USDA/APHIS FINALIZES RULE IMPACTING PET BREEDERS
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Today, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) released a finalized version of new federal regulations that narrow the definition of a “retail pet store” with the purpose of bringing internet-based pet breeders and sellers under the regulation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The rule, originally proposed in May 2012 and essentially unchanged, effectively expands USDA oversight of pet breeders to include people who maintain more than four “breeding females” of any species and sell even one pet “sight unseen”.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) shares the USDA’s concern about unscrupulous and potentially substandard puppy sellers; and encourages responsible puppy buyers to meet the breeders of their new puppy and to work with responsible breeders to understand the commitment, challenges and requirements that a puppy of their chosen breed requires.
The AKC, however, is extremely disappointed that USDA/APHIS, by adopting the rule in the same form it was originally proposed, did not heed the comments of hundreds of thousands of responsible dog breeders and owners concerned with the complexity and ambiguity of this potentially onerous new rule. Specifically, the rule will:
· Increase the “retail pet store” exemption to include those maintaining 4 or fewer breeding females. Those with four or fewer “breeding females” will not be subject to USDA licensure and inspection. The AKC appreciates the intent of a continued exemption for small hobby breeders.
· Deems any “sight-unseen” sale a covered activity, making the seller subject to USDA licensure and regulation. The AKC remains steadfast in believing that the rule will unreasonably require regulatory compliance of many more individuals than originally intended by treating those who sell a dog “sight unseen”—perhaps due to repeat buyers or other known purchasers—in the same manner as commercial internet-based sellers. The AKC believes that reasonable regulation of true commercial breeding enterprises or Internet sellers, where regulation is based on the actual numbers of dogs sold, is a better alternative to regulation based on the number of dogs a person owns. If the goal is to regulate internet sales, then such sales should be defined to include only internet sales. If the goal is to regulate all commercial breeder/retailers, a better definition would be those who produce and sell more than 50 puppies in a year.
· Vague definition of “breeding female” as one having the capability of breeding. Currently, the USDA defines “breeding female” as “capacity to breed” and bases this assessment on a visual inspection on the ground of the animals involved, determining whether they are “of breeding age” and whether there are health or other factors that would limit that. The AKC believes that this is not a practical, efficient, or clear way to establish a threshold for licensing and regulation, as it does not allow either APHIS or a breeder to assess whether a seller would be subject to licensing, regulation, and inspection without first being inspected by APHIS. The AKC remains extremely concerned that the rule will make it difficult for individuals to self-report, as they would not be able to know—without an APHIS inspection and examination of their animals before applying for a license—whether they would be required to obtain a license.
· Operational standards originally designed for commercial-type facilities fail to account for circumstances appropriate for how hobby/fancy breeders who will be subject to the regulations will keep their dogs. As a result of AKC’s long history and breadth of experience in advancing the care and conditions of dogs and conducting kennel inspections, we know that there are a wide variety of circumstances and kinds of facilities in which dogs may be suitably raised and maintained. AKC’s Care and Conditions policy is based on performance standards, rather than strict engineering requirements. This is because many breeds would fail to thrive in the required commercial kennel setting and, therefore, are better raised in residential settings. It is not reasonable to expect small breeders, who keep a handful of dogs and make a choice to raise dogs in their homes, to be able to meet exacting USDA kennel engineering standards that are designed for large commercial wholesale or research kennels. Likewise, many could be prevented from adapting their facilities because of local ordinances, zoning limitations, restrictions on their ability to obtain business licenses or necessary insurance. We believe performance-based standards are a better option for small home-based operations. The AKC believes that the continued effort to subject small home-based breeding operations to the same exacting standards required of purely commercial facilities is unreasonable and unnecessary.
To learn more about our specific concerns with the rule, please visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resources Page.
USDA/APHIS expects the final rule to be published in the Federal Register later this week. The rule will become effective 60 days after publication.
