The West Virginia House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 2015 this Wednesday, February 2. This problematic bill would limit dog ownership and place restrictions on dog breeding.
The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. We also support current West Virginia law, which, among other provisions, makes it unlawful for anyone to withhold proper sustenance; protective shelter and medical treatment.
House Bill 2015 defines “commercial dog breeder” as anyone who maintains 20 or more intact dogs over 1 year of age and “is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct or indirect sale.” Those licensed by the USDA would not be exempt. Only those who hold an occupational permit and have registered a greyhound kennel name with the West Virginia Racing Commission would be exempt from this bill.
Those licensed under this bill would be subject to inspection at least twice a year. Five days’ notice would be given prior to the inspection.
AKC has grave concerns with several provisions in House Bill 2015, including:
- Ownership limits – This bill would impose an ownership limit of 50 dogs, and gives breeders over the limit only 30 days to comply with the limit. Limits on dog ownership are arbitrary and ineffective, and punish responsible dog owners who take excellent care of their animals. Click here for talking points on animal limit laws.
- Breeding age limits – A dog may only be bred if it is between the ages of 18 months and 8 years. The AKC believes that the decision to breed should be made by the breeder in conjunction with their veterinarian, and not subject to arbitrary restrictions.
House Bill 2015 creates numerous new engineering standards and requirements for commercial breeding kennels. Current law already addresses the issues of proper shelter, sustenance, and acts of animal cruelty, rendering House Bill 2015 an unnecessary burden on responsible West Virginia breeders, law enforcement officers, and taxpayers.
How You Can Help:
- Attend the House Agriculture Committee hearing and politely express your concerns with House Bill 2015. The committee information is as follows:
West Virginia House Agriculture Committee
Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: House Government Organization Committee Room – 215-E (East side of Capitol Building)
West Virginia State Capitol Building
Charleston, West Virginia
- Contact the House Agriculture Committee members and ask them to vote “no” on this bill. Click here for the names of the committee members and their contact information.
Contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The West Virginia House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 2015 this…