The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission is still accepting comments on its June staff report recommendation that the state’s Licensed Breeder Program should be eliminated due to fundamental flaws with the law that created it, the program’s ineffectiveness, and significant operational costs.
The Commission was originally scheduled to consider the recommendation at an August hearing, but that hearing was cancelled and has not been rescheduled. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and our Texas federation, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA), continue to encourage all impacted and concerned breeders and owners to contact the members of the Sunset Advisory Commission and express support for the recommendation to eliminate the Licensed Breeders Program.
Click here to read AKC’s August 3 action alert, which provides full details on the Commission’s report and its recommendation.
Click here to read the Commissions’ report in full. (The report specifically addresses the Licensed Breeders Program on pages 23-25.)
The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who meet their responsibilities. The AKC expects responsible dog owners and breeders to know, understand, and obey laws that apply to them.
Sunset Advisory Commission Points:
- The Licensed Breeder Program is unnecessary, as other state and federal laws regulate a larger number of breeders and owners. “State law [already] makes cruelty to animals – including failing to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter – a criminal offense punishable up to a state jail felony, which is appropriate for law enforcement, not a regulatory agency to address.” (Staff report, page 25.) Moreover, the program, duplicates USDA federal standards for breeding animals for sale.
- The Licensed Breeder Program fails to meet expectations. In 2011, when the legislature considered creating the Dog and Cat Breeders Act, proponents of the legislation indicated that more than 1,000 breeders in Texas would be subject to the Act. Throughout its implementation, the actual number has averaged between 150-170 licensees.
- The Licensed Breeder Program’s revenues do not cover administrative costs, as required by law. “A 2018 agency fee study found the program had a 38% cost overrun. Enforcement cases took 307 days to resolve in fiscal year 2019, more than double the average across all TDLR programs.”
- The Act’s narrow focus boosts unlicensed activity. Many types of breeding animals are exempt from state regulation, including any animal used for racing or field competitions, personal use, herding, or hunting. Additionally, because pet sales are often cash transactions and because a breeder can lawfully give away animals without keeping a record, it is almost impossible for TDLR to prove the sale of at least 20 animals per year.
Take Action Today!
Impacted and concerned breeders and owners are strongly encouraged to:
- First, submit an online comment to the Sunset Advisory Commission in support of the recommended elimination of the Dog and Cat Breeder Act and its Licensed Breeder Program. Use the points, above, to support your recommendation. Go to https://www.sunset.texas.gov/input-form, select “Texas Department Licensing & Regulation” from the dropdown menu, and complete and submit the form.
- Second, email the members of the Sunset Advisory Commission encouraging them to do the same.
Representative Rep. John Cyrier, Chairman – John.email@example.com
Senator Dawn Buckingham, Vice-Chair – Dawn.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Terry Canales – Terry.email@example.com
Rep. Craig Goldman – Craig.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Stan Lambert – Stan.email@example.com
Rep. Chris Paddie – Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Pat Fallon – Pat.email@example.com
Senator Bob Hall – Bob.firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. – Eddie.email@example.com
Senator Angela Paxton – Angela.firstname.lastname@example.org
AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates as developments warrant, including preparations for the 2021 legislative session. For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at email@example.com, or RPOA at firstname.lastname@example.org.