Arbitrary federal legislation to restrict the activities of dogs breeders has been re-introduced in Congress. Though labeled as commercial breeding regulations, the one-size-fits-all requirements can also apply to small hobby breeders. Your action is urgently needed to stop the animal-rights supported Puppy Protection Act (H.R. 1624) and to protect the rights of responsible dog breeders and the future of purpose-bred dogs.
Background: The Puppy Protection Act has been introduced in each of the last two Congresses. Last year, animal rights groups obtained more than 200 sponsors on the bill, vastly over-representing support for the bill and increasing likelihood of passage this year.
Scroll down for talking points and more information on how to contact your lawmakers.
Puppy Protection Act Government Mandates Include:
Prohibiting the breeding of a female dog:
- Unless pre-screened by a veterinarian
- Based arbitrarily on the age and size of the dog.
- If it would produce more than two litters in an 18-month period.
Additional arbitrary requirements include but are not limited to:
- Mandated unfettered access from dogs’ primary enclosures to an outdoor exercise area large enough that it “allows dogs to extend to full stride”. This would create a potentially dangerous environment for multiple dogs.
- Mandated annual dental exams.
- Mandated indoor space sufficient to allow the tallest dog in an enclosure to stand on his or her hind legs without touching the roof of the enclosure. For family dogs that live in their owner’s homes, the primary enclosure may be considered the dog’s sleeping crate.
- Mandated pre-breeding screenings. No specific details are provided for what the screening would involve or who would make these decisions.
- Prohibition on the keeping of dogs in enclosures above 85 degrees or below 45 degrees F, regardless of breed or acclimation needs for dogs that hunt, sled, detect explosives, or do other work and thrive in cooler temperatures, or that must be acclimated to cooler or warmer temperatures for their safety.
- Completely solid flooring, despite scientific recognition that multiple types of high-quality flooring, including engineered slatted flooring, is beneficial in certain types of kennels and with certain breeds.
Why This is a Problem
While some portions of the measures include reasonable generalized guidelines for canine care, arbitrary requirements that ignore best practices for individual outcomes are not appropriate for federal mandates. One-size-fits-all requirements do not take into account the broad range of breeds and types of dogs, or best health and breeding practices. They also do not allow for creative approaches that permit expert breeders and owners to provide optimal care for their individual dogs and advance the art and science of responsible dog breeding. Arbitrary restrictions can be expensive and undermine small hobby breeding programs because of an overly-broad definition of “breeding female” that impacts who is subject to federal requirements.
To learn more, see and share Breeder Expertise, Thoughtful Analysis Demonstrate Dangerous Flaws in ‘Feel Good’ Dog Law.
Who This Applies To
Anyone subject to USDA breeder/dealer licensing. Breeders are subject to USDA licensing if they maintain more than 4 “breeding females” (a term that is undefined but is generally considered to mean an intact female) and transfer even one of the offspring “sight unseen”. “Breeding females” include any combination of cats, dogs, or other small pet mammals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. (Learn more).
What You Can Do
Your member of Congress needs to hear from you. Please call, email, or write to your member of Congress today. (Visit AKC’s Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to find out who represents you and get their contact information. )
- R. 1632 is bad policy because it mandates arbitrary one-size-fits-all requirements for temperatures, kennel engineering standards, and breeding bans that are not appropriate for all types or breeds of dogs and could actually harm some dogs.
- Explain you are a constituent. Respectfully share your experience and concerns as a dog owner/breeder/expert and based on the talking points above. Breeders: Relying on your experience, explain in practical terms how the new mandates could adversely impact your breeding program.
- Ask them to not support advancing the bill out of committee or in the Farm Bill.
- Ask them to instead support additional financial resources for USDA so they can appropriately enforce the requirements they already have.
- If you can, let the AKC GR team (firstname.lastname@example.org) know you contacted your lawmakers and if you received any response.
Thank you for your action to protect the future of our breeds and the integrity of responsible, expert breeders.