The AKC is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of all dogs and responsible dog owners and breeders. We are extremely disappointed with the content of the final rule and we will continue to study this rule and assess all options for addressing our ongoing concerns.
The AKC will continue to provide additional information and analysis regarding specific impacts and what this rule may mean to responsible dog owners, breeders and the dog-loving public in general. Please remember that as a matter of company policy, the American Kennel Club does not release the registration information or history of any customer without a court order. The AKC, however, does expect individuals to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the ownership and maintenance of dogs.
For more information and updates, visit AKC GR’s online USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page; or contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA cracks down on Internet pet sale
This handout photo provided by the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services shows an inspection of a dog kennel in Lancaster, Pa. in April 2010. The Agriculture Department is cracking down on dog breeders who sell puppies over the Internet, issuing new regulations that will force them to apply for federal licenses. (AP Photo/Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services)
MARY CLARE JALONICK 2 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Agriculture Department is cracking down on dog breeders who sell puppies over the Internet, issuing new regulations that will force them to apply for federal licenses.
The rules announced Tuesday would subject dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies online, by mail or over the phone to the same oversight faced by wholesale animal breeders.
Many breeders who run their businesses online have skirted federal oversight by classifying themselves as retail pet stores, which are exempt from licensing requirements. Commercial pet stores aren't required to have licenses because buyers can see the animals before they buy them and decide whether they appear healthy and cared for. But that's not the case when buying over the Internet.
The idea behind the new rules, says USDA's Kevin Shea, is that either government inspectors or buyers see the animals with their own eyes before they are sold.
Shea, administrator of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, says the agency is responding to a 2010 USDA inspector general's report that uncovered grisly conditions at so-called "puppy mills" around the country. The report recommended that the department tighten the animal welfare laws — written more than four decades ago, long before the advent of the Internet — to cut down on unscrupulous breeders.
In addition to finding dirty, bug-infested conditions at many breeding facilities, inspectors cited numerous reports of buyers who received animals who were sick or dying.
The new rules, first proposed last year, would ensure that most people who sell pets over the Internet, by phone or mail order can no longer do so sight-unseen. Sellers either must allow buyers to see animals in person before they purchase them or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The rules are targeted to dog breeders but could affect breeders of other animals too. The Agriculture Department estimates that up to 4,640 dog breeders could be affected by the rule, along with about 325 cat breeders and up to 75 rabbit breeders.
Animal protection groups cheered the move. Wayne Pacelle, president of The Humane Society of the United States, said he has been working on the issue for almost two decades. While mail-order dog sales were a problem before popular use of the Internet, online sales have made the problem much worse, he said.
"There are hundreds of thousands of dogs languishing in small wire cages, denied vet care and exposed to the elements that literally had no protection under federal law," Pacelle said. "This turns that around."
Small-size breeders have lobbied against the changes, saying the rules could regulate them out of business. USDA's Shea says the department set the minimum of four breeding females to ensure that smaller sellers would be able to continue offering puppies.
"People who have generally been thought of as 'hobby breeders' continue to be exempt," Shea said.
Shea said the licenses will cost $750 or less and complying with the USDA regulations should only be expensive for breeders who aren't already ensuring their animals have adequate housing and medical care.
The American Kennel Club said it is dismayed by the rule, which is "overly broad and will do more damage than good," said spokeswoman Lisa Petersen.
The group argues that the term "breeding female" is too vague and could subject some sellers to the rules even though some of their dogs aren't actually breeding. The club said breeders are also concerned that the rules are too specific as to how dogs should be housed, and could prevent some small breeders from keeping dogs in their homes.
PETA Finds Itself on Receiving End of Others’ Anger
Daphna Nachminovitch, a vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, visited a home with ill-kept pit bulls in Portsmouth, VA.
Fred R. Conrad / The New York Times
By MICHAEL WINERIP
July 6, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. — Even some supporters do not know what to make of it.
