Two dog-related bills in Minnesota have been scheduled for consideration by the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee this week. The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports House File 1532, which seeks to prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against owners of certain breeds. AKC opposes House File 1276, which seeks to restrict consumer choice by forcing pet stores to showcase pets they sell from only rescue and shelter sources. Minnesota dog owners are encouraged to express support for HF1532 and opposition to HF1276 by contacting the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee today.
HOUSE FILE 1532 – SUPPORT
This short bill prohibits homeowner’s insurers from (1) refusing to issue or renew an insurance policy or contract, (2) canceling an insurance policy or contract, or (3) charging or imposing an increased premium or rate for an insurance policy or contract, based solely on the breed or mix of breeds owned by the homeowner.
HF1532 also creates exceptions insurers if a dog has been designated as dangerous or potentially dangerous under state law, or if proven to be based on sound underwriting and actuarial principles reasonably related to actual or anticipated loss.
AKC supports HF1532 because insurance companies should determine coverage of a dog-owning household based on the dog’s deeds, not the dog’s breed. If a dog is a well-behaved member of the household and the community, there is no reason to deny or cancel coverage. In fact, insurance companies should consider a dog an asset, a natural alarm system whose bark may deter intruders and prevent potential theft. Click here to read Breed Discrimination by Insurers Leads to Unsound, Inefficient, and Unfair Practices.
TAKE ACTION – Click here to share your support of HF 1532 with members of the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee. It is scheduled to consider HF1532 at its meeting on Tuesday, March 14.
HOUSE FILE 1276 – OPPOSE
This bill seeks to restrict consumers’ freedom of choice in pets by restricting pet stores from selling purpose-bred dogs. Click here to learn more about the issue of Pet Choice.
AKC opposes HF1276 because:
(1) HF1276 is a Minnesota version of 2023 legislation introduced in other states (CT, FL, HI, KY, and TX, among others), which demonstrates that HF1276 does not address Minnesota-specific issues but is part of a national legislative agenda seeking to shut down the most regulated dog breeding practices by forcing pet shops to sell dogs sourced only from retail rescue sources.
(2) By restricting sources of pets sold at pet stores, HF1276 would effectively eliminate state consumer protections for pet purchasers. Minnesota’s puppy purchaser protection laws do not apply to sales by humane societies, nonprofits performing the functions of humane societies, or animal control agencies.
(3) HF1276 is anti-business, as it would disparately impact pet shops that sell purpose-bred dogs, as it does not require humane societies, animal control agencies, rescues, or other nonprofits to supply stores with pets to sell.
(4) A better, less onerous alternative would be to require pet shops to adhere to appropriate care standards and prohibit them from purchasing animals from any breeder that has been found to have committed a direct violation of USDA animal welfare regulations or three or more indirect violations of USDA regulations related to the health or welfare of an animal in the last two years. Such safeguards would not only protect animal welfare but also preserve consumer choice and businesses in Minnesota.
Note: Last week, the chief sponsor of HF1276’s companion bill, SF1317, moved to table that bill when it was considered in committee.
TAKE ACTION – Click here to urge the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee to oppose HF 1276. It is scheduled to consider HF 1276 on Wednesday, March 15.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS LIST:
In addition to comments submitted via the “TAKE ACTION” links above that will be distributed to the entire committee, individual committee members may be reached as follows:
Rep. Zack Stephenson, Chair – 651-296-5513, email@example.com
Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, Vice Chair – 651-296-7449, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Tim O’Driscoll, Minority Leader – 651-296-7808, email@example.com
Rep. Robert Bierman – 651-296-5506, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ethan Cha – 651-296-1147, email@example.com
Rep. Kurt Daudt – 651-296-5364, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jeff Dotseth – 651-296-4308, email@example.com
Rep. Mike Freiberg – 651-296-4176, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ginny Klevorn – 651-296-5511, email@example.com
Rep. Erin Koegel – 651-296-5369, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Larry Kraft – 651-296-7026, email@example.com
Rep. Tina Liebling – 651-296-0573, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Anne Neu Brindley – 651-296-5377, email@example.com
Rep. Harry Niska – 651-296-2439, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bernie Perryman – 651-296-6316, email@example.com
Rep. Brian Pfarr – 651-296-7065, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Brad Tabke – 651-296-8872, email@example.com
Rep. Liz Olson (ex-officio) – 651-296-4246, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact AKC Government Relations at email@example.com.