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Animal rights groups that oppose the purposeful breeding of dogs have long sought to unfairly tarnish the reputation of responsible breeders and shut down regulated professionals by falsely claiming that breeders are cruel or negligent “puppy mills”. A common tactic of anti-breeder groups is to 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. Next week, a Texas legislative committee will consider such a law, and it is vitally important that all breeders take a stand against this anti-breeder legislation  now.

Texas House Bill 1818 seeks to limit pet stores that are 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. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has also learned that the bill will likely be amended to remove licensed breeders as a source, thereby making it a full retail sourcing ban bill like those pending in multiple states this year.

HB 1818 also seeks to require pet stores to comply with new recordkeeping requirements and sourcing posting requirements on pet enclosures.  AKC does not take issue with either of these proposed requirements.

AKC emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet. We actively promote efforts to ensure that people understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to a pet that is right for them. 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 the responsible dog ownership and the wellbeing of pets.  For more information on this important issue, go to AKC Government Relations’ Pet Choice key issue page.

TAKE ACTION NOW!
Texas residents are strongly urged to contact the members of the House Business and Industry Committee before its 8AM meeting on Tuesday, March 23, to respectfully request HB 1818 not be voted out of committee.  Please feel free to use talking points, below.

TALKING POINTS: 

  • 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 seeks 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.

CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS

To electronically submit comments without testifying in person, go to https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c040.

For Texas Residents who would like to testify in person, information on in-person witness registration can be found at https://mytxlegis.capitol.texas.gov/HWRSPublic/About.aspx.

Individual committee members, including the bill’s primary sponsor, may be reached at:

Representative Chris Turner, Chair (Dist. 101 – Grand Prairie)
(512) 463-0574
Chris.Turner@house.texas.gov

Representative Cole Hefner, Vice Chair (Dist. 5 – Mt. Pleasant)
512-463-0271
cole.hefner@house.texas.gov

Representative Briscoe Cain (Dist. 128 – Deer Park)
512-463-0733
briscoe.cain@house.texas.gov

Representative Jasmine Crockett (Dist. 100 – Dallas)
512-463-0586
Click here for a form to contact Representative Crockett

Representative Stan Lambert (Dist. 71 – Abilene)
512-463-0718
stan.lambert@house.texas.gov

Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez (Dist. 76 – El Paso)
512-463-0622
Claudia.OrdazPerez@house.texas.gov

Representative Jared Patterson, HB 1818 Sponsor (Dist. 106 – Frisco)
(512) 463-0694
jared.patterson@house.texas.gov

Representative Hugh Shine (Dist. 55 – Temple)
512-463-0630
hugh.shine@house.texas.gov

Representative Senfronia Thompson (Dist. 141 – Houston)
512-463-0720
Senfronia.Thompson@house.texas.gov

Committee Clerk Emily Amps – (512) 463-0766, emily.amps@house.texas.gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact AKC Government Relations, which will provide updates as developments warrant, at doglaw@akc.org.

 

 

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