PETA, considered by many to be the highest-profile animal rights group in the country, kills an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter here.
And the shelter does few adoptions — 19 cats and dogs in 2012 and 24 in 2011, according to state records.
At a time when the major animal protection groups have moved to a “no kill” shelter model, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals remains a holdout, confounding some and incensing others who know the organization as a very vocal advocacy group that does not believe animals should be killed for food, fur coats or leather goods.
Slide Show | PETA Under Fire From ‘No Kill’ Groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals euthanizes an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats in its Virginia animal shelter every year, but the trend nationwide is to reduce shelter kills
This is an organization that on Thanksgiving urges Americans not to eat turkey.
“Honestly, I don’t understand it,” says Joan E. Schaffner, an animal rights lawyer and an associate professor at the George Washington University Law School, which hosts an annual no-kill conference. “PETA does lots of good for animals, but I could never support them on this.”
As recently as a decade ago, it was common practice at shelters to euthanize large numbers of dogs and cats that had not been adopted.
But the no-kill movement has grown very quickly, leaving PETA behind.
In New York City last year, 8,252 dogs and cats were euthanized, compared with 31,701 in 2003.
“Through spay, neuter, transfer and adoption programs, we think New York City can close the gap toward becoming a ‘no-kill community’ by 2015,” said Matthew Bershadker, the president and chief executive of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one of 150 rescue groups and shelters that make up the Mayor’s Alliance for N.Y.C.’s Animals.
While there is no uniform definition of what constitutes a no-kill community, it is generally considered to be a place where at least 90 percent of dogs and cats at local shelters are put up for adoption. In the first quarter of this year, 84 percent of dogs and cats from New York’s rescue groups and shelters were adopted, transferred or returned to their owners, compared with 76 percent for all of 2012.
For their part, officials at PETA, which has its headquarters and only shelter here in Norfolk, say the animals it rescues are in such bad shape from mistreatment and neglect that they are often better off dead than living in misery on the streets or with abusive owners.
“It’s nice for people who’ve never worked in a shelter to have this idealistic view that every animal can be saved,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA’s vice president for cruelty investigations. “They don’t see what awful physical and emotional pain these poor dogs and cats suffer.”
Over the past 30 years, PETA has run highly publicized campaigns targeting corporations for the way they treat animals, taking aim at Ringling Brothers (circus elephants), McDonald’s (chickens) and General Motors (test crash pigs). Their annual “We’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, featuring nude models, is a public relations legend.
But lately the protester is being protested; PETA has become the No. 1 target among supporters of no-kill shelters. At the annual conference at George Washington, being held next weekend, seminars focus on ways to challenge PETA’s policies. Nathan J. Winograd, a leading no-kill activist, criticized PETA on his blog recently for “its long and sordid tradition of undermining the movement to end shelter killing.”
There are no national figures on the number of shelter animals adopted or euthanized each year, but several states keep records, as do a few private organizations. From that data the trend is clear: adoptions are up, and euthanasia is down.
In California, for example, 176,900 dogs were euthanized in 2011, compared with 303,000 in 1997, when the state started keeping track. In that same period, adoptions have climbed to 137,700 from 84,000. Here in Virginia, 61,591 dogs and cats were euthanized last year, compared with 103,327 in 2004.
Out the Front Door, a blog that tracks no-kill communities, lists 161 that currently meet the 90 percent save rate; in 2001, there was just one, Tompkins County in upstate New York.
The no-kill conference at George Washington attracted 860 people in 2012; in 2005, at the first gathering, two dozen attended.
More than any other group, Maddie’s Fund, a foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area with a $300 million endowment, has been responsible for the spread of the no-kill movement. Started in 1999 by Cheryl and David A. Duffield, dot-com billionaires, and named after their pet miniature schnauzer, the organization has underwritten several national programs promoting the movement. They have financed shelter care medical training programs at 18 of the country’s 29 veterinary schools, the idea being that healthy animals are cheaper to house and are more likely to be adopted.
