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AKC Legislation Toolbox

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AKC Alert - March 08 2011

Federal PUPS Legislation Information Update
Date of Article: March 08, 2011

The American Kennel Club and our Washington, D.C.-based advocacy team are closely monitoring H.R. 835, the federal Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act. While the bill has been assigned to the Agriculture Committee, no hearings have been scheduled, and no Senate version has been introduced.

This bill is almost identical to the version introduced in 2010, and seeks to develop federal regulation of dog breeders who breed and sell more than 50 puppies a year directly to consumers. H.R. 835 would require the new category of breeders to abide by basic minimum standards of care and conditions and to abide by new performance-based exercise requirements. As we mentioned last year, this bill is a significant improvement over previous versions that focused on the number of dogs owned, regardless of how many were bred or sold.

However, the AKC also has a number of serious concerns with the bill as introduced. Some of these concerns include:

  • Definition of “breeding female” as an intact female dog aged 4 months or older. Female dogs are not sufficiently mature at 4 months of age to be bred.
  • Definition of “high volume breeder” as someone with “an ownership interest in or custody ofone or more breeding female dogs.” This definition is overly broad and does not take intoaccount the tradition of co- and joint ownerships common among dog show participants,sporting dog trainers, hunting club members, and other hobbyists. Additionally, a reference tothe number of dogs owned by a breeder is unnecessary and potentially misleading.
  • Current exercise language is overly vague and should be clarified to ensure that the dailyexercise requirements do not preclude training or other types of physical activity.

We will continue to monitor this legislation vigilantly and to outline our concerns regarding PUPS legislation to appropriate members of Congress and staff. At this point, we do not expect a hearing to be scheduled in the near future.

The AKC will continue its education campaign with legislators and we will keep you up to date on any new developments.