A bill is expected to be considered as soon as tomorrow in the Michigan House Appropriations Committee that could result in licensing, inspections, and even requirements on how every person who breeds a dog in Michigan should care for their dogs. AKC thanks those who have taken the time to contact their State Representative, and asks that you take the time to contact the committee TODAY.
Michigan already has extensive laws regulating kennels, in addition to cruelty and neglect laws. Yet in spite of these laws, Senate Bill 339 would create a new state Animal Welfare Commission to develop even more regulations for “dog breeding operations”. Since “dog breeding operations” has not been defined, it is assumed that this will impact everyone who breeds a dog in Michigan, or even simply those who own intact dogs. Strong enforcement of current laws would be more effective than establishing an entirely new commission to further regulate breeders and sportsmen in the state.
The bill has already passed the Senate and is expected to be considered by the House Appropriations Committee as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday, December 7).
It is essential that those who reside or participate in events with their dogs in Michigan contact the committee TODAY and ask them to not support Senate Bill 339. Please mention in your contact if you reside or participate in events in Michigan, and if you are a constituent, be sure to mention that as well.
Committee Contact Information (Scroll Down for Talking Points):
Representative Jon Bumstead, Vice-Chair (District 100, Lake, Oceana and Newaygo Counties)
Phone: (517) 373-7317
Toll Free: (877) 999-0995
Click here to get contact information for the other committee members.
- Michigan already has numerous laws regulating the care of animals. Michigan law already regulates kennels where three or more dogs are kept for sale, boarding, breeding or training, and the penal code outlines numerous actions that constitute cruelty and neglect of animals. This is in addition to federal regulations requiring USDA licensing and inspections of anyone who owns more than 4 intact female dogs and sells a puppy sight unseen. State and local communities should focus on providing resources to allow local communities to enforce animal control and cruelty laws, rather than simply responding to a call for more laws.
- SB 339 and HB 4898 are not in the best interest of responsible breeders, sportsmen, or Michigan taxpayers. This new commission will be given a broad range of powers to establish rules for “dog breeding operations”, which is not defined in the bill and is presumed to mean anyone who breeds even one dog, or even those who simply own intact dogs. The animal welfare commission created in these bills would be given broad regulatory powers, including licensing and inspections of private homes and property. This will be a tremendous cost to the state and an unnecessary violation of the private property rights of responsible breeders and sportsmen.
- Breeders and sportsmen have significant expertise in animal care, breeding, and husbandry. They deserve a stronger voice on the commission. Those directly impacted, who also have extensive expertise in animal science and husbandry, are given a very small minority of seats on the commission. Two seats are given to hunters, and two to breeders who must be members of “a national organization of dog breeders and owners”. It is not clear what types of organizations this would include. The AKC, for example, is a club of clubs and does not have individual “members”. Read AKC’s previous alert for a full list of proposed commission members.
A bill is expected to be considered tomorrow in the Michigan House Appropriations Committee that could result in licensing, inspections, and even requirements on how every person who breeds a dog in Michigan should care for their dogs. AKC thanks those who have taken the time to contact their State Representative, and asks that you take the time to contact the committee TODAY.