Each year the foundation sponsors an adoption weekend in several cities. In New York early last month, 3,104 dogs and cats were adopted. As an incentive, Maddie’s Fund paid the shelters $500 for each dog and cat under 7 years that was adopted, $1,000 for each animal over 7 and $2,000 for each animal over 7 with a medical ailment.
“It teaches the shelters that old and uglies are not discards,” said Richard Avanzino, the director of the foundation, which spent $3 million to subsidize the 3,104 adoptions. “We’re changing the culture by showing that no-kill can work.”
Mr. Avanzino called PETA’s policy of killing virtually all the animals at its shelter “outdated” and “absolute idiocy.”
Since 2009, the Ad Council has worked with Maddie’s Fund and the Humane Society to donate an estimated $127 million in media services to promote shelter adoptions.
When Kate Hurley, the director of shelter medicine at the University of California, Davis, first heard about the no-kill movement 20 years ago, she agreed with PETA. She believed that no-kill was an unachievable policy, and that shelters claiming such a distinction were taking only the animals most likely to be adopted and forcing other shelters to euthanize the castoffs. “I felt in many places it wasn’t no-kill, it was kill elsewhere,” she said.
But Dr. Hurley’s views have changed in recent years.
In a series of research projects on feline upper respiratory infection, she and her colleagues documented the huge impact the illness can have on shelter resources. Treatment required expensive medical care and a lengthy recovery period, reducing the animal’s chances for adoption and taking up space that could be used for other homeless cats. But by doubling the size of the cages, contagion was reduced, the rate of respiratory problems and costs went down, and adoptions increased.
Dr. Hurley has also been impressed by shelters that have started to take stray cats that would have been euthanized and instead spayed or neutered them, vaccinated them for rabies and released them back where they were found. “If they came from an alley, they know how to live in an alley, and if they’re spayed, they’re not making new cats,” she said. “The pieces for no-kill are in place. We just need to spread the word and make sure shelters have the resources and know-how.”
Over the last decade, PETA has euthanized 1,045 to 1,942 cats a year at the shelter here.
Recently, Ms. Nachminovitch of PETA took this reporter and a photographer on a daylong tour through poor areas of Virginia and North Carolina, visiting several homes where dogs were living in poor conditions. At the first, three pit bulls were crowded into filthy pens behind a garage with no clean drinking water in 90-degree heat. At the next stop, a German shepherd was too timid and spiritless to come out of its doghouse for food. A dog at a third home had ears that had been partly eaten away by flies. At a few of the homes, Ms. Nachminovitch gave new doghouses to the owners.
At PETA headquarters, at the request of this reporter, Ms. Nachminovitch led the way to a cinder-block building in the back and then to a windowless room where the dogs and cats are killed. It looked like a well-maintained examination room in a doctor’s office. There was clean bedding on a countertop where the dogs and cats are placed for the intravenous shot from a certified euthanasia technician.
“It’s a humane exit from a world that’s treated them like garbage,” said Ms. Nachminovitch, a vegan who does not use animal products. “It’s very sad, but in these cases, it’s the best we can hope for.”
Please read the message below from NAIA. It explains how a recently introduced piece of California legislation, ostensibly designed to control animal sales at “Swap Meets”, could, in fact, result in penalizing dog shows in the state. The language in the proposal is so badly drafted that it can easily be interpreted to include dog shows.
NAIA offers a very simple tool on their web site that allows you to send letters of comment to state legislators. I encourage you to click the “Take Action” button and send off letters of protest against this legislation.
I wasn’t satisfied with the standard letter language NAIA offered for this particular letter so I crafted my own:
“Please vote no on AB339. As currently drafted it could result in the elimination of dog and cat shows in California. This proposal is just another example of poorly drafted legislation, sponsored by the extreme animal rights movement. It has nothing to do with protecting animals and everything to do with elimination of animals as pets and companions, a primary goal of animal rights activists everywhere.”
