As part of its required five-year review process, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has proposed extensive changes to regulations applying to high volume breeders, pet stores, and dog brokers. The American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages anyone potentially affected by the proposals to express their comments or concerns to ODA in one of the methods listed below.
“High volume breeder”, “pet store”, and “dog broker” are defined in Section. 956.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RULES
Commercial Dog Breeding Rules
Rule 901:1-6-01, which establishes definitions and general considerations, is being amended to add new definitions and amend existing definitions. New definitions include “access the outdoors” and “exercise”. The proposal amends the definitions of “enrichment”, “outdoor housing”, “sheltered housing”, and “weaned”; and deletes the definition of “existing facility”.
Rule 901:1-6-02, which establishes housing standards for dogs kept by high volume breeders, is being amended in the primary enclosure paragraphs, to add new requirements for the primary enclosure size and flooring. The proposed change will prohibit primary enclosures from being stacked, regardless of whether a non-penetrable barrier has been utilized between levels to ensure wastes cannot fall into lower-level enclosures. It also adds requirements for primary enclosure size, flooring, outdoor housing, whelping areas, cleaning, and posting of emergency contingency plans.
Rule 901:1-6-03, which establishes socialization standards for dogs kept by high volume breeders, is being amended to add daily exercise requirements and add requirements for safely accessing the outdoors.
Rule 901:1-6-04, which establishes food and water standards for dogs kept by high volume breeders, is being amended to further clarify requirements for food and water. Unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian, dogs must be fed twice a day. The rule clarifies that water must be potable, and permits water bottles with ball dispensers as long as they are not the only source of water.
Rule 901:1-6-05, which establishes health standards for dogs kept by high volume breeders, is being amended to further clarify the requirements for the health of adult dogs and puppies kept by high volume breeders and to remove paragraphs that are no longer necessary. It clarifies written annual care plan requirements, including that brucellosis monitoring plans and other practices are to be developed by the kennel’s veterinarian, not the Department of Agriculture. It also limits females to producing no more than eight litters in a lifetime. The proposal also creates grooming requirements, and provides that dogs must be eight weeks of age and weaned to be transported in commerce.
Rule 901:1-6-06, which currently establishes transportation standards for dogs kept by high volume breeders, is proposed to be rescinded.
Rule 901:1-6-07, which establishes recordkeeping standards for all dogs regulated under Chapter 956 of the Revised Code, is being amended in the paragraphs pertaining to identification of the dogs and in the paragraphs requiring recordkeeping, and to remove paragraphs that are no longer necessary. Dogs six months of age and older must be identified by an implanted microchip or a fitted collar with required identification information attached. Detailed records must be maintained.
Rule 901:1-6-08, which currently sets forth the licensing application form and procedure for high volume breeders and dog brokers and the registration requirements for animal rescues for dogs, is being amended to establish licensing requirements based on the facility type. It clarifies that high volume breeders must notify the Department of Agriculture within 10 days of any change or cancellation in required insurance or surety bonds, and that required background checks must be submitted as part of license application/renewal packages.
Rule 901:1-6-10, which establishes civil penalties for operating as a high volume breeder or dog broker without a license, is being stricken and substituted due to a large amount of change. Currently, high volume breeder and dog retailer licensees who operate without a license are subject to a civil penalty of $100 for a first offense and $500 for each subsequent offense. The proposed rule provides that those who violate the applicable statutes or rules may be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 for a first violation, up to $5,000 for a second violation, and up to $10,000 for a third or subsequent violation, and that each day a violation continues is to be considered a separate violation.
Pet Stores and Dog Broker Rules
Rule 901:1-8-01, which outlines the definitions used in Chapter 901:1-8, is being amended to provide additional clarification to existing definitions. It renames “animal rescue” as “animal rescue for dogs”; and amends the “pet store” definition to establish that a pet store must sell at least 40 puppies or adult dogs to be regulated. It also clarifies that a high volume breeder or any breeder that maintains or sells dogs from the same premises where they are bred and reared are to not be considered pet stores.
Rule 901:1-8-02, which sets forth the licensing procedures for pet stores, is being amended to remove the licensing fee which is located in Revised Code and make a stylistic change. Ohio Revised Code section 956.21 establishes $500 license fees.
Rule 901:1-8-03, which outlines the microchip requirements for all dogs displayed, offered for sale, delivered, bartered, auctioned, brokered, given away, transferred, or sold by a pet store, is being amended to include dog brokers in the requirement for identification.
Rule 901:1-8-04, which outlines the recordkeeping requirements of pet stores, is being amended to require the length of time and location of records to be kept by pet stores. It clarifies that pet stores must report the name and address of the physical location of the rescue, shelter, humane society, dog broker, or qualified breeder that supplied a dog; and that records must be kept on premises for two years after the dog left the store.
Rule 901:1-8-05, which outlines the recordkeeping requirements of dog brokers, is being amended to require the address of the physical location of the supplier of the dog to be kept by dog brokers.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You may participate and/or comment on these proposed changes in one of the following ways:
Attend the March 30 public hearing: The Ohio Department of Agriculture will conduct a hearing on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at 11AM. It will be held in Hearing Room 129 (aka, Seminar room “A”) at the Bromfield Administration Building, 8995 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-3399.
Any person affected by the proposed rule changes may appear and be heard in person, by their attorney, or both. They may present their position, arguments, or contentions, orally or in writing; offer and examine witnesses; and present evidence tending to show that the proposal would be unreasonable or unlawful.
Individuals who wish to listen in during the public hearing may call 614-721-2972, then enter 590060584#. No testimony will be accepted via telephone.
Submit comments in writing: Those who wish to present their position, arguments, or contentions in writing other than at the public hearing, may do so in one of the following ways:
Ohio Department of Agriculture
C/o Legal Section
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via fax: 614-995-4585.
FOR MORE INFORMATION…
…On the rule package, including a business impact analysis and copies of the rules, is available at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/proposedrules/proposedrules.aspx or by visiting the Ohio Register at www.registerofohio.state.oh.us.
…Contact AKC Government Relations at email@example.com.