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The Kansas House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources is considering a bill this Monday, January 26, that will expand who must be regulated under the state’s breeder laws. The bill will also create new requirements for those who are involved in rescue and those who keep at least 4 dogs during any week for training or boarding in return for compensation. This is very similar to a bill introduced in 2014 that did not ultimately pass.

Those who wish to comment on this bill are urged to contact the committee prior to Monday’s hearing (Scroll down for committee contact information).

Summary:

House Bill 2030 makes several changes to Kansas’ Pet Animal Act, including:
 

  • Expands definition of “animal breeder premises” – “Animal breeder premises” would be defined in HB 2030 as any premises where “all or part” of six or more litters or 30 or more dogs or cats are sold, offered, or maintained for “sale” (regardless of whether the breeder is USDA licensed). Current law only applies this definition if the dogs are sold at wholesale or for resale. In current law, “sale” includes exchanges and transfers, and anytime 20 or more dogs or cats (or both) are maintained by any person. HB 2030 expands this definition to include at least 20 dogs or cats on one premises.

    “Hobby breeder” is currently defined in law as any premises where all or part of three, four, or five litters of dogs or cats are sold, offered, or maintained for sale, or if less than 30 animals are maintained for sale. This definition does not change. Both animal breeders and hobby breeders are already required to be licensed under current law. In addition, currently the Department of Agriculture is only required to adopt rules or regulations for USDA licensed breeders that are in line with current USDA requirements. This is stricken from the bill, which implies that the department may enact more stringent laws.

  • Creates new regulations for “rescue networks” – Any rescue network operating in Kansas must appoint a “rescue network manager” and obtain a license. Foster homes must comply with the Kansas Pet Animal Act, and rescues must pay a fee of up to $10 for each foster home in the state. The network manager is responsible for ensuring that foster homes are in compliance, as well as for overseeing the intake of dogs, record-keeping, and other duties that may be required in subsequent rules.

    Current regulations already require that a group of two or more foster homes designate a manager to oversee these requirements. This would codify the requirement in statute and require that the manager purchase a license, and that the network pay the required $10 fee for each foster home.

  • Changes requirements for inspections – HB 2030 would require inspections for all licensees, including animal breeders, hobby breeders, and anyone who keeps 4 or more dogs/cats for one week for training/boarding for compensation. Currently, the state Department of Agriculture isonly required to inspect if there is reasonable cause to believe that a person is violating the state’s Pet Animal Act (In all other cases, current law says that the state “may” conduct inspections, but it was not required). The frequency of these inspections will be determined in regulations later, but the schedule for inspections may take into account “the performance history of a premises or the relative risk posed…to the health, safety and welfare of the animals.”
  • Makes numerous changes to license fees – All license fees will be increased, including:

    Hobby breeders – was up to $95, now it may cost up to $200.

    USDA-licensed breeders – was capped at $200, now could be up to $400.

    Non-USDA licensed animal breeders (those who have 30+ dogs or dogs from 6+ litters) – was limited to $405, now $725.

    A new license fee will be imposed for a boarding or training premises operators license of up to $250. This is defined in current law as any premises where 4 or more dogs or cats are maintained in any week for boarding, training “or similar purposes” for any fee or compensation

    A rescue network manager would be required to purchase a license that will cost up to $125

    If you fall under more than one category (for example, a rescue network manager and hobby breeder), you would now be required to obtain a license for each applicable category. You would pay for the most expensive license, then $50 for each additional required license. Current law states that you would only have to purchase one license.

    The grace period of 45 days for any late license renewal is removed, and the fine is increased from $70 to $100

  • Expands the time frame for animals to be kept at a shelter – Current law allows shelters to claim ownership of an animal after three business days. This bill expands this to three business days, not including the day the animal entered the shelter.
  • Amends membership of the Kansas Pet Animal Advisory Board – The membership of the Kansas Pet Animal Advisory Board, which oversees the implementation of the Pet Animal Act, would be changed to include a USDA-licensed breeder, an animal breeder not licensed by USDA, and a rescue network manager to ensure that all licensees under the Pet Animal Act are included.

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the committee hearing on Monday, January 26, and express any comment or concerns you have with this measure:

    Kansas House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Hearing
    Monday, January 26, 2015
    3:30 pm
    Kansas State Capitol, Room 346-S

AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor this legislation and provide more information as it becomes available. Contact AKC GR at doglaw@akc.org for questions or more information.

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