Feel free to use it if you like or write whatever you want to say in protest, but PLEASE SEND A LETTER TODAY.
ARF & NCWGA Legislative Liaison
Please Vote NO on AB 339...
This bill could make sponsored animal shows illegal!
While it may not be the intention, California Assembly Bill 339 authored by Assembly member Dickinson could ban all types of animal shows in California, including dog, cat, bird, rabbit, reptile, or other types of sponsored animal shows. The bill is to be heard next Tuesday, April 2 at 9 a.m. in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety in Room 126 in the State Capitol.
The bill focuses on prohibiting the sale of animals at "swap meets" by banning the selling, giving away, or even displaying an offer to sell animals. The problem is the definition of "swap meet" as the bill refers to the definition set forth in Section 21661 of the Business and Professions Code which states:
"21661. (a) As used in this article, the term "swap meet" includes a flea market or an open-air market and means an event at which two or more persons offer merchandise for sale or exchange and that meets one of the following conditions:
(1) A fee is charged for the privilege of offering or displaying merchandise for sale or exchange.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the term "swap meet," as used in this article, includes a flea market or an open-air market and means an event, regardless of the number of persons offering or displaying personal property or the absence of fees, at which used personal property is offered or displayed for sale or exchange if the event is held more than six times in any 12-month period."
First time offenders of these provisions will be guilty of an infraction punishable by up to a $250 fine. A person found in violation for the first time and, by that violation, either causes or permits an animal to suffer or be injured, or causes or permits any animal to be placed in a situation in which its life or health may be endangered, will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Second time or subsequent offenders will also be guilty of a misdemeanor. Anyone guilty of a misdemeanor violation will face a fine of up to $1,000 per violation, and a court may assess the severity of the violation in setting the fine.
This bill has the potential to include animal shows such as dog , cat, rabbit, reptile, bird or other types of animal shows which are sponsored events by organizations. The poor definition could even prohibit pet industry trade shows or other specialty shows.
While NAIA supports sound regulations of animals in commercial settings, the lack of clear definitions in AB 339 poses a potential problem for all sponsored animal events and their organizers. This bill has an overly-broad definition of "swap meet" that would include many other events.
AB 339 should be amended to ensure that animal shows and events sponsored by organizations and professional trade shows in which pet animals are sold under regulated conditions are exempted. The unintended consequences of this bill require a NO vote.
Please click on the Take Action link on the upper right and send your comments to the committee.
If you are able, please attend the hearing on Tuesday and let the Committee members know of your concerns.
Protect Your Pets! Join NAIA Trust today!
Attention All Breeders
Two new articles you need to read!!!!!
Lose gets to Pacelle "HSUS" and IRS
is HSUS coming "unglued"
Tables turned on Humane Society
Animal rights stealth Exposed
Hunt Corp. steps up to defend ALL breeders
A LETTER TO PROFESSIONAL PET BREEDERS FROM ANDREW HUNTE
Last month, every federally licensed Missouri breeder received a letter from USDA stating that it has decided to release confidential personal and business information to the Humane Society of the United States, a wealthy, extremist animal rights group dedicated to wiping out our industry using legal and legislative tactics. HSUS filed a lawsuit to compel USDA to release the confidential information about breeders, and for whatever reason USDA decided to comply without fighting in court on behalf of licensed breeders.
If USDA is allowed to follow through and release the information to HSUS, it would be a terrible, destructive precedent that would affect all breeders, not just those in Missouri. This cannot be tolerated, and The Hunte Corporation will do everything it can to stop USDA from becoming a tool of HSUS and the animal rights movement. That is why we have today filed a lawsuit
in federal court together with Missouri professional pet breeders, to prevent USDA from releasing the confidential personal and business information. Joining The Hunte Corporation as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Missouri Pet Breeders Association, representing all USDA licensed Missouri breeders, and Carolyn Jurewicz.
