AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has learned that this morning the House Business and Industry Committee approved HB 1818 by a vote of 7-2.
AKC opposes HB 1818, which would limit pet stores located in counties of more than 200,000 residents to sourcing dogs from only: (1) an animal control agency, (2) an animal shelter, (3) an animal rescue organization, or (4) a breeder licensed by the state of Texas. AKC strongly opposes any measure that restricts choice by compelling people and/or retailers to obtain pets solely from shelter or rescue distributors. Laws to ban the sale of purpose-bred puppies are not only inefficient, they undermine responsible dog ownership and the wellbeing of pets.
HB 1818 has been assigned to the House Calendars Committee for scheduling of additional consideration.
TAKE ACTION NOW: It is vital that Texas residents concerned with the health and welfare of Texans and of the pet supply contact their state representatives now and urge opposition to HB 1818 as currently worded. Click here to use the Texas Legislature’s Who Represents Me? tool.
Use these talking points in urging opposition to HB 1818:
- I am a Texas resident, I oppose HB 1818, and respectfully urge you not vote the bill out of your committee.
- Animal rights groups that oppose the purposeful breeding of dogs regularly attempt to tarnish the reputation of responsible breeders and seek to shut down regulated professionals by falsely claiming that breeders are cruel or negligent “puppy mills”. Anti-breeder groups push for laws that prohibit pet retailers from selling purpose-bred pets by using inaccurate and emotionally-charged claims that pet breeders and pet stores routinely neglect pets. Typically, their “solution” would force retailers to offer only pets from rescues or shelters.
- Only four percent of pets obtained in the U.S. come from retail pet stores. Approximately 44 percent come from rescues, shelters, parking lot rescue events, etc. Banning an industry that accounts for only four percent of sales would not accomplish the proponents’ stated goals.
- Retail bans create an artificial demand for dogs that are not subject to, and do not benefit from, U.S. animal welfare regulations or the health tests and reporting required of professionally-bred pets. Ultimately, this harms Texas pet owners, businesses, and policymakers responsible for these decisions.
- A reasonable alternative: Instead of the harsh impact that would result if HB 1818 were enacted as introduced, AKC recommends a reasonable alternative would protect responsible choice, allow the retail sales of dogs in pet stores to continue if they (1) adhere to appropriate care standards and (2) are prohibited 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 (non-welfare-related) violations of USDA regulations or violations of Texas’ Dog or Cat Breeders Act in the last 2 years.
Texas residents will be better served by passing reasonable consumer protection laws, which the state currently does not have.
For more information on this important issue, visit AKC Government Relations’ Pet Choice key issue page.
AKC GR will continue to provide updates to HB 1818. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.