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A bill is pending final approval in the Kansas House of Representatives that would mandate unannounced inspections of all state licensees- including hobbyists.

In Kansas, a hobby breeder must be licensed if 3-5 litters are produced and under 30 animals sold in a year.  Unannounced inspections could prove challenging, as it is a hobby and the owner cannot be expected to be home at all times.

The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit is currently conducting a thorough review of the entire state companion animal program.  This is expected to be completed later this year.  AKC believes any substantive policy changes should be held until after this audit is complete, in order to ensure the best and most effective policies are proposed.

House Bill 2477 is pending final approval in the House of Representatives and then will be sent to the Governor.  Kansas residents are encouraged to contact their State Representative and the Governor today and express your concerns with this portion of the bill.

Summary:

As introduced, House Bill 2477 was intended to address a request from the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) for fee increases for all those regulated under the Kansas Pet Animal Act.

An amendment was made on the House floor to change laws regarding inspections.  Current law requires an inspection when a license application is first submitted.  KDA is also permitted to inspect at any time, but current law stated that notice “need not be given to any person prior to inspection.”  At the request of several animal rights groups, this was amended to say that KDA shall not provide notice, and therefore requiring that inspections not be announced.

If a person does not make the premises available within 30 minutes, then a fine will be issued and the inspector will return, but again it will be unannounced.  It is unclear what will happen if someone is not home a second time, but it is possible the license could be revoked.

While the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee removed this amendment, it was added back in on the Senate floor.

The bill was also revised at the request of local shelters to lower their license fees and to ensure that any individual with a written and signed agreement to provide temporary care for dogs or cats owned by a shelter will not have to be licensed by the state.

What You Can Do:

This could be given final approval in the House of Representatives any day.  Kansas residents are strongly encouraged to do the following:

  • Call your Kansas State Representative TODAY and ask them to not approve the Senate version of House Bill 2477. Visit http://kslegislature.org and click on the “Find Your Legislator” link to get the name and contact information for your State Representative.
  • Contact the Governor’s office and ask him to not sign House Bill 2477 with the policy changes included:
    The Honorable
    Office of the Governor
    Capitol, 300 SW 10th Avenue, Suite 241S
    Topeka, KS 66612-1590
    Phone: (877) 579-6757
    Online Comment Form: https://governor.kansas.gov/serving-kansans/constituent-services/legislation-and-policy-issues/

Talking Points:

  • Emphasize the care you as a hobby breeder provide for your animals, but explain how unannounced inspections would be a challenge for you.
  • House Bill 2477 was originally introduced because of significant funding concerns in the Department of Agriculture. Having to reinspect kennels because someone is not home would be a further drain on the department’s resources.
  • A state audit is currently being conducted to review the entire program. Policy changes should wait until the audit is complete to ensure the best and most effective laws.

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org.

 

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