The Utah House of Representatives recently passed a bill regulating certain breeders in the state. The current version contains many amendments requested by the AKC.
We encourage Utah clubs and hobbyists to contact the sponsor and thank him for listening to concerns and amending the bill:
Rep. Norman Thurston
AKC thanks the many club members, breeders, exhibitors and sportsmen who took the time to contact Utah Representatives about House Bill 359. Your voice made a difference for home-based breeders and hobbyists in the state!
The bill now goes to the Utah Senate for consideration.
Summary of Amended Bill:
As passed by the Utah House of Representatives, House Bill 359 contains the following changes:
- Removal of breeder permits and inspections – The original bill required a permit for all breeders, and possible inspections of private homes. These provisions were removed from the bill.
- Clarifications on definition of “dog breeder” – As passed by the House, the definition of “dog breeder” is one who breeds “for the primary or express purpose of selling, trading, bartering, or…transferring offspring for profit.” The words “primary or express purpose” were offered by the sponsor as a floor amendment just prior to the vote to address concerns raised by AKC that the definition could impact hobbyists any time this section of code was amended in the future. In addition, the bill clarifies that the definition does not include those who breed only one litter per year.
- Clarification that “Dog Breeding Premises” do not include private residences – This important clarification will ensure that any subsequent laws or regulations regarding dog breeding premises will not impact private homes. It was an important provision requested by AKC, as often provisions can include specific requirements regarding flooring, lighting, etc. that are appropriate for separate kennels but not homes.
- Clarification on record-keeping requirements – Amendments remove requirements that breeders keep records on a dog’s “behavioral issues”, which was unclear and undefined. Instead, the bill now states that those meeting the definition of “dog breeder” must keep records on a dog’s dangerous behaviors.
- Removal of arbitrary litter restrictions – The bill had prevented a female from being bred more than once in a 12-month period. After discussions with AKC, the bill now states that a veterinarian must examine the female to “determine that it is safe” to breed her more than once in the year. While this is not the exact language AKC requested, we believe that this is an important improvement and appreciate that the arbitrary restrictions have been removed.
- Reasonable requirements for dog breeders – Rather than all regulations and requirements being developed at a later date, the bill now contains some basic, reasonable requirements for all who meet the definition of dog breeder. This includes requiring veterinary checks for breeding females, a prohibition on selling dogs under 8 weeks of age, and a statement that all dog breeders must comply with current Utah code regarding preventing animal cruelty.
While this does not prevent future regulations, it ensures that as a baseline, requirements for dog breeders are reasonable and defined in Utah Code.
AKC Government Relations greatly appreciates these amendments and will continue to monitor this legislation. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.