Attempts are once again being made in the Michigan Senate to pass regulations on dog breeders before the end of session this week. These bills could be considered as soon as tonight, so it is imperative that Michigan residents contact the Senate immediately (scroll down for contact information).
At this point, it is believed that two measures may still be under consideration in the Michigan Senate that could impact dog owners and breeders:
- House Bill 4898 – As amended by the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier this month, this bill in conjunction with Senate Bill 339 would create a new Animal Welfare Commission to regulate all breeders in the state, and potentially even those who simply own intact dogs. It is possible that attempts will be made to amend House Bill 4898 to mirror Senate Bill 339 and create this commission that would create licensing, inspections, and even regulations on the care of dogs – all at great expense to Michigan taxpayers. Read AKC’s previous alert for more information and talking points on this proposal.
- House Bill 4353 – This bill as passed by the House would have allowed shelters to weigh prior animal cruelty convictions prior to allowing someone to purchase a dog from an animal shelter. It has been pending on the Senate floor since June. AKC has just learned that this may be significantly amended to include language from House Bill 4898 as it passed the House, which would regulate those who own more than 15 intact female dogs. Many positive regulations are included in this proposal, including reasonable regulations for all dogs imported into the state. These regulations would include shelters and rescues. AKC also appreciates that ownership limits and other harmful provisions that were in prior versions of this proposal are not included in the House Bill 4353 amendments.
AKC remains concerned, however, with the definition of “large scale dog breeding kennel”. The proposal states that the definition will only apply to those females that have been previously bred. However, this requires state inspectors to first determine how many intact females are on the property and whether or not they have been bred before determining if they must comply with the other regulations outlined in the proposal. This will prove difficult to enforce. You can read these provisions by viewing the version of House Bill 4898 as passed by the House.
Michigan law already regulates kennels where three or more dogs are kept for sale, boarding, breeding or training, and also 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. It is unclear why either of these bills are necessary, which will cost the state additional revenue and be very difficult to enforce. Also, with them being proposed at the last minute there is little time for public comment and review.
What You Can Do:
Call the following members of the Senate NOW and express any concerns you have with these proposals:
Senate President Pro Tempore Tonya Schuitmaker
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof
Your State Senator – visit www.akcgr.org and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to get the name and contact information for your State Senator.
For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attempts are once again being made in the Michigan Senate to pass regulations on dog breeders before the end of session this week. These bills could be considered as soon as tonight, so it is imperative that Michigan residents contact the Senate immediately