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As reported in July 2021, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is considering amendments to the regulations that carry out the state’s Animal Welfare Act.

The proposed amendments, which may be viewed here, add: (1) sanitation and safety requirements; (2) requirements for primary pens to be safely constructed, be large enough for the animals, and have adequate lighting and ventilation; (3) provisions to protect animals from dangerous weather conditions; and (4) requirements for providing animals with proper exercise, hygiene, and physical examinations.

The proposal mandates that by July 1, 2023, all primary pens containing dogs shall have solid surface, slatted, or PVC/vinyl coated wire flooring.  If slatted flooring is used, slats shall be appropriately spaced for the size of the dog and constructed in a manner which prevents the animal’s feed from getting trapped or injured.  Additionally, primary pens will be permitted to be stacked only if they were commercially designed and constructed to be a multi-level enclosure/kennel; and if enclosures are located indoors, they must be placed in facilities with adequate light and ventilation.

By July 1, 2023, licensees will not be permitted to keep a dog in an outdoor enclosure if it is unable to tolerate prevalent temperatures, based on the animal’s own characteristics (i.e., breed, body identification, and environmental acclimation). Those using outdoor enclosures must take effective measures to ensure that climatic or ambient temperature threats to the health and welfare of dogs are eliminated.

Breeders licensed under the state’s Animal Welfare Act and other interested Illinois residents are encouraged to review the proposed amendments in their entirety.  Those wanting to submit written comments may submit them to the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, 700 Stratton Bldg., Springfield, Illinois 62706 or via email at