Monday, October 9, 2017
AKC Government Relations has learned that House Bill 1080 and Senate Bill 1155, which seek to be impose regulatory oversight over personal and commercial kennels, mandate annual inspections of all kennels, and create consumer protections laws is scheduled for consideration by the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. If enacted as currently written, these bills would onerously impact all responsible dog breeders in Massachusetts, including owners of personal kennels. Both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed) oppose H.1080 and S.1155.
TAKE ACTION NOW! It is imperative that concerned breeders and owners in Massachusetts as well as AKC-affiliated dog club representatives attend the October 17th hearing, as well as contact the members of the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee prior to the hearing, and respectfully express opposition to H.1080 and S.1155.
H.1080 and S.1155 are the most current versions of bills that have been considered over the past two sessions of the Massachusetts legislature. While previous versions contained fairer provisions that had been negotiated by a cross-section of animal interest groups under the direction of the General Court, the current version of the bills feature many troublesome provisions that were originally proposed years ago.
Problematic provisions of H.1080 and S.1155 would:
Require the Department of Agricultural Resources to create extensive commercial-type rules and regulations for both commercial breeder kennels and personal kennels where at least five intact female dogs or cats are kept to breed and sell offspring as household pets. To be largely based on the American Veterinary Medical Association model commercial breeder regulations (which are designed for high-volume dog retailers), these new rules would specifically include legislative mandates for solid flooring in primary enclosures and prohibit any stacking of cages.
Mandate the annual inspection of all kennels (both personal and professional) and provide guidelines for when, where, and how inspections may take place. The bills provide either for timeframes for kennel operators to come into compliance on noncompliant issues discovered during an inspection, or allow inspectors to summarily revoke or suspend a license, depending on the severity of an offense.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
All concerned breeders and owners in Massachusetts, as well as AKC-affiliated dog club representatives, are strongly encouraged to attend the October 17th hearing of the Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee. They should also contact the members of committee prior to the hearing, and respectfully express opposition to H.1080 and S.1155. Use the talking points above, as well as MassFed’s position paper for talking points against both H.080 and S.1155.
Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee
State Senator Michael O. Moore, Senate Chair
State Senator Walter F. Timilty, Senate Vice Chair
State Senator Julian Cyr
State Senator Eileen M. Donoghue
State Senator Adam G. Hinds
Phone: (617) 722-1625
Fax: (617) 722-1523
State Senator Patrick M. O’Connor
State Representative James J. O’Day, House Chair
State Representative Thomas M. Stanley, House Vice Chair
State Representative Paul R. Heroux
State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy
State Representative Jay D. Livingstone
State Representative Michelle M. DuBois
State Representative Stephen Hay
State Representative Dylan Fernandes
State Representative Brian Murray
State Representative Donald H. Wong
State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr.
Hearing information: The Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government is expected to meet on Tuesday, October 17, at 1PM, in Room 222 at the State House in Boston, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133.
AKC Government Relations (AKCGR) thanks Charlotte McGowan for the committee hearing information and her ongoing efforts against this legislation. AKC GR will continue to provide updates on these bills, as well as other pending Massachusetts legislation. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact MassFed at www.massfeddogs.org.