not be considered a pet dealer unless the person is licensed for a business by a local government or has a Georgia sales tax number. SB 338 would lower this threshold for licensure from 30 to 20.

  • Increase license fees from $50- $400 per year to $50-$800 per year.
  • Require applicants for licensure or renewal of license as a pet dealer or animal shelter to provide and maintain a surety of $7,500 to $500,000 made payable to the Commissioner of Agriculture. “Surety” includes a letter of credit, certificate of deposit, bond, or other written instrument issued by a lending institution, or a bonding, surety, or insurance company. Animal shelters operated by a state, county, city, or political subdivision of the state would be exempted from providing surety.
  • Require applicants for licensure to obtain and submit a criminal background check.

Breeders, rescues, non-governmental shelters, and other licensees who oppose these provisions are urged to immediately contact committee members and respectfully ask them to vote NO on SB 338.  Click here, and then click on each committee member’s name for contact information.

For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3645 or doglaw@akc.org.

 

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