The American Kennel Club (AKC) is deeply concerned with anti-breeder language that’s currently part of important federal appropriations legislation. Please join us in contacting your representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, especially if you are represented by a member of House or Senate leadership and/or the Appropriations Committees, to respectfully urge opposition to provisions in H.R. 8294 (the FY 2023 Agriculture and other Appropriations bill) that mandate an end to educational and collaborative approaches when working with regulated dog breeders.
Among the educational efforts targeted are the USDA’s use of “teachable moments”, a useful tool that helps protect and promote continuous improvement and advances in animal welfare practices. They also foster a positive connection between USDA and regulated breeders that is grounded in a shared commitment to animal welfare.
If enacted as currently worded, proposed changes would end USDA’s collaborative approach in working with licensed breeders. Left in its place would be a regulatory “gotcha” culture that would undermine cooperative approaches to assuring animal welfare.
Please contact your representatives in the U.S. House and Senate to share your concerns. If you are a constituent of a member who is on the Appropriations committees or in leadership, your voice is especially powerful.
- Please contact your representative(s) today to express your concerns about attempts to limit USDA outreach and education for dog breeders (Scroll down to “How to Take Action Today” below for details and contact info).
- Please share this alert with your contacts in your state, and ask them to take action too.
- Scroll down to “How to Take Action Today” for a list of key contacts, talking points and more information.
Section 755 of House bill H.R. 8294 prohibits funding to pay for salaries or expenses of personnel to implement any activities related to:
(a) The permitting of non-recording of observed violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) or its regulations on official inspection reports; or
(b) The prioritizing of education or collaborative approaches to violations or noncompliance ahead of enforcement under the AWA.
AKC strongly supports improved enforcement of the AWA; but is concerned that the language in Section 755 is:
- overly broad,
- contrary to the best interests of the animal care, and
- useless in increasing compliance with the AWA.
Preventing inspectors from conveying questions and concerns or educating regulated entities will be detrimental to the health and well-being of animals in the regulated community.
Instead of reducing the educational tools available to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Care Division and its inspectors, we urge the Senate to increase funding to improve enforcement of the AWA, with a portion of those funds to be used to improve education and outreach for licensees, which would be in keeping with the division’s mission to assure animal welfare.
- Link to Article in DC Journal
- Read coalition letter to Congressional appropriations leadership, supported by signed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, National Animal Interest Alliance, National Association of Biomedical Research, the Sportsmen’s Alliance, Pet Advocacy Network, Zoological Association of America and others.
How To Take Action Today!
Contact your member of Congress, let them know you are a constituent, and respectfully ask them:
- To oppose language in appropriations or other bills , such as in section 755 of HR 8294, that would prohibit use of funds for crucial educational or collaborative activities, including teachable moments that help protect regulated animals and prevent violations of animal welfare.
- To support additional funding for USDA for enforcement of the AWA, with a portion of those funds used to improve education and outreach for licensees. This directly benefits the wellbeing of licensees’ animals, in both the short and long term.
Click here for a list of members of congress in key leadership and appropriations committee positions who can have the strongest impact at this stage of legislative negotiations.
Click here for contact information for your member of congress.
Thank you for your action to protect breeder education and the wellbeing of dogs! For more information about AKC Government Relations or this measure, visit www.akcgr.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.