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North Dakota Senate Bill 2297, which seeks to require the licensing and oversight of certain dog breeders, is scheduled for consideration by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday, February 9.  The American Kennel Club has serious reservations concerning SB 2297. 

All North Dakota breeders and owners are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the Agriculture Committee and respectfully express their concerns. 

As introduced, Senate Bill 2297:

  • Seeks to regulate commercial dog breeders, which it defines as any person who, during any 12-month period, possesses or maintains five or more intact female dogs at one time for the primary purpose of breeding and selling the offspring. 
    • In addition to having only a minimum number of commercial-type breeders in North Dakota, this definition would encompass a large number of hobby breeders in its reach.  This would impose upon them commercial-type operating standards and inspection requirements. 
  • Requires commercial dog breeders to be licensed.  Licenses would be valid for one year, and cost $100 annually. 
  • Subjects licensees to pre-license inspections, as well as at least one unannounced inspection annually, to be conducted by the State Veterinarian or another designated licensed veterinarian.  Additional inspections may be made when a complaint is received.  Inspections may include any books and records, any animal in possession by the licensee, and any location where dogs are maintained or otherwise held.  This can include private residences. 
  • Mandates that primary enclosures have solid flooring and provide sufficient space to allow each dog to turn freely, sit, and lie down in a comfortable, normal position.  Each dog in a primary enclosure must be provided at least 12 square feet if it measures up to 25 inches in length (from tip of nose to base of tail), at least 20 square feet if it measures between 25 inches and 35 inches in length; or at least 30 square feet if the dog is more than 35 inches in length.  Further, primary enclosures may not be stacked. 
    • The American Kennel Club believes that performance-based standards are easier to enforce and easier to comply with than rigid engineering-based standards, and provide for the many ways in which dogs may be humanely kept.  Further, these proposed restrictions are contrary to care standards required by the federal government and recommended by both the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary Medical Association

SB 2297 also seeks to impose minimum nutrition standards, veterinary care requirements, and recordkeeping requirements upon licensees.  It empowers the state Board of Animal Health to create regulations for licensed commercial dog breeders, and provides for penalties for those who violate the provisions of the bills. 

Concerned North Dakota breeders and owners are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is scheduled to consider SB 2297 on Thursday, February 9, and respectfully express their concerns with the legislation.  

State Senator Larry Luick, Chair (Dist. 25)
Phone:  701-474-5959

State Senator Janne Myrdal, Vice Chair (Dist. 10)
Phone: 701-331-0946

State Senator Jerry Klein (Dist. 14)
Phone:  701-547-3517

State Senator Oley Larsen (Dist. 3)
Phone:  701-509-0010

State Senator Arne Osland (Dist. 20)
Phone: 701-436-6155

State Senator Merrill Piepkorn (Dist. 44)
Phone: 701-205-2665

For more information on SB 2297, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or email