We intend to win this lawsuit and send a signal that the professional pet industry will not stand by without a fight. We cannot accept manipulation of our government agencies by animal rights extremist groups dedicated to destroying our industry. Winning this suit and other legal actions in the future will require a coordinated effort by all professional breeders working
together to assure that our lawyers have the resources to carry the day for us in court. The Hunte Corporation is making funds available to begin this important lawsuit, but we can't do it alone. We must act together to defend our common interest.
So, The Hunte Corporation is supporting the creation of a new legal fund "War Chest" by MPBA and other professional breeder associations across the nation. This will be a check off fund managed by a board of directors representing each of the breeder associations, and the leadership of the USDA licensed distributors. Its sole purpose will be to defend the professional
pet breeding industry against legal attacks by the animal rights extremists. The Hunte Corporation will contribute $2.00 into this new fund for every puppy it sells. We are asking every breeder to contribute $1.00 for each puppy they sell, and we are recommending that all USDA licensed puppy distributors participate in this fund in the same manner. We are also asking
that pet retailers contribute $2.00 for each puppy they purchase.
Together, we can and must win this important legal fight. If you agree, please join with me and other pet industry professionals.
Andrew P. Hunte
THE HUNTE CORPORATION
121 N. ROYHILL BLVD. - GOODMAN, MO 64843 - 800.829.4155 - fax: 417-364-8954 _www.thehuntecorporation.com_ http://www.thehuntecorporation.com/)
California Dog Legislation
>From RPOA Texas Outreach and Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
"Animal welfare, not animal 'rights' and, yes, there is a difference."
Crossposting is encouraged.
April 26, 2011
Texas Rep. Senfronia Thompson succeeded in ramming through her HSUS and Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) Anti-Breeding Bill HB 1451 today with Rep. David Simpson being the only speaker to oppose the bill at the podium.
The vote was 95 Ayes, 44 Nays, 2 Present-Not-Voting and 9 absent. The 9 Absent all had to leave conveniently for a committee meeting right before the vote was taken.
Rep. Simpson said the bill establishes the "dog Gestapo;" that he opposed the bill and supported the state Animal Cruelty Law which should be enforced. He further stated that this bill burdens those responsible lawful
breeders, allows access to their homes without a search warrant violating the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and Section 9 of the Texas Bill of Rights.
Simpson told them if American Kennel Club is correct, there will be closer to 300 licensees rather than the estimated 1,000 licenses sold at a $1,300 annual license fee reported in the bill's fiscal analysis. The bill states
the license fees must be set to cover the costs.
Simpson said the bill would establish the "pet police." Then he mentioned the loose dogs that are picked up on the streets in his city but said they are not purebred dogs.
Rather than being discouraged by the vote, RPOA is ecstatic, as we never dreamed that 44 representatives would vote "No" to Thompson's bill. We've had members working the Capitol halls talking to legislators and
distributing a two-sided RPOA Flyer for days and if we'd had one more day, we'd probably have killed the bill.
Thompson chairs the powerful Local & Consent Calendar. We've been told that she has warned fellow representatives that they'll never get a bill passed unless they support her bills. She is the most powerful representative in the House, which is why she was "anointed" to sponsor the HSUS bill. Her bill was introduced as "outlawing puppy mills in the state of Texas." RPOA respectfully disagrees and calls it the "Pet Elimination Bill."
So now we await HB 2116, the sister HSUS bill, which will be scheduled on the Local & Consent Calendar soon as it wasn't heard today. Then it's on to the Senate where we will definitely defeat these two bills. It's a piece of
cake! There are only 32 senators. Thanks to all our members who worked so hard and don't be depressed. We have educated so many representatives about the radical agenda of the Animal Rights Movement and must continue to do so in the Senate. The future of animal ownership in Texas is at stake.
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