USDA/APHIS FINALIZES RULE IMPACTING PET BREEDERS

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USDA/APHIS FINALIZES RULE IMPACTING PET BREEDERS

Postby spinster » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:05 am

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..
Read more at: http://www.akc.org/press_center/article ... le_id=5117

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Home> Politics
USDA Cracks Down on Internet Pet Sales
WASHINGTON September 10, 2013 (AP)
By MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press
Associated Press

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...

Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStor ... s-20207528
spinster
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Re: USDA/APHIS FINALIZES RULE IMPACTING PET BREEDERS

Postby spinster » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:13 am

It appears "working dogs are exempt"

See: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013 ... rule.shtml

"Many animal rescue groups, pounds, shelters and humane societies will continue to be exempt from APHIS regulations. Also exempt are the following: people who breed and sell working dogs; people selling rabbits for food, fiber (including fur) or for the preservation of bloodlines; children who raise rabbits as part of a 4-H project; operations that raise, buy and sell farm animals for food or fiber (including fur); and businesses that deal only with fish, reptiles and other cold-blooded animals."
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Re: USDA/APHIS FINALIZES RULE IMPACTING PET BREEDERS

Postby spinster » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:19 am

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/ ... l_rule.pdf

WORKING DOGS
Q. Does this final rule bring working dogs sold at retail under regulation?
A. Working dogs are generally understood to be dogs that are not sold for use as pets but for purposes such as hunting, breeding, and security. Dogs sold at retail for these purposes do not come under regulation under the AWA.

Q. Will APHIS require working dog breeders to be regulated if they occasionally sell an animal as a pet that has proved unsuitable as a working dog due to birth defects, poor temperament, or other flaws?
A. Individuals who intend to breed and sell dogs at retail as working dogs may occasionally raise a dog that lacks the characteristics that would enable it to be sold or used for its intended working purpose. As long as the individual originally intended to raise and sell the dog at retail for that purpose and the individual continues to market his or her dogs for that purpose, the individual could sell the individual dog at retail without needing to be regulated by APHIS.
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