A Utah House committee has just scheduled a hearing for tomorrow (Thursday, February 9) on a bill that would seek to develop regulations for virtually all dog breeders in Utah.
AKC understands that amendments will be offered, but it is unclear what impact the amendments will have on breeders – particularly those who breed and raise dogs in their homes.
According to the sponsor, the goal is to regulate the care of dogs in the state, particularly anyone who sells or transfers even one dog “for profit” (which would mean any sale or financial transaction). The new program developed under the HB 359 would additionally require a breeding permit for any breeding in the state. Regulations would be developed and enforced by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF).
AKC has expressed concerns with the concept of permits, particularly for hobbyists who do not breed a significant number of litters. In addition, we have stated our concerns about inspections and other requirements and how those would be applied to home-based breeders as opposed to truly commercial enterprisesAKC has been informed there will be amendments to answer some concerns, but, as stated above, it is unclear whether hobbyists and home-based breeders would still be regulated.
1. When other states have attempted to regulate a significant number of breeders, it has proven expensive and difficult to enforce. Instead, it would be reasonable to create a regulated class based on the number of litters produced and sold.
2. Utah Code allows for localities to develop their own breeder regulations. The sponsor has expressed concerns that this allows irresponsible breeders to simply move to another location. However, allowing localities to develop their own laws ensures they address specific issues in a way that is best for that community.
3. Cruelty laws in Utah already ensure that all dog owners provide necessary food, water, care, and shelter as well as “other essential care”. An additional permit, particularly for home-based hobbyists, would do nothing to further enforce this law.
4. We thank the sponsor for being responsive to AKC reaching out to discuss concerns. As discussions continue on this issue with the legislature and state agencies, we urge the state to work with the AKC and clubs to ensure reasonable, effective solutions that are in the best interest of dogs without unnecessary burdens on breeders, particularly those keeping a few dogs in their home.
What You Can Do:
- Attend the committee hearing tomorrow and express your concerns and questions with House Bill 359:
House Business and Labor Standing Committee
Thursday, February 9, 2023
Room 445, State Capitol Building
- Contact the committee and express your concerns and questions with House Bill 359. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting the members:
A. Cory Maloy, Chair (Utah County)
Rep. Stephen Whyte, Vice Chair (Utah County)
Rep. Carl Albrecht (Emery, Grand, Sanpete, Sevier Counties)
Rep. Brady Brammer (Utah County)
Rep. Walt Brooks (Washington County)
Rep. Jefferson Burton (Utah County)
Rep. James Dunnigan (Salt Lake County)
Rep. Jon Hawkins (Utah County)
Rep. Brian King (Salt Lake, Summit Counties)
Rep. Ashlee Matthews (Salt Lake County)
Rep. Calvin Musselman (Weber County)
Rep. Thomas Peterson (Box Elder, Cache Counties)
Rep. Mike Schultz (Davis, Weber Counties)
Rep. Norman Thurston, Sponsor of HB 359 (Utah County)
Rep. Ryan Wilcox
AKC Government Relations will provide more information as it is available. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.