March 26, 2004
The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners reports the following:
On March 24, 2004, H4537 was voted out of the Steering Committee and sent to the House floor listed with low priority, not requiring a vote for approval. Rep. James Eldridge (D, Acton) blocked it so the next time it is presented a vote will be required. We don't know when this vote will be scheduled, so letters or telephone calls to your Representative are a must to get this bill defeated.
Please contact your Representative and as many other Massachusetts State Representatives as possible to let them know that we are opposed to licensing breeders and to oppose H4537 when it comes up for a vote.
Massachusetts Faces Breeder Licensing
[Thursday, March 25, 2004]
Massachusetts fanciers are extremely concerned about pending legislation to require licensing of commercial breeders. H4537 provides that anyone engaged in the breeding and sale or exchange of litters from more than “three breeding females” must be licensed and inspected by the state. The bill is a substitute for previously considered H2274 and H3197, legislation that would have mandated licensing for all hobby breeders. AKC and purebred dog owners opposed these bills last year.
Although existing law will exempt those who sell or exchange offspring from their personally owned animals, fanciers in Massachusetts believe H4537 is ambiguous and sets a dangerous precedent for future laws that could further restrict their breeding rights.
Other Points to Consider:
- H4537 does not define “breeding female.” The bill may therefore impact owners who choose to keep intact animals for the purpose of participating in conformation events but have no intent to breed.
- The federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), as enforced by the US Department of Agriculture, already requires licensing of commercial dog breeders. The AWA further exempts from licensing hobby breeders who sell direct to the consumer. With such clear federal guidelines already in place, H4537 represents an expensive, bureaucratic duplication of legislation efforts.
What You Can Do:
Contact the Members of the House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling, as well as your own Representative, to express your concerns.
House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling
State House #174
Boston, MA 02133
Rep. Paul Kujawski
Rep. Benjamin Swan
(Rep.BenjaminSwan@hou.state.ma.us) [Vice Chair]
Rep. Christine E. Canavan
Rep. James B. Eldridge
Rep. John P. Fresolo
Rep. Bradford R. Hill
Rep. Louis L. Kafka
Rep. Peter Kocot
Rep. Elizabeth A. Poirier
Rep. Joyce A. Spiliotis
Rep. Ellen Story
For more information, contact:
AKC's Canine Legislation department
The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible
Dog Owners reports the following: